Yooper woman, Hannah Bethel, getting noticed in Nashville

Hannah Bethel, who grew up in the Copper Country, is a making a name for herself in the music industry in Nashville. She retuned to the Upper Peninsula for a performance at the Orpheum Theater in September. (Dan Cunningham/DKC Productions)

By Deborah K. Frontiera
Rising Country/Americana singer and musician, Hannah Bethel, performed at the Orpheum in Hancock on Sep. 28. She is a graduate of Houghton High School, having moved to the area with her parents when she was 12 years old. Her father graduated from MTU and always wanted to return to the area.
Hannah and her family had visited the Copper Country every summer for years. Some of her fondest childhood memories involve driving through the Keweenaw and swimming in Lake Superior near Frieda. She said she felt “totally baptized” by the water—diving into sparkling clarity, seeing the sandstone. She felt “clean and safe on so many levels.”
From a young age, she felt the same way about performing music. Her video of her latest hit song, “Rhinestone Rodeo,” is full of images of her as a child, singing for family and friends. At age three or four, she took dance lessons, then voice lessons at eight, never missing an opportunity to perform—anywhere, even during recess in elementary school. Some kids at school teased her for her interest in country music rather than pop. By 13, she learned to play the guitar.
Immediately after high school, she left home and moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. While she missed the quiet of the U.P., she felt a great excitement being surrounded by people as passionate as she was about music. Not that she didn’t go through the “traditional pay your dues” process of the music world. She worked as a nanny, in a metaphysical store, helped manage an antique mall, worked in a restaurant, and other “day jobs” while playing late night bar shows. She took jobs singing demos and performing background vocals for other musicians…

To listen to some of Hannah’s singing, go to: www.youtube.com/user/hannahbethelmusic. Those interested in purchasing her songs can visit www.hannahbethel.com.

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