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Bellwether Breaks, Ryan Sutherland bring eclectic rock to Photo City Music Hall Thursday


Bellwether Breaks features veterans of the Rochester music scene playing soul and retro-rock originals. - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • Bellwether Breaks features veterans of the Rochester music scene playing soul and retro-rock originals.
Live music is finally returning to Rochester, and we're eager to get back into the best grooves and sip some fine drinks to celebrate. On Thursday, June 24, at 7 p.m., the neo-soul and retro rock quintet Bellwether Breaks will bring their bewitching style to Photo City Music Hall — along with local one-man band Ryan Sutherland — for a vibrant night.

Emerging around the beginning of the pandemic, the Rochester-based Bellwether Breaks consists of frontwoman Elyse Coughlin, guitarist Peter Goebel, drummer Dave Goebel, keyboardist Chris Coon, and bassist Eugene Bisdikian. The five-piece incorporates minimal, soul-infused grooves paired perfectly with Coughlin’s cinematic vocal delivery. Even though the band has only released three singles to this point, Bellwether Breaks will be playing a mixture of original material and covers, as well as showcasing new material they’ll be releasing officially in the near-future.

The most-recent single, “About a Girl,” released in May, is mesmerizing with its vintage rock styling and enchanting storytelling. The band’s debut single from 2020, “Long Way Down,” is a slow-burning shuffle, incorporating swirling keyboards that complement Coughlin’s commanding vocals. The band’s spacey and mystical homages to early rock ‘n’ roll are less an attempt at pastiche, and more a means to achieving its own spiritual tone.

Local singer-songwriter Ryan Sutherland will be showcasing his loose folk arrangements Thursday night. Sutherland’s adventurous soundscapes alternate from twangy Americana to blues rock and psych rock, in a chameleon-like style that resembles M. Ward and late-era Elvis Costello. His latest single, “My Shadow,” still employs signature folk-rock style, but with a woozy psychedelic swirl added into the mix. Sutherland released his eponymous debut album in 2018, and its follow-up “Loner’s Paradise” this past January. Sutherland is still experimenting with his sound, and its live quality fits the bill nicely.

Joe Massaro is a freelance writer for CITY. Feedback on this article can be directed to