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Meet Cathryn Beeks of Listen Local in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cathryn Beeks.

Cathryn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I left my hometown of Lancaster, CA in ’95 in a beat-up motor home in search of stardom. I lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Jacksonville, Fl and Cleveland Oh before returning to California in 1999, I arrived in San Diego as a struggling singer/songwriter and was both disappointed in the lack of open mic opportunities and inspired by the local talent so I learned how to make a website and began hosting showcases at various venues around San Diego.

In 2003 I named the showcases “Listen Local” and in 2004 began co-hosting a local music podcast and added events such as Band Camp Music Festival, The Acoustic Alliance, The Kid Show, The Game, Chick Camp and The Songwriter Sleepover to the Listen Local calendar. I was able to quit my day job and host shows full time while I worked on my own music with several different bands.

In 2009 I took over as host of The Homegrown Hour local music show on 102.1 KPRi and shortly thereafter began hosting shows at House of Blues. HOB GM Matt Parsons and I co-founded the Local Brews Local Grooves event that not only continues here in San Diego but was adopted in all of the HOB markets nationwide.

In 2015 KPRi was sold and HOB decided they’d continue my event without me so I took the “Listen Local Show” to the internet and purchased a bread truck. I turned it into a mobile stage, studio and store selling upscale and vintage 2nd hand clothing, shoes and accessories geared towards performers.

In 2017 my husband and I became the resident volunteers at The San Dieguito Heritage Museum where we reside, care take and help with events. I’ve started a weekly music program on Sunday afternoons and we are bringing in some amazing concerts as well as opening up our stage to our local community.

My band The Ordeal is celebrating our 17th year of making music together with our 4th SDMA nomination, this time for “Best Pop”. My all girl band CalAmity has been recording and gearing up to play in San Diego this summer.

In April of 2018 the weekly Listen Local blog, podcast and web show that I’ve been producing for the last 15 years will become a monthly post (web show, blog and podcast) featuring interviews with upcoming performers, stories and more all focusing on what’s happening here at The Heritage Ranch.

That about sums it up!

Has it been a smooth road?
Physically it was tough to lug around and run my own PA for the first 5 years, setting up 4 to 5 nights a week at various venues for little to no money while getting Listen to Local shows off the ground. In a few cases, once the night was established and successful the venue owner would opt to run it w/o me which was super frustrating and heartbreaking.

In addition, while attempting to grow my business and climb San Diego’s ladder I became disillusioned by the lack of response from those in key positions. I found it disheartening to get the “California no” so often, especially when there are so many ways to communicate these days. I wish folks would extend the professional courtesy of a response and maybe check the spam folders now and then.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Listen Local – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Listen Local has gone through many changes over the past 15 years. Initially known for providing free to attend singer/songwriter showcases and camping/music events, Listen Local became trademarked in 2015 as a web show and podcast in addition to producing live music events. I got into photography a few years ago and began offering super affordable video and photo services to local musicians and creative people and the thrift store also falls under the Listen Local umbrella.

Listen Local now has a home and I”m excited about our future here at The Heritage Ranch. Along with our open mic every Sunday afternoon we’ll be hosting concerts, posting a monthly show and continuing to offer affordable video and photo services to the local music community.

As for what I’m most proud of, besides producing a weekly blog, radio show or web show every week without fail since 2003, Listen Local events ALWAYS run on time. Like, no matter what. I’m super proud of that. 🙂

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Currently, I don’t like that all of our singer/songwriter venues are going under. We’ve lost some really nice rooms over the past few years and now with Lestats and the future of Java Joes being questionable, it’s gotten really serious and sad.

Our city has so much to offer AND amazing weather so our music scene has always had a lot to compete with. It’s the special venues that make it work but it only works if people recognize and support those places.

Contact Info:

  • Website: listenlocalradio.com
  • Email: cathryn@listenlocalradio.com
  • Instagram: listenlocalshow
  • Facebook: facebook/golistenlocal
  • Twitter: golistenlocal

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

 

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