An Interview with Seth Glier
If you’ve never heard of Seth Glier (pronounced Gleer), you’re not alone. Although, you may find, as I did from my recent conversation with him, that he’ll probably remind you of someone you know.
Seth was en route from Oklahoma to Dallas as we talked about how his frenetic pace of touring has calmed in the last ten years. At the age of nineteen and fresh from a once-and-done year at Berklee, he was traipsing up and down the East Coast singing nearly every single night. Now, he has a booking agent and only performs about 150 nights in a year, but he’s expanded his reach to the West Coast and abroad and has graced the stage with the likes of Ani DiFranco and Ryan Adams.
I admit upon YouTubing his music, that I initially thought he was yet another singer/songwriter who was working out failed relationships through his music. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…). Once I spoke with him and got to know him better, I listened again and really heard the depth of his words with new ears. His song, “I’m Still Looking” from his fifth and most recent album ‘Birds’ is about his younger brother, Jamie, who passed away a couple of years ago. We connected in that moment as I shared my father had died a few months after Jamie. He asked my dad’s name (Mark) and softly noted what a special thing it is to say their names out loud. To bring them back to life in our minds in that instant. And, suddenly I had a better understanding of the line, “…how can such a casual reflection feel more, today, like a souvenir?”
The stories that inspired “Water on Fire” took place in Oklahoma, but will certainly to speak to those in Lancaster County who are standing up against the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. Starting off with lines like, “The best things in life are free, so they take it from the birds and the bees…”, Seth reminds us that greed at the expense of the land and the families who have taken care it for generations has consequences beyond the almighty dollar.
One of my favorites, “Too Much Water” could’ve been sung by Billy Joel and Ben Folds’ love child, but it was born out; as was the rest of the album, in his home in Massachusetts where he recorded all of the vocals and accompanied himself on guitar, piano and the occasional trumpet.
More than a couple of times during our chat, I mentioned how much he sounded like he could be a fellow Lancastrian, all while describing the folks, places and general scene here. Before we hung up, he told me I had done a great job of selling him on our little city!
Come out on Wednesday, November 29th at 8:00 to experience this Grammy nominated singer/songwriter with Lancaster’s own Liz Fulmer opening! Tickets are $10 for this limited space show that you won’t want to miss!
~ Jenny Rodriguez 11/18/17