photo credit: Matthew Sharff
Bethanie Yeakle is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performing artist based in Vermont whose less-is-more approach captures the essence of moments in a powerful voice that catches in all the right places.
A native of southern Pennsylvania, Yeakle (YAY-cool) spent time traveling the United States honing their craft before settling in Southern Vermont. Songs from their 2002 debut solo release, Small Black Feather, were welcomed by folk audiences at venues including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, The Guthrie Center, and Club Passim. As a solo artist they have shared stages with acts including Tune-Yards, Antje Duvekot, Anais Mitchell and Slaid Cleaves.
Bethanie has recently produced and recorded their sophomore solo album The Space Between, released digitally in March 2022. Recorded simply and with a spare and spacious approach, the album offers 11 original songs in skeletal arrangements that breathe and trust the listener.
As a touring multi-instrumentalist, Yeakle has added vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, electric banjo, dobro, lap steel, (and a little Hammond B3 and alternative trombone) to many recordings and live performances over the past few decades working as a session musician, band member, and sideperson, contributing to or directing projects spanning genres including Americana, Bluegrass, Newgrass, Folk, Alt Country, Rock, and Experimental/Psychedelic/Noise.
They have performed and/or recorded with musical acts including Pioneer Valley supergroups Rocky Roberts and Friends and Opal Canyon, The Lonesome Brothers, The Johnson Boys, Chyrons, Lampray, Soil Sing Through Me, Ivy Ross, The Big Secret, and Zip Code Revue. While wearing their many musical hats they have shared stages with a varied cast including Jim James, My Morning Jacket, Richard Lloyd Group, Bill Kirchen, Pegi Young and the Survivors, Jon Carroll, Richie Furay, Mark Mulcahy, Neil Hamburger and JP Hasson/JP Inc.
Yeakle has composed music for independent film, can be glimpsed on the big screen as a musician/featured-extra in Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock", and can be found on both sides of the camera making music videos. They have performed music (live and recorded) for aerial artist Serenity Smith Forchion, and they themself have been sighted in costume singing from a trapeze, and dancing on a slack rope or stilts with their stunt banjo.
In addition to their solo songwriting/production, Bethanie has co-written songs with longtime bandmate and collaborator Matthew Sharff, and currently plays guitars/banjos/lap steel and sings backup with Wojcicki, Sharff's 3-piece band based in Southern Vermont. Wojcicki's 2022 release Failure to Illuminate and 2016 debut After Birther offer a heavy dose of Yeakle's contributions.