The last EP I put out was over 5 years ago. I had just graduated from the University of Rochester and had committed to a two year teaching stint in Nashville, TN with Teach for America. At the time, I thought I could move to Nashville, teach on the side, and dive in to the city's music scene. I had to have something presentable when I got down there. "Introducing Chris Bethmann" was the result; a five track demo that featured some of my earliest songs. I've learned a lot since then and my writing style has evolved.
5 years later, I'm still a teacher, but this time in Rochester, my little hometown in Western, NY. It's a classic rust-belt, great lakes town. Much more mid-west than northeast. Industrial. Segregated. The school I work in is trying to make a comeback.
I ended up resigning from TFA after 6 months in Nashville. After I moved home, I was unemployed and aimless. I started grad school and didn't play a gig at all for two years. I wrote a few songs, but they weren't anything I was proud of. My Nashville experience taught me that I liked country music more than I thought I did. On Spotify I followed the bread crumbs from artists like Zac Brown and Eric Church to Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson. Then I was hooked.
Suffice to say, the songs on this EP reflect my experiences reacquainting myself with my hometown, navigating a new career in a challenging environment, and immersing myself in a new style of music and lyric writing.
This series of posts is meant to chronicle the journey to my EP release, which I hope to complete by the end of this summer. I'll write about the recording process, tell stories behind lyrics, deliberate on the title track and which songs to release as singles. In this way, I hope to bring you, readers, into the creative process.
Enjoy! Never stop thinking.