Friday night was an experience more than five years in the making.
We had the honor of teaming with our friends at ArtsQuest and the Your Next Favorite Band podcast to return to Bethlehem, PA for our first hometown event in a half-decade. Titled Nashville Meets Bethlehem, this songwriter showcase featured a mostly-local lineup, featured in a traditional Nashville writers round format. This empowered our eight performers to share their original songs — and the stories behind them — in an intimate setting.
Round 1 featured the high-energy rock and roll of Roi and the Secret People; the velvet-voiced alt-rock stylings of TIOGA’s Greg Adams; the heavy, emotive pop of Slingshot Dakota’s Carly Comando; and the phenomenal Americana storytelling of Dirty Dollhouse’s Chelsea Mitchell.
As for Round 2, we were treated to the intricate, melodic work of Bethlehem-based hard rockers The Beautiful Distortion; the indie folk-pop of Nashville’s own Bronte Fall; the ever-soulful R&B of Chasing Daylight’s Bobby Siegfried; and the poignant jam-rock of Billy Bauer.
This diverse lineup — presented to a room filled with upwards of 130 people — delighted the crowd with every lyric and chord, while creating an engaging atmosphere in the shadow of the iconic Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces.
On behalf of UMC, a huge thank you goes out to everyone who made this event a team effort worth remembering. We can’t wait to see you again, Bethlehem — and it certainly won’t take us another five years!
On Friday, November 17, ECM Collective will return home to Bethlehem, PA to present Nashville Meets Bethlehem: An All-Local, Nashville-Style Songwriter Night at SteelStacks.
This first-of-its-kind experience, presented in conjunction with the Your Next Favorite Band podcast and ArtsQuest, will feature two Nashville-style songwriter’s rounds featuring four acts apiece. Each artist will take turns performing acoustic versions of their original songs (and sharing the stories behind them). This intimate setting allows for interaction between the artists themselves, as well as the audience, creating an experience rooted in connection and community.
You may have heard us talking about this thing we’re doing back home in Bethlehem, PA next week. The concept: take eight local (or locally-tied) songwriters, and put on a mega-event in the form of a Nashville-style writers round.
The event? It’s Nashville Meets Bethlehem, taking place on Bethlehem’s iconic SteelStacks campus on Friday, November 17. And — as we’re known to do — we’re so excited that we decided to make a playlist about it!
Nashville Meets Bethlehem: The Playlist features a total of 16 tracks — two each from our lineup of The Beautiful Distortion, Billy Bauer (of Billy Bauer Band), Bobby Siegfried (Chasing Daylight), Bronte Fall, Carly Comando (Slingshot Dakota), Chelsea Mitchell (Dirty Dollhouse), Roi and the Secret People, and TIOGA.
TIOGA’s new single, “Bad Things,” came out of a Talking Heads cover session. That influence is apparent on the track, and acknowledged by the band, who likened the single to if “David Byrne decided to hop in a spaceship and make a record that tackles simultaneously wanting to be alone, but not being able to deal with the solitude of one’s thoughts.”
Vacation was fun, and we do have a pile of emails to dig through upon our return. Not to mention, we have some other features and reviews hanging out there that we plan to get to this week.
In the meantime — and before we completely, willingly say goodbye to summer — we want to re-visit August one last time with some of the most popular tracks that comprised our UMC20 playlists throughout the month. Give yourself a listen to these while we take a chance to catch up!
Track listing Artikal Sound System – Time The Spring – Victoria TIOGA – Break Me In Moonroof – Trojans Lion’s Mouth – High Achievers The Parasocial Club – Sunny Day Rayne and Jaki Nelson – High Wasted Evan Cline – Part of Me Seth Witcher – A Game of Love Elisabeth Beckwitt – Baggage Leah Voysey – Keep It to Yourself Max Swan – Steady Maria Hassel – Anxiety Kendal Conrad – Come to Your Senses Joseph Gallant – Better Buzz Stephanie Ryann – Travelers Burn the Treaty – Murky Moon Sky Kiki Halliday – American Tragedy Eric & the Soo – Goulais Bay Billy Bauer Band – Better Days
It’s probably a good time to mention that we’re going to be on vacation next week. So, aside from this being the last new UMC20 playlist of the month, it’s the last update period until September. We’ll hit you with the best of August when we get back the day after Labor Day.
(Don’t worry, though. We’re cooking up some fun for you while we’re gone. More on that later in the week!)