Kris Kehr (pronounced ‘CARE’) is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist originally from Berks County, PA. He has been playing professionally for over 25 years now either as a soloist, leader of his own band or as a support musician in other bands. He has relocated back to the Berks area after 10 years - a few years of touring regionally (Eastern US) and nationally with jam-grass band The Recipe, a few years on the North Carolina music scene after 5 years in the Lehigh Valley, 10 years on the State College, PA music scene. He’s spent several years on the road as a soloist, multi-instrumentalist with The Recipe and half of the folk duo LOWdOGS and has produced four albums of his own material- Long, Long Year (1999), Kris Kehr & Stone Poets (2001), In The Tall Grass (2005) and Notes From The Crossroads (2008) for his own indie label Woobie Cat Records. He has also edited and contributed to the production of The Recipe’s live release “All You Can Eat” for Harmonized Records. The Ford Motor Company has included one of Kris’ songs on a compilation CD given to 60,000 prospective buyers at the Texas State Fair. Kris’ albums have appeared on several yearly ‘best of’ lists from various broadcast stations around the country, have received many positive reviews and continue to sell both here and abroad.
In the studio Kris had worked with producer/engineer Tom Edmonds (Lenny Kravitz, Rolling Stones, NRBQ, Todd Rundgren, The Band, The Roots) and musicians CINDY CASHDOLLAR (Bob Dylan, Asleep At The Wheel), JIM WEIDER (The Band), and GEORGE LAKS & CRAIG ROSS (Lenny Kravitz Band). Onstage Kris has performed WITH folk legend TOM PAXTON, bluegrass legend VASSAR CLEMENTS (Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys, Lester and Earl, Old & In the Way), MIKE GORDON (Phish), VINCE WELNICK (The Tubes, Grateful Dead), TOM CONSTANTEN (Grateful Dead), & DAVID GANS amongst many other lesser-knowns.
Kris has opened for NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE (several times), JOHN HARTFORD, STEVE FORBERT, BR-549, DICKIE BETTS & GREAT SOUTHERN, SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, COMMANDER CODY, KINGFISH, JOHN GORKA (several times), TONY TRISCHKA, COL. BRUCE HAMPTON, DEL McCOURY, LEFTOVER SALMON & RAILROAD EARTH. His original style of roots music not only appeals to the folk and bluegrass crowd but rock, blues and jamband crowds as well, garnering kudos from audiences young & old alike.
Through the years Kris Kehr has accumulated a vast catalog of original songs and covers as well as covering a lot of miles before settling down back home in Berks County in 2005. He has toured extensively across the eastern seaboard with years of performance experience under his belt, but is happy to be living back at home performing, writing and recording. Besides playing music he also produces a live music podcast called Black Mountain Underground. He is currently working on a new acoustic album of his own music while performing regularly in State College, the Scranton area and throughout Pennsylvania as well as the greater Berks County area either as a soloist or mandolinist in the dead-tribute band Garcia Grass, playing bass in the original progressive-bluegrass outfit Pavlov’s Dawgs or sitting in on various instruments with one of his many musical friends throughout the area.
“Kehr's ragged, drawling vocals carry bucketloads of emotion, as do his journalistic lyrics.” -Cole Hons for the CDT (reviewing ‘In The tall Grass’ 5/20/05)
“......He’s got great tone and feel on the acoustic, but the critical thing to me is the vibe, which to me digs deep into your soul... I mean, almost anybody can play, and a bunch of people can play really well, but there are very few, I think, who stand up in front of people and open themselves up for all to see...Kris does that... it gives me faith... it restores faith in myself... it is what the definition of music should be... the ancient language that exposes the heart...” -Scott Murawski (songwriter-guitarist, Max Creek)
“Kris is the best acoustic guitarist we know--his solo show is just amazing. Great songs all around...a singer/songwriter in the truest sense.” -Mark Furman (guitarist, Mark Furman Band)
“On “Long, Long Year”, singer-songwriter Kris Kehr has created a “journey” album in the finest folk-rock tradition. With odes to the road, river and rails (and even outer space), Kehr equates the journey down the road with the flow of life’s journey. The album is fueled by the virtuosity of Stone Poets, a local band of which Kehr is a member. The band members’ thorough understanding of their musical roles, wrapped in an honest, understated genius, provides Kehr with the legs on which to take his musical wanderings.” -Matt Swain (critic and columnist, The Centre Daily Times)
“Mellow Alternative Country with dreamy soundscapes. Kris Kehr and the Stone Poets dip into the cosmic American music of yesteryear as well as the newer No Depression sounds to deliver their lush and textured songs. Kehr's voice is warm and embracing as he invites you into a romantic realm that drips from his mouth like the resonating honey-soaked sounds of his ethereal pedal steel tones.” Eric Shea - Staff Writer Listen.com
“.....classy "roots rock," with tasteful musicianship” -George Graham (producer, radio personality WVIA-FM)
“I wanted to take a moment to let you all know about a new CD that I think is worthy of some attention. It's called "Long Long Year," and it's the debut CD from Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Kris Kehr, released on his own label, Woobie Cat Records. Stylistically, I'd describe this music as country-rock-folk. It's centered around Kris' drawling vocals and his acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars, and he's backed up by tasteful bass, drums, keyboard, and steel guitar accompaniment. Backing musicians includeJ im Weider of The Band, Craig Ross and George Laks, both of the Lenny Kravitz Band, and Cindy Cashdollar of Asleep At The Wheel. Cindy's lap steel licks on the title track are simply wonderful; you can turn that track up LOUD and feel the goosebumps rise. Kris is well known to many people in this area through his work with a plethora of local bands during the past decade, including folk-rockers The Electric Farm and the progressive bluegrass band Pavlov's Dawgs. This album includes ten original songs, and marks his entry into the singer/songwriter genre. If you like folk music that leans toward country-rock, I'd encourage you to check this out.” -Otto Bost (Producer/Host of "Acoustic Eclectic" WDIY-FM, Allentown )
“A very well deserved 4 stars out of 5.....This is a FINE CD! “
-Marc Nolis (publisher and editor-in-chief, ROOTSTOWN MUSIC MAGAZINE)
“Backed by guitars, lap steel, keyboards and a finely grooved rhythm section, Kehr tackles the ultimate mysteries on this winning 10-song independent release with simplicity, humor and no shortage of disappointment. He weaves both half-whispered and rough troubadour vocals through the haunting arrangements and creates a mood that’s defiant, defeated and no doubt familiar to most. Whether singing of the guy tricked by love, the philosopher wondering life’s cost, or the lost soul who is simply over his head in the reality game, Kehr tells his tales simply but with just enough poetry and conviction to make them worthwhile. His subjects remain fixed on the search, despite the roadblocks of fear and shattered dreams. Kehr’s journey through life’s crapshoot is a bumpy one, but it’s well worth the time.” -Ames Arnold (columnist/critic Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“You’re gonna love this one. Kehr and his group have fashioned a great pop-country-folk sound. Using Martin acoustic guitars, Hammond B-3 organ, accordion, Fender electrics and pedal-steel, they weigh in on odes to the road and the rails and other journeys. A wonderful debut.” -Villiage Records (on-line music catalogue)
“...'To the Sea'......I loved its soothing tides...That song is beautiful, to my ears anyway, I think it’s a keeper, a real mood-soother... hope to hear it again!” -Derek (fan)
“Trying to describe Kris leaves me scratching my head. He does a little but of everything, and all of it with consummate skill. I can say that the solo acoustic gig we did together in 1997 was the most fun I've ever had on a stage. Check out his great 1999 release 'Long Long Year' and you'll see what I mean.” -Tom Flannery (singer-songwriter)
"Kehr and his five-piece band quickly settle into a rootsy but soulful groove on this Pennsylvania singer-songwriter's second album. Kehr's mildly scruffy voice and songwriting are somewhat reminiscent of Tim Easton, and his talented guitar and mandolin playing blend well into the varied talents of the Stone Poets, who among other things prove that a Hammond organ can work nicely in twangy folk." –Villiage Records
"Great music and beautiful new songs…damned good!"
--Raymond Swennen (radio atl bree belgium)
"Real nice rootsy jammin' hot-darn record...killer! Kris and SP have obviously listened to some good roots music to have these influences in there, and really nice flowing lyrics....My highest recommendation.” -- Rik James (Americana Backroads-KGLT-FM, Bozeman, MT)
Kris Kehr/vocals, 6 & 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin and harmonica
Rev. James Harton/organ, electric piano & accordion
Dr. David Mudgett/pedal-steel & electric guitar
John Kennedy/ upright acoustic & electric bass
Matt Cullen/drums & percussion
-Jane Wellington - Do You Know (producer/musician - 1994)
-Kris Kehr (self-titled) 1996
-Redd I Ramblers - Hee-Yuk (producer/musician - 1998)
-Kris Kehr - Long, Long Year (Woobie Cat - 1999)
-Tom Flannery - The Anthracite Shuffle (multi-instrumentalist - 2000)
-Kris Kehr & Stone Poets - Live At Crowbar (Woobie Cat - 2001)
-Kris Kehr & Stone Poets - self titled (Woobie Cat - 2001)
-The Recipe - All You Can Eat (Harmonized - 2003)
-Lowdogs - In the Tall Grass (Woobie Cat - 2005)
-Kris Kehr & Stone Poets - Notes from the Crossroads (Woobie Cat - 2008)
-The Manatawny Creek Ramblers - Meet Me in the Moonlight (producer/musician - 2009)
-Miz - East Hope Avenue (multi-instrumentalist - 2011)
KRIS KEHR & STONE POETS - ''NOTES FROM THE CROSSROADS''
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ALBUM REVIEW FROM THE MORNING CALL/ALLENTOWN, PA - 1/19/08 KRIS KEHR & STONE POETS - ''NOTES FROM ...ALBUM REVIEW FROM THE MORNING CALL/ALLENTOWN, PA - 1/19/08
KRIS KEHR & STONE POETS - ''NOTES FROM THE CROSSROADS''
(Woobie Cat #015)
The musical crossroads here are where alt-country and folksinger/songwriter music meet. The road is far from the city, and an easygoing place to travel. You can stop off to hear retro-country, led by Dave Mudgett's pedal steel and James Harton's honky-tonk piano. Or you might hear Kehr singing and strumming his guitar by the side of the road, with another friend and Julie Edlow singing harmony. Of course, life in the country isn't always peaceful. Kehr sings on the first track, ''I think about everything all the time,'' and his 15 songs meditate about many things and suggest many stories. The crossroads of the lyrics are wondering about which road to take, or whether the one chosen was the right one. Kehr sings about lost love, homesickness, dreaming of the past, being on the road. He doesn't spell things out as much as he creates a mood, contrasting his reflexive lyrics with his band's tight, smooth sound and insistent drive. ''It's such a mystery what this world has to offer,'' he sings, not pretending to know the answer but still compelled to figure things out. Kehr might not know his destination, but it is certainly worth traveling with him.
Kris Kehr’s musical journey fuels new CD
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The local singer/songwriter with a pedigree that includes jamming with members of The Grateful Dead ...The local singer/songwriter with a pedigree that includes jamming with members of The Grateful Dead and Phish will debut his band’s latest effort at a gig Friday night at the Brass Lantern.
By Jim Speese
Reading Eagle Correspondent
Reading, PA - Reading native Kris Kehr will be celebrating the release of his new CD with his band, Stone Poets, at the Brass Lantern, 12th and Pike streets, Friday at 10 p.m.
The CD is titled “Notes From the Crossroads,” and, rather than being the typical blues metaphor, the album is aptly named as the journal of a man who’s done quite a bit of traveling, both physically and spiritually, in the last 10 years or so and faced many a crossroad along the way.
Yes, the oldest of the songs on this record, “Gone Are Those Days,” first saw the light of day some 10 years ago. Who would’ve guessed that the song would prove to be as much about the future as the past?
Kris Kehr and Stone Poets consists of Dr. David Mudgett on pedal steel and electric guitar; Rev. James Harton on organ and piano; John Kennedy on bass; the ubiquitous Matt Cullen on drums; and, of course, Kehr on guitars, mandolins and vocals. Kehr’s professional and personal partner, Julie Edlow (formerly with The Recipe) also sings with the band.
Kehr has had quite the musical journey, joining his first professional band — Pavlov’s Dawgs — in the early ’90s. He also played with the likes of The Recipe and Electric Farm, just to name a few. Also a talented sound engineer, Kehr performed those duties at the famous Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem.
He’s jammed with such luminaries as members of Phish and The Grateful Dead.
He’s spent time here in Berks County, then moved to North Carolina, toured the country, ended up in State College and has found his way back home. And decided to bring the Stone Poets back to life.
“Notes From the Crossroads,” recorded with Kehr’s friend Bruce Siekmann at Amoeba Studios, is the band’s fourth offering, not counting many downloadable tracks.
Men do music for many reasons — to make money, for the excitement, to meet girls — but there are those few who feel so passionately about creating music that they can’t imagine a life without it. Kehr seems to fall into this last group. Inspired by such artists as Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and (the country side of) The Grateful Dead, Kehr’s influences can be heard throughout his music. But his songs are all his own as well.
“I became obsessed (with music) after connecting emotionally when I was 8 or 10 years old,” he explained. “I was at my grandmother’s house in Leesport and I heard the Beatles’ ‘Help’ and it made me sad. And I wondered, what is it about a song that can make me feel? And I still feel that way.”
It’s one of the reasons Kehr is drawn to the sound of certain instruments like the Hammond organ or the pedal steel.
“They have a soulful voice,” he noted. “You respond to them emotionally almost without thinking about it. And that fits my songs, which are personal and emotional.”
And as he delved into his favorite music, he discovered whole new worlds.
“The Grateful Dead is one of those great American bands,” he said, “that have it all in there. When I was younger, I loved their acoustic stuff, so I checked out the songwriting credits and discovered stuff like Bill Monroe.”
Kehr’s songs are, indeed, personal and emotional, and part of that is in how he approaches songwriting. While he certainly can craft a song at times (listen to “Stephanie” on the album — a song created pretty much on a dare due to a waitress’ name tag), he prefers to allow the song to use him.
“I’ve read how Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young have always said to have your pen ready because the song will blow into the window and you gotta get it down,” he explained. “When that happens, it almost feels like I have nothing to do with it.”
The Stone Poets’ music fits neatly into the “alt-country” or “Americana” genres, and there is a genuine quality to it, which is not surprising, considering the quality of the players. And also not surprising considering the experiences of the songwriter. Having traveled, played all over, made mistakes, and lived to tell about it, Kehr still has his genuine, child-like love of music.
“I’ve had some milestones, like sitting in with some great musicians,” he said, but it’s when people relate to his music on a personal level — laughing or crying with him — that he sees as the true highlights of his career.
For a man who loves music and the magic of how songs can inspire emotion, this is not all that surprising.
NOTES FROM THE CROSSROADS (US)
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Kris Kehr, met of zonder Stone Poets, behoort nog steeds tot één van mijn favoriete singer - songwri...Kris Kehr, met of zonder Stone Poets, behoort nog steeds tot één van mijn favoriete singer - songwriters. Het laatste wat wij van de man uit de bergen van Western North Carolina vernamen was zijn medewerking aan het LOWdOGS" gezelschap dat met het album "FOOd" een geheel andere muzikale richting uitgaat dan Kehr's albums "Long Long Year" ('99) en "Kris Kehr & Stone Poets" ('01).
Een mengeling van blues, country, americana, jazz, funk en rock dat door de Yankees het mooie stempeltje Americana Jam of Cowboy Jazz meekreeg en het logische vervolg bleek te zijn op het live album " All you Can Eat" ('03) dat kaderde in de muzikale samenwerking met Chris Q die onder de noemer "Recipe" het levenslicht zag. Slechts zes songs op dat schijfje en dat voornamelijk kan beschouwd worden als een stevig gitaarduel tussen beide heren weliswaar zonder winnaar. Met "Notes From the Crossroads" (Antwerpen ?) is onze vriend KK. terug opgedoken in het alt. country / americana landschap en, volgens mijn bescheiden mening, nog altijd zijn beste dada. Meer dan vijf jaren namen de vijftien songs in beslag om vereeuwigd te worden op het blinkende schijfje, opnames die plaatsvonden in verscheidene studio's waar nog al wat technisch personeel bij te pas kwam maar met het uiteindelijke resultaat dat KK. weer met recht en reden terug tussen "de mensen" mag plaatsnemen. Veel eigen verdienste natuurlijk maar ook meer dan één bloempje voor partner Julie Edlow (harmonyvocals, http://www.myspace.com/julieedlow) die dringend eens haar eigen persoontje in de schijnwerpers moet plaatsen ...al is de samenwerking met KKook fantastisch ( niet overtuigd kijk en luister eens op http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWGNwbgRMWs ) met zelfs een schitterende tribute to Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris. Maar wij heffen ook de loftrompet voor de huidige Stone Poets : Rev. James Horton / organ, piano, accordion, Dr. Dave Mudgett / electric gt, pedal steel, John "JK." Kennedy / upright & electric bass, Matt Cullen on drums en the former Poets ; Jack Wilkinson / drums, bassist Bill Stetz en lap - steeler Todd Bartolo ( Frog Holler)
Opener " I Think About Everything", "Sick & Tired" en "Our Dreams Back Then, no more loosers" zijn meteen raak ... Parsons, Harris, the Byrds, Dylan met alles er op en aan ..er is inderdaad geen enkel detail ontsnapt aan het arendsoog van KK, "Your Dreams" en "Something I Know" dobberen romantisch verder met een heerlijke, jankende pedal steel, al schuilt er in die laatste song net als bij "Around this World" (met een leuk orgeltje) een serieuze portie zelfkennis. "Dear Stephanie" versieren op a "Saturday" ...mission impossible ? Who knows .. misschien dat het uitdraait op een one night - stand maar wij beschouwen het bij Rootsville als één van de talrijke muzikale hoogstandjes. De terugkeer naar the good old days van "A Long Time Ago" ...met Kris Kehr & the Stone Poets is dit één triomftocht, met zijn ietwat schuurpapieren stem worden "I Want to Go Home", "You Can Run" beslist geen parels voor de zwijnen maar de eerste maximum notering voor het prille 2008. Het is dan ook uitkijken naar de op til staande Europese promo push tournee voor dit fantastische schijfje dat nog al wat nostalgie huisvest ( om : "Gone Are Those Days") maar "As far I Can see" ziet de toekomst er voor Kris Kehr & Stone Poets veel belovend uit. Besluiten doen wij met zijn eigen woorden ..... "It's All Good". Blue Highways Festival Utrecht, Nl, Cafe Crossroads, Antwerpen * ...nog op zoek naar een prima band ? KRIS KEHR & STONE POETS !! Welcome back !!! (SWA)