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Album review: 'Live from New York City'


Chris Bethmann

'Live from New York City'


Rochester singer-songwriter Chris Bethmann's EP "Live from New York City" is a realistic snapshot of today's working musician, hustling to share their music with a new audience, in hopes that the feelings behind the songs will resonate. This self-produced, seven-song collection was recording during Bethmann's June 2019 set at Rockwood Music Hall, practically a required tour stop for any artist looking to gain traction and emerge from an impossibly crowded field of singer-songwriters.

Bethmann plays an earnest brand of folk rock that exudes urgency, propelled by churning, mid-tempo rhythms and a distinctive tenor voice that cuts through the steady strum in the songs. Sounding like a folksier version of The Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle, Bethmann has a voice that rings true, but the nasal tone and at-times active vibrato may be polarizing to some listeners. The EP is most poignant during the dark melancholy of "Telephone Road" and "Won't You Get Out of Here."