Kellie Besch and her folky, indie-poppy, Americana-y sounds came from Rochester, but they reside in Nashville now. That’s where Besch recently completed her debut album, “Fierce Landscapes,” which you can check out at her website, kelliebesch.com. Be forewarned, though: you’re in for an emotional roller coaster powered by Besch’s outstanding voice and lyrical prowess. This lady is the real deal. She’s back in the area for a quick midwestern tour that features a couple dates in Rochester, so we jumped at the chance to pick her brain about her favorite songs, life on the road, and played-out cover jams.
507: Most listened to song in the last week?
Besch: “BRCLNA” by Sinclair. She does all her own production and she’s crazy talented.
507: Three songs you think everyone should listen to?
“Shade of You” by Daniella Mason
“You’ll Be Glad” by Andrea Marie
“If I Believe You” by The 1975
507: Favorite Rochester hang out?
Besch: Forager Brewery, Victoria’s, my parents’ house, and the Northside Dairy Queen.
507: Wildest interaction with a fan?
Besch: Some of my friends have threatened to do body paint at one of my shows but it has yet to happen…
507: Any local shout-outs?
Besch: I gotta shout-out to my whole family – my parents, Tom and Peggy, and my brothers, Kyle and Tucker. They’ve kept me sane through the whole process of planning this tour and recording this EP. Beyond that, this list could go on forever, but I’ll end it for now with Linda Seime, Horacio Nuguid, Julie Burgart, and Mary Spring, who all had tremendous influence on my music and writing as I grew up.
507: Best bit of wisdom you’ve received while on the road?
Besch: Who you’re with makes all the difference. Tour with people you enjoy being with, it makes everything better.
507: How does it feel to be back home, playing shows?
Besch: So great! I love checking out the new things that pop up in Rochester and showing my band around my hometown, and it’s so much fun connecting with friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Not to mention home cooked meals and getting to hug my fam…there truly is no place like home.
507: What advice would you give to other artists who want to pack up & move to where the opportunities are?
Besch: Listen to your gut. Be honest with yourself about what you really want and what you truly love doing — and then actually do it. Know that there will be lots of ups, but there will also be lots of downs, and that’s ok, it’s all part of it. And one of the best things you can do is surround yourself with people who love you and believe in you. Their support will keep you going in the times when you feel like giving up.
507: Your tour is taking you to a few breweries – what’s your favorite beer?
Besch: Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin.
507: If you had to select one cover to be banned from ever being performed again, what would it be?
Besch: Wagon Wheel. You can’t swing a cat without scratching someone who’s singing that song at any given moment in Nashville.