By Diane Urbani de la Paz
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de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
COYLE — The “Leave Your Shoes” title has a couple of meanings, Beth Whitney says.
This name of her first album is about slipping off your shoes, relaxing and coming in to her home. It’s also about simplicity: going barefoot on the path of life.
Whitney, a singer-songwriter from Snohomish, will kick up her heels alongside her husband at 7:30 this Saturday night at the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center, 923 Hazel Point Road. Admission is by donation to this evening of indie folk and pop music, and all ages are welcome.
Whitney taught herself to play guitar when she was just 16, after she was given an orphaned instrument from her church. She couldn’t help but write songs, too, and kept that up as she graduated high school, traveled around Africa and went to college at Spokane’s Whitworth University.
Blast from past
There, she re-met someone from her past.
Whitney had known Aaron Fishburn since she was 4 years old and visiting her grandparents in Leavenworth. The town was also home to Fishburn, whose family owned the Tall Timber Ranch, a camp Whitney went to as a girl.
So Whitney and Fishburn started out attending Sunday school together; later they spent time at Tall Timber.
“He was that guy,” leading rock climbs, she recalled.
Years later at Whitworth, they discovered that they were both musicians, and that they fit together. Fishburn and Whitney have been married four years now; he’s the youth leader at First Presbyterian Church in Snohomish while she runs a music program for children there.
Whitney also has released three CDs: “Leave Your Shoes,” “Yellow,” with acclaimed producer Brandon Bee, and most recently her ukulele EP.
She and her man have been playing dates in California, Oregon and Washington, but Saturday will be their first trip to the North Olympic Peninsula.
The couple will frolic together through Whitney’s original songs plus a few covers: a bossa nova from Antonio Carlos Jobim and “Making Pies” by Patty Griffin, for example.
“Aaron is a very skilled bass player,” Whitney said. In the bossa novas and beyond, “he gets to show what he’s made of.”
There also may be some Bob Dylan on their set list, as well as some “catchy stuff,” the songwriter added.
“We laugh a lot on stage,” said Whitney. “I try to make it welcoming for everybody.”
The Whitney-Fishburn show is part of the “Concerts in the Woods” series at the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center. For details on forthcoming performances, including the Jan. 19 show with Tania Opland and Mike Freeman, visit www.hazelpoint.info or phone coordinator Norm Johnson at 360-765-3449 or 206-459-6854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Whitney, visit www.Beth