Lucinda Black Bear

Lucinda Black Bear

 New York City, New York, USA

What NPR Music calls “carefully written folk rock with stunning sonic arrangements”, Lucinda Black Bear represent the beauty and complexity one gets with strong songwriting and profound arrangements. Lucinda Black Bear is a mix of sonic longing with soulful instrumentation.


Lead by singer-songwriter and guitarist Christian Gibbs and bandmates—percussionist Kristin Mueller, cellist Chad Hammer and bassist Mike Cohen—Lucinda Black Bear hone their craftsmanship like few others. (Live, the band is often joined by violinist and string arranger Gillian Rivers). The band was conceived in the mid-aughts, when Gibbs decided he needed more instrumentation on his piano-guitar based, loop laden songs. He set out to find like-minded musicians in the New York music scene and brought his favorite four together for a rehearsal one night. The band coalesced that first night and was christened Lucinda Black Bear soon thereafter. Since then, the four have collaborated on musical arrangements together, producing the ethereal, layered sound of first album "capo my heart and other bear songs" and new album "Knives".

The follow-up to 2007’s critically-acclaimed capo my heart and other bear songs, "Knives" finds the band fleshing out the folk-rock of its debut, adding more lush, sweeping arrangements and broader musical scope. While "capo" was praised for its “rich and haunting sonic atmospheres” (Paste) and “dark, country-inflected pop melodies” (Time Out New York), "Knives" ups the ante with a soulful fusion of cellos, feedback, loops, pianos, drums and oddly tuned guitars. Once likened to the bare-bones acoustic Americana style of Elliott Smith, the band’s plaintive and often melancholic songs get some meat added to their bones on "Knives", which is at times reminiscent of the music of Arcade Fire.

Lucinda Black Bear released "Knives", their second full-length CD of what NPR Music calls their “carefully written folk rock with stunning sonic arrangements” on November 2nd. To mark the occasion, the band will play three New York-area shows throughout the fall: 92nd Street Y Tribeca on November 5th, Maxwell’s on November 11th and Rockwood Music Hall on December 9th. A national tour begins in February.

Full show history here:


2007: capo my heart' and other bear songs
2010: Knives

Promo Singles:
2007: Kites
2007: You Got It Blue
2010: Percival
2010: Knives

- Critics' pick in Time Out New York for week of 11/01/10.
- "Kites" featured on NPR's "All Songs Considered"
- "capo" was voted Top Ten Great Unknown Artist/band of 2007 by NPR

Set List

We have two albums now, so we would expect to play between 1 to 1.5 hours for one of our own gigs, with most materials being from our albums, but it is possible we could through in a b-side or the like.

If the gig is part of a festival, then we would be okay to play less than 1 hour.