This article by Lauren Tingle was originally published on CMT’s website.
Hannah Bethel embodies some solid country wisdom made famous by Dolly Parton in her latest release “Rhinestone Rodeo.” Both believe life is sweeter when you have an attitude of gratitude, and each has a knack for turning adversity into works of art.
Parton turned children’s ugly comments about her patched-up coat growing up into the standard, “Coat of Many Colors.” And Bethel has “Rodeo,” a comprehensive look into what happens to rising artists with figuratively beat-up noses from working them to the bone on the Music Row grindstone.
Bethel sat on the title “Rhinestone Rodeo” for a couple years before it finally made its way into a song with the help of co-writers Tiffany Goss and Nicole Witt.
“I wanted it to be about my journey of navigating a life in the music business in Nashville,” Bethel says. “When I wrote it with Tiffany and Nicole, I was at one of my lowest points. This song started from a place of being tired, burned out and unsure of where to go next, and it blossomed into the most beautiful, healing piece of music.
“I always say that everyone has a mountain to climb, and mine has been Nashville. I have known many seasons during my ten years here, some beautiful highs and terrible lows, but I am grateful for every experience that has made me stronger, wiser, more certain of who I am as an artist and a human, and more determined than ever to move forward with great joy and optimism in my heart.”
When asked to name the No. 1 lesson Nashville has taught her so far, Bethel said guts are never wrong.
“The [top] lessons I have learned during my time in Nashville is to honor myself and trust my intuition,” she said. “Your initial gut feeling about something is usually spot on. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not, and you don’t always need a reason why. The vibe doesn’t lie. Also, as a creative person, it is necessary to take time and space to know what you need to stay nourished and inspired. It’s easy to get burned out in this business. If you don’t learn how to love on yourself and replenish your resources, you’ll quickly lose your joy, and then you’re missing the whole point of living your dream.”
Bethel is on tour through September. For a complete list of shows, visit her website.