Live Review: Seth Glier

Hill Country Downstairs New York, NY 

Contact: [email protected] 

Website: sethglier.com 

Players: Seth Glier, vocals, guitar, keyboards 

Photo by Mark Shilowich

Material: Marking the release of his new album, Everything, solely devoted to climate change, Grammy®-nominated artist Seth Glier, took the audience on a journey, imagining a world where we are one with our planet. With topics ranging from foraging for mushrooms to trees having in depth conversations, Glier’s vision is one of hope and problem solving. In “Birches,” trees cry out for what they are missing: The Maples are moving/Spinning northbound seed by seed/Praying for snow and the sap that needs running. In his strongest appeal to our collective efforts to preserve the planet, Glier implores us to consider all living breathing entities in “Rise:” What if this is the beginning/Not the beginning of the end/We all belong, we all belong to the rhythm/So rise. 

Musicianship: Although considered a folk singer/songwriter, Glier transcends that designation with a panoply of sounds from guitar to keyboards and programmed instruments. The absence of a backing band did not impact the performance as Glier fills the spaces with these elements along with the high energy he exudes. His vocals are powerful and often have more of a pop sensibility than what would be considered a traditional “folky” sound or style. 

Performance: He managed to deliver messages that were packaged with a high level of musicality, humor, and sincerity, never hitting us over the head or bemoaning our fate, which was refreshing. There were also plenty of charming anecdotes to accompany the songs. 

Summary: Seth Glier’s commitment to the issues reads authentic. Without preaching or scolding, he paints a tapestry of what can be, with positivity and musical acumen. He has collaborated with musicians in Ukraine, Mongolia, China, and Mexico during his time working with the U.S. State Department and shared the bill with a diverse list of artists including Ronnie Spector, James Taylor, and Ani DiFranco.