Beth Bombara — Rose Music Hall
by Brian DeSpain
St Louis-based Americana artist Beth Bombara is no stranger to central Missouri. She’s worn a path along I-70 which has included many stops in Columbia, Missouri over the years.
In August 2019, Bombara played before one of the largest crowds when Old 97’s asked her to open there at the Blue Note.
This time her visit to Columbia had a twist. A song Bombara wrote during the pandemic, inspired by news of debris from a Chinese rocket hurdling toward Earth, is now the name for a beer by Logboat Brewing Company.
The company started an artist IPA series with Bombara as their third musician immortalized in hops. With members of the brewery staff knowing her music over several years, Bombara was asked to collaborate on a beer.
“During the initial meeting, Beth mentioned she was doing a songwriting challenge and had just written a song called “Space Junk”, which couldn’t have been a more perfect name for a collaboration,” Logboat creative director Sarah Snowden said.
Space Junk IPA was developed after several meetings and tastings to develop the preferred flavor profile leading to a final product having much less of a bite than a typical IPA and with a citrusy finish.
Both brewer and artist joined in celebration, with the first drafts being served at Rose Music Hall on October 23.
This debut of the beer was also the band debut of the “Space Junk” song and Americana Highways was there to experience both.
With this event, Bombara’s set was less the sampling of more than a decade long recording career. It included four new songs, favorite covers and a large portion of her latest album.
After playing a brand new number “Moment” and Aretha Franklin’s “The River’s Invitation” – Bombara dove into two more new songs, the bluesy “Carry the Weight” and then “Lonely Walls” (a debut performance).
A swath of songs followed in succession from the acclaimed 2019 album Evergreen: Tenderhearted, the title song, “Anymore,” “I Only Cry When I’m Alone,” “Upside Down,” “Criminal Tongue,” “Does it Echo” and “Growing Wings,” leading into “Space Junk” a seemingly extraterrestrial spin to the bad relationship song.
Rounding out the set were Neil Young’s “Ohio” inspired by the Kent State massacre in 1970, and as Bombara has been known to do on occasion, a Beatle’s cover. This time, “Dear Prudence.”
“Love is a Rose” by Linda Ronstadt was served for the encore along with additional mugs of Space Junk.
Bombara, in similar fashion, will join Logboat Brewing at Off Broadway with a show for the debut of the beer in the Saint Louis market on October 29. Look for tour dates here: https://www.bethbombara.com