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30.05.2015
The story of Seth Glier is the story of someone who has always had a strong sense of himself, even when hea€™s not sure of where hea€™s going. It went almost the same way with the guitar, except it involved a bit more outreach.There was a mom-and-pop type music store in Shelburne Falls, and Seth started hanging out there somewhere around 15 years old. One harbinger of his destiny occurred when Noel a€?Paula€? Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame stopped in the store (his wife taught nearby).
Through the years of public school music participation, Seth did some typical activities like musical plays and playing drums in the marching band.
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts (PVPA)is located in South Hadley, MA, just south of Northampton and the prestigious performance venue, the Iron Horse. Feeling his calling, Seth approached the principal at PVPA and asked to be allowed to create his own curriculum, geared toward life as a touring musician. Seth was admitted to Berklee School of Music in Boston midway through his senior year of high school. At Berklee, as a Songwriting major, Seth enlarged upon his already considerable skills, gaining more knowledge of musical structure, learning how to write musical scores.
He watched other songwriters at the open mic every Tuesday night at Passim, the venerated Cambridge coffeehouse, and played a couple of times. Seth signed a contract with MPRess Records and his first big tour after leaving Berklee was in support of his label debut, The Trouble with People. Seth released two independent CDs, Space (2005) and Sojourn (2007), and wrote the material for The Trouble with People (2009) while he was at Berklee. On The Next Right Thing, Seth incorporates more strings, using the sonorous sounds of bowed cello or viola, in one intro section and in one outro section to accentuate a melancholy sense of human folly. A big part of Setha€™s worldview can be traced to his relationship with Jamie, his older brother.
Whatever Seth decides to say about himself or anyone else, wea€™d advise our readers to be there to hear it whenever possible. One of the more fortunate career moves for Seth was to include guitarist Ryan Hommel as his touring partner. The gospel show at the workshop stage was in full swing, and I was not finished setting up my booth.
The a€?workshopa€? format was round-robin, and after hearing each act, by process of elimination it became apparent who it wasa€¦ The very talented Mister Seth Glier. We agreed at first to plan for a September story, but later decided on January to coincide with his new CD release.
There have been many chapters in this still-unfolding saga, where elements were adverse to what Seth felt was true or right.
There was no place in Shelburne Falls to take lessons in guitar or piano.When he was in seventh grade, during study hall, he would sneak out and experiment on the piano, playing melodies by ear that he found agreeable. Hea€™d do off-the-books a€?odd-and-endsa€? jobs for the owner, Bob, and plunk out melodies on a digital keyboard and on any guitar he could grab.
Noel came into the room where Seth was already playing and began playing on another guitar. During his Sophomore year, he had stopped participating in organized musical programs and focused on his songwriting. At age 16, Seth would get on the phone as soon as he got home from school and pester the booking person to allow him to play a headline show there. Most performers were troupers who, day-in-and-day-out, would bring their a€?Aa€? game, no matter what their frame of mind.


The principal agreed and let Seth create his own course, satisfying Language Arts and History requirements. However, he reached a point where he felt that the courses in songwriting and vocalizing exercises were too rote a€” not at all practical, and he left after one year. This gave him greater insight into performance skills and holding the attention of an audience. In addition to providing solid lead and rhythm guitar support, Ryan also sings very competent harmony.
They toured in a Prius, were sponsored by Clif Bars and called it a€?The Zero Carbon Footprint Tour.a€? They also intended to create all of their merchandise out of organic cotton and print everything using soy and vegetable-based ink. Part of the business of being a performer, he says, is in a€?showing up.a€? He and Ryan take time out to play hospitals and old-age facilities. In November of 2008, I picked up an advance copy of The Trouble with People at the NERFA Conference, and wrote in the December issue CD reviews: a€?With a light, feather-like vocal delivery, sharp observational lyricism and hooks that would grab Moby Dick, hea€™s a formidable talent. In a very intelligent move, a pre-release download of a€?Lauraleea€? was made available on Setha€™s website, presumably to both fans and DJs.
Punctually, The Next Right Thing has arrived, its cover art suggestive of the tragedy of the film Revolutionary Road, with Seth striking a very Leonardo DiCaprio look-alike pose. It was a small town, and the high school graduating class of his hometown had only 23 students. Later, he withdrew books on music theory from the library, to learn the principles behind the melodies he liked playing.
Bob saw that music was in Setha€™s blood and gave him a $60 Johnson guitar as partial payment for his services. Noel and Seth jammed for a bit, and Seth, not realizing who he was, said, as Noel left, a€?Hey! As he recalls: a€?I had been listening to Eminem, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit on the back of the school bus. When he insistently brought his guitar to school and wrote songs during study hall he was a€?asked to leavea€? (expelled). After a month-and-a-half, the booker acquiesced and Seth played a sold-out show filled with family and friends.
However, Seth also got to see performers on occasion, who did not seem to have their heart in performing, who had emotionally a€?checked out.a€? It was a wake-up call.
Livingston perceived Setha€™s innate ability and supported his decision to leave Berklee early and just start performing.
While wea€™d witnessed the on-stage rapport and competence, we didna€™t know how great he is as a traveling companion until we saw the very amusing videos (1) (2) of their trips on Youtube. When he insistently brought his guitar to school and wrote songs during study hall he was a€?asked to leavea€? (expelled).A  He finished high school at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts, a charter school for students wishing to apply artistic talents not catered to in public school.
I heard the spine-tingling sound of what seemed to be a black woman in full-throated gospel cry and checked the festival program.
While the a€?Right Thinga€? in the title track is not defined as the a€?safea€? cop-out that the film portrays, the mood of the cover art effectively captures the drama of life-affecting decisions explored in the albuma€™s music.
This, in addition to his prodigious talent, has this author thoroughly entranced with him as both a person and as an artist. Youa€™re not bad, guy!a€? Recently, at a festival in Texas, he ran into Noel and recounted the story, but Noel had no recollection of it.
It helped instill in Seth the aspiration to always value the chance to perform for an audience and to hold their choice to come and see him as a sacred contract between them.


He got himself a Toyota Camry with 250,000 miles on it and began performing around New England. He and Livingston have become good friends and Seth opens numerous shows for him throughout the year. Seth felt like hea€™d found himself among kindred spirits a€” others who did not fit into the public school system. Shortly after, he took a job as a chef at the Iron Horse and got to serve and observe artists coming through. Later, he realized that he was far more serious about his music than most of the other students, many of whom saw the performing arts as a hobby.
Later, Seth noticed that nobody was singing the national anthem before the sporting events he was playing in.
I started writing down words and learning the art of telling a story.a€? Suddenly he found himself dipping back in time to learn the nuts and bolts of some of the favorite music of his childhood, like Rosenchontz, a duo that sang childrena€™s songs that hea€™d liked and found he still appreciated. Hea€™d confront them in the dressing room before the show as he served them the food hea€™d prepared, and introduce himself as a fellow performer, hoping to promote himself as an opener at their future gigs. Hea€™d cold-call people like Cheryl Wheeler, Shemekia Copeland, Cliff Eberhardt and Steve Forbert and ask for an opening slot.
Seth knew he was going to be a performing songwriter a€” and nothing else (that changed later to include a more rounded view of life and purpose). My eyes getting misty, hea€™s got me and I thank him for it.a€? I didna€™t perceive until much later, the brilliant job he did in dissecting George W.
Seth would ask his coaches if he could sing it.A  a€?I liked to sing really, really loudly,a€? he told me.
My eyes getting misty, hea€™s got me and I thank him for it.a€? I didna€™t perceive until much later, theA  brilliant job he did in dissecting George W. The new album is an important next step for Seth, on his way to building an impressive body of poetic work. The day after his shows there, Peter and Seth would schedule a songwriting session together. He manages to emulate Randy Newman in a sympathetic presentation of someone most of us would consider to be odious.
Seth began listening to artists like Sarah Mclachlan, Sinead Oa€™Connor and Taj Mahal, from his fathera€™s eclectic record collection. In an online interview, he states: a€?a€¦once I learned how to communicate with him, or with anyone, without words, it drastically changed my songwriting approach.
It became more about what words to leave out, than what words I made sure I got in.a€? Seth sees the work of Randy Newman as an ideal. Randya€™s ability to leave his ego behind, to see the world from the inside of another person, without judgement, regardless of that charactera€™s imperfections is a paradigm. After writing a song from anothera€™s point of view, Seth finds that it winds up saying something important about himself.



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