San Francisco’s own jack-of-many-trades and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lael is gearing up to release his highly anticipated second solo album Bird Strings in October. Seth lovingly alludes to his musical influences such as Punch Brothers with his intimate and playful work on guitar, mandolin and banjo. His lyrics are filled with imagery akin to Iron & Wine, yet we find him blazing his own path forward. As the follow-up to his acclaimed 2011 record After the Hard Times, Bird Strings shows Lael further refining his long-admired songwriting and performing skills. With the help of famed producer/engineer McKay Garner (Red Hot Chili Peppers, J Dilla, Michael Buble), the new album expands into some new sonic territories all while maintaining the heartfelt stories and songs that are truly Seth Lael. Also featured on on the album are beautiful violin and viola performances by Rocio Marron (Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Quetzal).
Growing up, Seth was the ninth of ten children in a very musical family in Livermore, California. His unique upbringing and wildly varied career path have given him the unique artistic perspective he has today. From an early age, Seth and his siblings would sing together in church, often making up their own harmonies to the delight of everyone in attendance. He began performing in musicals at age 11 and just three years later, he picked up his brother’s nylon guitar for the first time. Upon learning Van Morrison’s 1967 classic “Brown Eyed Girl” and a host of Led Zeppelin tunes, a burning new passion was born!
After joining Hot Lunch, the only non-heavy metal band in Livermore, Lael’s commitment to music became so great that he worked an incredible array of jobs to keep his dream alive. At various points he has worked as a banker, gas station attendant, roofer, baker, waiter, bricklayer, car washer, and flower delivery man.
That struggle to survive fueled his desire to succeed in music, and the resulting wisdom and stories have greatly shaped him both as an artist and as a person, causing others to take notice of his unique perspective. Through more than a decade of performing in countless dive bars with bands of diverse genres including punk, rock, jazz and bluegrass, Lael has carved out his identity and grown into the mature songwriter and performer you see today.
Lael’s debut solo album in 2011, After the Hard Times, was uniquely recorded in friends’ houses all across the nation. From San Fran to Seattle to New York to Lake Tahoe, Seth tirelessly completed songs of love, loss, hope, and cutting honesty in various living rooms, laundry rooms and apartments.
Today, Seth’s storied journey sees him performing in the self-styled “SlamRock” outfit The Wyatt Act while rehearsing the songs that form his second solo album Bird Strings. Set for release in October 2015, the long-awaited album will be accompanied by a West Coast tour stretching from San Francisco to Seattle to Reno, and includes a stop at his old stomping ground in Livermore. With a host of infectious new songs ready to perform for the masses, Seth Lael is set to make big waves through the rest of 2015 and beyond!