Dave Keller's New Year's Eve: Solo concert previews songs of new … – Rutland Herald

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More clouds than sun. High 14F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph..
Mainly cloudy. Low around 10F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: December 24, 2022 @ 7:52 am
The Dave Keller Band spent four days in November in Lower Chateaugay Lake in New York State recording a new album which is now dependent upon Kickstarter funding. Soul-blues musician Dave Keller will introduce the songs in a solo New Year’s Eve concert at Bethany Church in Montpelier.

The Dave Keller Band spent four days in November in Lower Chateaugay Lake in New York State recording a new album which is now dependent upon Kickstarter funding. Soul-blues musician Dave Keller will introduce the songs in a solo New Year’s Eve concert at Bethany Church in Montpelier.
New Year’s Eve will be special this year for fans of soul-blues musician Dave Keller. His Bethany Church solo concert in Montpelier will introduce his recently recorded yet unnamed album with his band.
For Keller, the evening will be the first opportunity he has to get these new songs, all written by him, a public airing. He also will take the opportunity to share with the audience his take on what the songs mean for him and how they came about.
While gearing up for this concert, Keller discussed the process he went through to get his 10th album recorded. In November, Keller and his band — Ira Friedman on keys; Jay Gleason on drums and percussion; and Alex Budney on bass — traveled to Lower Chateaugay Lake in New York state to a cabin owned by a friend. They recorded the album in four days.
“I thought it would be cool to hang out for a week, a recording retreat,” said Keller. “This style of recording gave the project a relaxed feel. We were not under pressure of a clock in a fancy studio.”
Keller previously has recorded in a variety of studios, some with his band and others with studio musicians. For this project, he explained, “I decided I wanted something different and not make the same record over and over again.”
According to Keller, “recording studios usually feel cold and sterile. Everybody is watching the clock nervously, trying to play ‘perfectly,’ whatever that really means. You are isolated behind glass, hearing each other only through headphones. This process is so alien compared to the way musicians usually play.”
Keller pointed to several iconic albums over the years recorded in spaces other than a studio.
There is a tradition of recording in a home, like the album “Music from Big Pink” by The Band recorded in 1968. That house is in West Saugerties, New York, and also the residence where Bob Dylan and The Band recorded “The Basement Tapes.” Of course, to pull off a recording like this Keller’s band “had these songs down really tight having played them on the road for a year and longer.”
The album features all new songs written by Keller in the past year. Another aspect of the recording experience for the album was the freedom it gave the band, he said.
“I wanted to be able to really rock out not to worry about holding back.” As a result, he explained, “the album is a little more raw than in previous albums, and has more of a live sound.”
This style of recording meant that the band “didn’t layer a bunch of stuff, everything was played live with the core band.”
Keller hired Huck Bennert, a longtime friend, as the recording engineer. Bennert has experience recording blues guitarist Ronnie Earl, among many others.
The experience for the band “was like playing a gig but without an audience,” said Keller. “That way it had a lot of energy of the band playing together and not having to think too much.”
With the recording finished but not yet fully mixed or mastered, Keller launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the substantial cost of a recording project, even one where the “studio” was free. (The fund has reached 80% but must reach its goal by 9 p.m. on Jan. 2.)
Those expenses include paying the band, the engineer to record and mix the music, rent for a recording console, studio monitors, dozens of microphones, etc., paying the mastering engineer, paying the graphic artist to design and create the album artwork, paying the factory to manufacture CDs, as well as paying for a promotional campaign to get the word out.
“I can’t do everything myself,” he quipped.
As a result, Keller is looking to recover the $15,000 it cost to make this album. Having to raise considerable cash through Kickstarter is the result of a changing music market and structure. In the past, Keller paid for his recording with album sales. These days, many music consumers listen to music on one of the streaming music sites, like Spotify. Keller said these sites “pay very little, certainly not enough to fund your next project.”
The structure of the new reality for musicians is that “streaming money is nothing, it’s a joke. It’s great for the consumer but awful for the artist.”
Until the album is released in May, fans can hear the songs at the upcoming concert. According to Keller, “It’s an intimate solo concert, featuring my songs from the new album and songs not recorded yet.”
Contributions can be made to Dave Keller’s Kickstarter campaign by going to www.kickstarter.com/profile/davekellermusic/created online.
artedels@gmail.com
artedels@gmail.com

Bethany Center for Spirituality through the Arts presents Dave Keller’s New Year’s Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at Bethany Church, 115 Main St. in Montpelier. No food or drink are allowed. Tickets are $25, $20 in advance; go online to www.eventbrite.com For more information, call 802-229-2737, or email info@davekeller.com.
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