Bethel Steele is a touring singer-songwriter based out of Boston, MA, whose music is something of an amalgam of Lori McKenna, Ani DiFranco and Neil Young. With a smoky alto and a playing style that ranges from driving rhythm guitar to delicate finger-picking, Bethel's songs find the intrinsic beauty in whiskey-soaked one night stands, the stories of thrill-seekers and the unrelenting passage of time.
Steele has been writing music and playing guitar since the age of 14, but wasn’t until a move to a small town outside of Poughkeepsie, New York at age 21, that Bethel began to perform with regularity. At a small dive bar, you’d find Bethel playing covers of songs by Ani DiFranco, the Indigo Girls, Josh Ritter and Susan Werner alongside Bethel’s own originals to a crowd that grew each month.
After a few months of playing in the area, Bethel was given an ultimatum – either make something to sell, or don’t play. The bar didn’t pay a fee, and the only money Bethel saw from those nights at the bar was cash from a tip jar, so a good friend (the bartender) jokingly demanded that the next month, Bethel had to come with a CD. That did indeed prompt Bethel to record an eight-song EP, ‘Beautiful Woman.’ The 10 copies that were thrown together over a one-day living room recording stint over Thanksgiving in 2006 sold out at Bethel’s next performance.
Steele has since released a full-length self-produced studio album in 2009 entitled ‘Come Home,’ and tours primarily on the East Coast. 'Come Home' is the result of many musicians bringing in their own sound and adding it to the soulful lyrics and driving rhythmic guitar that has become a trademark of Bethel's music. The album has tastes of a country upbringing, dashes of pop and rock, but is nailed in the folk genre.
Bethel is currently in the studio, working on a much-anticipated sophomore record, entitled "Of Love and Whiskey" that is scheduled to be released in June of this year. Neale Eckstein, of Fox Run Studio/Fox Run House Concerts and Jagoda, NYC percussionist of Swamp Cabbage will be co-producing this fan-funded record.