Keturah Allgood highlights love and compassion in new album ‘Shine’

Keturah Allgood highlights love and compassion in new album ‘Shine’
Photo by Jeremy Ruan

Hi everyone! My name is Keturah Allgood. I suppose if I had to sum myself up in a  few words, I would say that I am a Soulful Americana troubadour. I write the songs, play the songs, sing the songs, and hope that the music will bring you some sort of peace in this terribly chaotic world. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with my fiancé, my mom, my guitars, and keyboards. I live in the house I grew up in and my studio is in my old bedroom filled with tons of records and a massive CD collection that I absolutely refuse to get rid of.

Tell us about your new album Shine, and the inspiration behind it.

Shine was a record that I wrote to hopefully bring some peace and healing to a fearful and chaotic world. I wanted to highlight love and compassion. I believe that the simple act of kindness and being good to one another has the ability to change the world.

I feel like the album really takes the listener on a journey into my heart.

What was the songwriting and recording process?

The songwriting process is always different. Some of the songs on this album I wrote in 30 minutes, and some, like “Down the Line,” for instance, took years. I believe that particular song took me about 18 years to finish. I think I needed to live a little more before I could figure out exactly what I wanted to say. The album was recorded at Omni Sound Studios in Nashville, TN, produced by William Gawley and co-produced by Pat McGrath. We recorded during the pandemic in August of 2020. I had an amazing group of musicians largely due to the fact that they were doing session work instead of touring during Covid. Everything was recorded in Nashville except for the backing vocals which I decided to take back home with me and record with Brad Rudolph at Falling Waters Studio in Pisgah Forest, NC. I had my good friend and fellow musician Carrie Morrison lend her angelic voice to the majority of the harmony vocals, and then I roped in my duo partner and music director Bradford Carson to help with the rest. I feel like the album really takes the listener on a journey into my heart.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

My sincere hope is that people will listen to the words and believe that we really do have the power within us to create a better world. There are songs like “Sing, Baby, Sing” where I hope people find encouragement and know that no matter what they are told by people who just want to keep them down that they are worthy of loving themselves enough to believe they can achieve their dreams. The title track “Shine” simply states that “light wins out over darkness every time.” I suppose if there were one message I would want this album to convey, it would be that there is always hope and that love is the ultimate answer.

Photo by Mike Moore

When did you first pick up guitar, and what drew you to that instrument?

I’ve been playing guitar since I was very young. I must have been maybe seven or eight when I got my first real guitar. My father played guitar and was my first teacher. I think the first song he taught me was “Last Kiss.” It’s that terrible tragic song about two young lovers and a horrific car accident. It’s an awful story but the melody is beautiful. I really didn’t take guitar seriously until I was about 15. Even then, I would just go to my guitar teacher and make him show me how to play the songs that I was writing in my head. I never really learned how to properly play. I play a lot of partial chords and do weird things that drive my bandmates crazy. It works for me, however, and even though a part of me wishes I had been more disciplined and forced myself to learn the more traditional way, I am pretty happy with where this crooked road has taken me.

Who are some of your musical influences?

I really love early blues artists like Ma Rainy and Bessie Smith. Gospel powerhouses like Mahalia Jackson and Vestal Goldman. Those women really gave me a sense of how to sing from the gut. Songwriters like Ferron and Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, and the Indigo Girls really turned me on with their words. Currently, I’ve been jamming to Joy Oladokun and Valerie June. I’m also looking forward to hearing Lucinda Williams’s new record. The three tracks I have heard so far are spectacular. She just blows me away with her tenacity.

What’s next?

I am going out on the road in support of this record, and I already have another album on my mind. It’s been 17 years between the release of my first record and my second one, so I am eager to just keep putting the music out there!

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