Quick Q and A with Seth Glier

Just a quick look at Seth Glier’s press kit gives you a real clue as to the number of accolades he has received in just a few years time.   Quintessential folkie singer-songwriter Ellis Paul says “Talent like Seth Glier’s brings out the psychic in all of us… He’s gonna be huge.”  Livingston Taylor compares Seth’s songwriting to Billy Joel’s.  USA Today goes one step further and says his voice is reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen and Joel.  Seth has an engaging stage presence, a generous spirit, and oh-so-much talent.  His future is pretty darn bright.  Take a musical spin through his discography—see where he’s been and where he’s going.  Outta sight!

For more information about all things Seth, check out his website.

Here’s a powerful video of “The Next Right Thing.”

And for something totally different, here’s a video of Seth singing “The Trouble with People.”

ImageThings I Should Let You Know was a bit of a departure for you. I understand that you co-wrote a few songs on it.  Can you tell us about the experience of writing songs with other musicians.  What did you learn from it all?

I learned a lot from co-writing. I was a little nervous to co-write at first since I tend to be very protective of my lyrics in the writing process.

Oftentimes I would come up with the central theme/idea and the co- writing process really helped me stay out of my way. There are so many distractions in writing that I’ll start to think about as an idea starts to take its form. Ego, vanity, anxiety of what people might think, etc. writing with another person in the room give me just the pressure I need to stop self-editing and throw ideas to the table whether they’re good or not.

You set out to make a different kind of album.  You refer to this recording as a confessional album.  You’ve laid it all out on those grooves.  Did you find this to be a freeing experience?

Yes absolutely, music is certainly healing to me but my main objective behind creating it is that it’ll heal someone else along the way.

 “The New World I See” is a cool new sound for you.  A definite New Orleans kind of vibe.  What inspired that particular sound?

 Well I’ve always been inspired by New Orleans music. This is just first time it’s come out in my own music.

As a budding piano player I was mesmerized by the likes of Professor Longhair, James Booker, and Pinetop Perkins. They all exhibited the perfect marriage of flash and discipline. I loved it — playing piano in that fashion was so freeing to me that it ultimately inspired me to write lyrics.

 “Plastic Soldiers” is a riveting song.  Have you had any reactions to this song from veterans or those who are currently serving in the military?

Yes indeed I have. They’ve all been really positive which is also great. I wrote that song with Ellis Paul and it still remains one of the songs I am most proud of.

Image

 Tell us about your touring partner, Joe Nerney.  I keep hearing rave notices about your collaborations.  How did you meet and what have his contributions added to your live shows?

Well, Joe Nerney is a 62 year old man who plays saxophone, harmonica, piano, and sings. He also happens to be blind since birth. We have very different ages, outlooks on the world, and influences but somehow we meet in the middle and create music. We’ve known each other for about 10 years but only been touring together for the past year. This past year has been one of the greatest in my musical life. Joe brings class, style, and a deeper meaning to everything that happens on and off stage. The question should be what doesn’t he add to the show!

You have made it a point to get involved with various social action activities when you’re touring or when you’re home. Where do you find the energy?  How do you choose which social action programs to get involved with?

I’ve always felt that musicians are like ambassadors. We travel from city to city planting seeds with stories and ideas. I take that part of my job very seriously so I opt to use my microphone each night in part to amplify the voices that I think need to be heard. I’ve been working with this incredible organization called Child Fund International. It’s a child sponsorship program that help bring hope to hopeless places around the world. In just about four months we’ve helped change almost 100 children’s lives throughout the world. I can’t begin to express how much energy that gives me. Music is supposed to bring us together and what better way to do that than by doing good?

 Your song “The Next Right Thing” (winner of an Independent Music Award) is very powerful.  Apparently the song had an interesting genesis.  Tell us about what inspired this song and how it came about? 

I actual wrote it out of complete laziness. I had packed all of my gear and instruments in the car to leave for a tour the next morning when the songwriting muse hit me just hours before getting on the road. I really didn’t feel like unpacking my car just to write a song so I used my headboard on my bed as a drum while I wrote down the lyrics. Much of the presentation of the song hasn’t changed much.

 Okay, I’ve got to ask about your pet pig, Porkchop.  Why a pig?  Does he go on the road with you?  Does he seem to like music?

Pigs are one of the smartest animals on the planet. He is house trained and uses a litter box. We even did dog obedience school for Porkchop so he now walks off leash and has got a few tricks up his sleeve. He went on the Edwin McCain tour with us and has done a few Midwest tours this past fall. He doesn’t seem too excited about music. At least not too excited about mine 🙂

Photos by Tom Moore.

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