Cathryn Beeks is a busy woman. In October, the entrepreneur/musician will celebrate ten years of hosting live-music showcases on ListenLocalsd.com. “It keeps me pretty busy listening to bands, booking, promoting, making posters, posting posters, and following through to make sure bands show up.” Host of the weekly Homegrown Hour on KPRI, Beeks, 45, lives in Crest and also has a hand in the Kid Show, the Game, Acoustic Alliance, Wine and Song, Chick Camp, the Love Lab, the Songwriter Sleepover, and the All Access Fest, all of which she describes as special events. She’s got a hand in the Studio Sampler, Find Your Voice, Hotrod Helps.org, and a second cookbook/CD compilation. “Listen Local is accepting submissions for Listen Local Cooks Vol. 2, our cookbook and music compilation featuring local musicians’ recipes and songs.” Details at [email protected].
How did you get the job as host of the Homegrown Hour?
“On New Year’s Eve of 2008, I found out my association with one of my favorite venues was ending in an unfortunate way. Not only did I lose a cool place to host shows, but I became estranged from some of my closest friends over it.”
What venue was that?
“I’m actually just now starting to get over that heartbreak. Someday I’ll tell the story. A few months later...I lost time, money, and energy on a coffee-shop venture that didn’t pan out. It wasn’t until May  that things started looking up. That’s when [former host] Astra Kelly and KPRI asked me to take over the Homegrown Hour.”
How did all of your entrepreneurship get started?
“I was trying to become a famous rock star when I arrived in San Diego in 1999. By 2002 I was supplementing my secretarial income [by hosting] an open-mic night at the Coaster Saloon. About that same time I decided to post an online calendar. It made more sense for open-mic musicians to be able to sign up ahead of time and promote their performances. My open mics were scheduled in various venues all over San Diego. Then, in 2004, I started ListenLocalsd.com.”
You’re a singer/songwriter yourself?
“I am. I wish I had more time to do it so I could get better at it. I still try to make music now and again with various bands. Currently I play with Garbo [nominated by SDMA this year for Best Americana]. The Ordeal is sort of my jam band featuring a rotating cast of musicians and sounds.”
Some people say we have no music scene, Others say it’s great...Where do you line up?
“I hate hearing people whine about ‘lack of scene.’ Anyone who says that is dumb. And deaf. There are so many music scenes here we can’t even keep up.”
What’s the solution to keeping up?
“Bands and fans should look beyond their own scene to find other circles of cool stuff happening. They need to join forces and build strong communities. And venues should book new names and stop sticking with what is easy. We all tend to get too caught up in what we know when we should all start exploring to open up new opportunities.”
Speaking of which, there’s The Green Room…
“A friend and I just opened a vintage and second-hand clothing store geared toward musicians. It’s by appointment only, since it’s located in my home. But we’ve been having sales open to all a few times a month, too. We call those shop jams, since musician friends stop in to shop and stay to play.”
The perk of being Cathryn Beeks, local music mogul, is...?
“I get to go out and enjoy live music after all of the business stuff is finished. Sip some wine, sell CDs, and listen to new music. It makes for a nice day at the office.”
What are your hopes for the future?
“I’m celebrating ten years of hosting ListenLocalsd.com shows this year, and I’m looking forward to spending the next ten years doing the same thing. And, eventually, I will make Wish Rock Ranch a reality.”
Wish Rock Ranch?
“Wish Rock will be a place where we can combine food, camping, and music in a family-friendly destination. All we need is the location. Once we find that, and investors who believe in the vision, we will build it. In 2009 I created a Wish Rock Ranch website as sort of a positive visualization thing and so my husband could see what exactly it was about. I put the site online in the hopes of finding that person with the perfect 20-acre piece of desert somewhere. Instead, I received many offers from friends who wanted to run the general store or the horse stables or with ideas like putting in a movie theater or an onsite tattoo parlor. I also got an email from a woman who wanted to have her wedding at Wish Rock Ranch. She was bummed to find out it’s not a real place yet.”