Bethesda (Kent/Akron, Ohio)
Indie Roots Rock
In the case of Ohio sextet Bethesda, their name isn’t a tribute to the Maryland city but to the ancient reference of the sacred pool where the faithful would gather to be healed by its regenerative waters. Led by the husband-and-wife team of Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney, Bethesda offers a similarly restorative experience with a rootsy sound that draws on Ling’s love of Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst and Delaney’s devotion to musical theater and Bluegrass, as well as an ironclad artistic honesty. Bethesda’s talent and integrity shine like a beacon through their trio of consistently excellent recordings — 2010’s Love in a Time of Tra La La, 2012’s five-song EP Dream Tiger & Other Tails and their latest, The Reunion — while their ecstatic live shows have been forged in the furnace of almost constant touring, with stops at Bonnaroo and SXSW along the way. Bethesda isn’t interested in making mere Facebook friends, they’re looking to make a real connection with their audience the old fashioned way — with a transformational musical experience and real human interaction.
YDIIYD: Neko Case and Mumford & Sons on a barnstorm tent revival tour. (BB)