Black Kettle
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Black Kettle


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"Black Kettle: Interview"

1.What inspired your passion for music and who has been there supporting you from the beginning?
Kailynn: I used to stick my head in between the speakers of my dad’s juke box and listen to “Mama Said” and “Good Vibrations” for hours on repeat. Motown inspired me, and so did my family. I have a lot of fond memories dancing to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love.” I think I wore out my dad’s records! I just took to it, and my family has been there helping me grow from the beginning- my first instrument was alto sax and I know for a fact that I sounded awful for the first few years but they never told me that!!
Keeley: My grandmother who was a really talented jazz and stride pianist was my main inspiration. She helped me through music school, so I would say that between her and my mother- I’ve been very lucky to be supported from an early age in music.
2. How do you feel about people downloading music rather then buying physical copies?

Kailynn: Downloading is fast and convenient, but I also love holding in my hand something that feels real and substantial. I don’t think downloads can replace that feeling. I think it will always come back to quality over quantity- just look at the huge comeback that vinyl is having right now.
Keeley: I think that the argument is kind of over. People are going to download regardless of morals, but this point, I just find it a little strange that people feel entitled to free music from their favorite artists. I would, however rather have someone hear my music for free than not hear it at all.
3.How do you feel about the music industry today?

Kailynn: Anyone can make music, which is awesome, but the trick is getting it heard. Some musicians think licensing their music to commercials and branding themselves with a product is selling out, so they refuse to do that. I think it is hard to generalize like that- I would not have really discovered Leslie Feist if it wasn’t for that Apple commercial.. etc. The Internet is completely saturated with musicians now and I think everyone (Including myself) isn’t sure what the next step is. Basically, I miss the 90s for a lot of reasons.

Keeley: I feel that it is just super confused. I would like to say that “independent” is the way to go, but the truth is- paying out of your pocket for things like touring, merch, etc is really tough. You’re expected to run all the business aspects of your band, work a full time job AND write/create good songs? I think that every band needs a sugar daddy, of which we are fully open to applications….but in all seriousness, I’m hoping that something will surface and bring the music industry in a new direction.

4.Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Kailynn: I want to be playing shows, I want to be writing music, and I want people to be enjoying it. I just know that I’d rather be struggling with a career I am passionate about than working two mediocre jobs and wishing I had more time to do what I loved. Being dedicated has to get you somewhere.
Keeley: Hopefully touring and releasing records (that aren’t completely self funded). I would really love the opportunity to open for some bigger indie bands that we admire, as well as be on the festival circuit.. playing Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo.. etc.
5. Do you think singer/songwriters are the best interpreters of their own work or do you believe some cover versions can be better then the original?

Kailynn: I enjoy cover songs, but it only took one night of listening to songwriters at the Bluebird Café in Nashville to realize that the original writers of even the most famous songs have a very personal relationship to their songs, and it brings a whole new level of complexity to them. I love hearing the real stories behind why they were written.
Keeley: I think that covers can be better, but I like to think that the appreciation for the song itself lays in the songwriter. A good example of this for me is “Heartbeats,” originally done by The Knife, but covered by Jose Gonzales. When I discovered this version of Jose Gonzales’, I would lay on my floor and let it play on repeat for hours at a time. I think its one of the most beautiful recordings ever made.
6.Who have you always dreamt of working with and why? How would you go about accomplishing this?

Kailynn: Oh man. Chris Walla. Although I worry he might someday read every interview I’ve ever answered this question for and decide that I’m creepy. It kind of is. Really, it’s the anti-strategy that’s bringing me and Chris Walla closer together every day. Google, don’t fail me now!
Keeley: Kailynn and I both have always dreamt of working with Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie. Not only is he the tastiest guitarist ever, he’s produced some of our favorite records from artists like Tegan and Sara & Telekinesis.. as well as all the Death Cab records. I have a strong love for that band.. they’re from my home town of Bellingham, Washington
We’re trying to accomplish this, we were in the same studio to record our EP a month after he was for the new Death Cab release, Codes and Keys. I like to think our worlds are coming closer and closer.
7.As you are starting out your career in the music industry what steps do you plan on taking to reach your goal?

Kailynn: Keeley said it. Write really good songs. I want to make people cry and laugh, and I want to write lyrics that people quote on their facebook profiles. Oddly enough, I think it’s the biggest new-age compliment that you can get.
Keeley: Write. Good. Songs.
8.Have you found that as you are starting out your career in the music industry there are aspects that have taken you completely by surprise. If so, what are they?

Kailynn: Finding out that the musicians I look up to are no longer making a living playing music and are getting day jobs. Didn’t see that coming.
Keeley: It is all who you know unfortunately. I feel that good music and true artists will surface with time, but the people who seems to take off over night always end up knowing someone.. or being some famous actress’s sister.. That is what I don’t understand about major labels… “Oh, she’s the daughter of two celebrities? Does she write good songs? Who cares! Let’s sign her!” Yuck.
9. What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?

Kailynn: The greatest thing about working in the music industry is seeing how everyone really is connected. The world gets smaller every day for me.
Keeley: The community between artists, players, engineers, producers etc never ceases to amaze me. I feel very lucky to know the people that I do. Most of whom are my peers/classmates. I would change reality TV shows that allow karaoke singers to be broadcast to millions of people.
10.If you could have asked anyone for advice when you were starting out. Who would you have liked to ask?
What would you have liked to ask?
What would be your answer now?

Kailynn: I don’t think that 13 year old Kailynn would’ve known what to ask or who to ask. I was listening to Blink182 and Jimi Hendrix and trying to be in a punk band, so I would’ve asked my future self what I should be listening to or playing, and my future self probably would’ve told me stop wasting my time with my boys and learn how to play Paul Simon or James Taylor or something new that I wasn’t listening to at that time.
Keeley: I would have asked my 22 year old self to kick my 16 year old self’s ass. My answer now would be: sure.
11.From your experience in the entertainment industry what advice could you offer people looking to get where you are today?

Kailynn: Always be open minded, and its ok to screw up- I always try to get a good song out of it… I don’t really like to think about that as I’m screwing up, though. Oh- and always pull over to write down lyrics. Don’t write them when you’re driving. Guilty.
Keeley: Network, network, network.
12. What courses/classes would you recommend someone take if they want to be a professional in the music industry?

Kailynn: Music business- that’s never something you are just born knowing how to do.
Keeley: Anything that teaches you about publishing/writers shares. You need to know how to protect your creative works and how to protect yourself in contracts.
13.How many years were you fighting to get to where you are today and what was that time in your life like?

Kailynn: Keeley and I have been writing for 3 years now, it is been a lot of ups and downs, like anything else.. and lot of changing. Being able to change and accepting the way other people change is a huge part of being in a band. You either break up or adapt and grow. For example, our first “single” was on ukulele and mandolin, and now we’ve moved on to writing more with guitar and keyboard and our tastes have changed a lot. These are all good things though.
Keeley: Kailynn and I have been active for about 3 years with Black Kettle. I would say that I’ve been striving towards something in music (though I wasn’t sure of it at the time) since I was 11? It has been and continues to be a time of extreme growth and understanding of self.
14.From your experience so far, what have you found to be most challenging? And how are you dealing with it?

Kailynn: Definitely balancing personal life and work is hard. We both have day jobs on top of trying to run a band (independent from the ground up- songwriting-marketing and promotion) and would really like to have friends. By the time Friday rolls around, if I happen to not be rehearsing or writing, I’m usually too exhausted to go out for a beer, which is total bummer because I love a good beer with good people.
Keeley: The balance between personal life and musical work ethic. I’m a hard worker but sometimes a boy will temporary color my view.

15.Share with us your proudest moment in your career so far?
Kailynn: When Keeley and I went to get our EP mastered at The Mastering Lab, Doug Sax wandered in and actually sat down and listened to a whole song. I think I stopped breathing for a full 5 minutes until it was done. Doug is kind of like the yoda of mastering.. like.. Pink Floyd to the Rolling Stones to Diana Krall.. awards and recognition everywhere with that guy. After it was done playing he turned around to us and said that he liked it a lot, and asked what we were going to do with it. We kind of laughed and said.. “Get people to listen to it I hope, and play some shows…” He told us we have a good thing going on and he hopes the best for us. That was a surreal moment for me.. as well as every time I see lyrics we’ve written on someone’s facebook profile, like I said earlier. Both are relatively small gestures that are incredibly meaningful for a songwriter.
Keeley: Graduating from music school was pretty sweet. My mom was proud. That makes me pretty happy. I think that I live for the random email from a complete stranger telling me that a song I wrote affected them. It really hits home and makes me all warm and fuzzy. -

"The Wallburds, Loch and Key, Canoneers, Belize, Ansel, Black Kettle"

“Black Kettle brims with oodles of potential, purveying sunny pop songs that are distinguished by cheery, ultra-femme harmonies by Kailynn West and Keeley Bumford” – LA Weekly - LA Weekly

"SoCal Report: Black Kettle"

At one time or another we’ve all been guilty of taking cheap shots at indie pop in an attempt to disguise our actual affection for it. Not only is this a common behavior exhibited by children, but it is also seen in adults who can’t come to grips with their visceral connection to indie pop. What’s the matter people? If our entire music collection consisted of intensely thought provoking doom and gloom, rainbows and kittens would cease to exist. We all need catchy hooks and upbeat melodies in our lives. Enter Black Kettle.
About a year ago, Keeley Bumford (vocals/keyboards) and Kailynn West (vocals/guitar) traded in harsh snowy Boston winters for perpetual Los Angeles sunshine after the pair graduated from Berklee School of Music. Since relocating to Southern California, Black Kettle has held its own playing a string of shows at SXSW, Hotel Cafe, and Viper Room and has gained recognition from LA’s Deli Magazine as Artist of the Month in March 2011. The duo’s debut self-titled EP, recorded at Sound City Studios, is short and sweet and only provides a snapshot into their world.
To know this band is to see the on-stage chemistry and dynamic between Bumford’s outgoing personality and West’s quiet demeanor. Together, their playful keyboard and guitar arrangements evoke a sense of whimsy easily held captive by your brain. The songwriting is seemingly grounded in tangible life experiences of loss and unrequited love and Bumford’s sweetly honest vocals (with a dash of sassy soulfulness) provide additional depth and well-roundedness to this two person band. Though West describes the EP as being “full of hate,” any twinges of bitterness come from a human place as everything about Black Kettle indicates that they tend to side more with rainbows and kittens than the vindictive or morose.
Catch Black Kettle in Los Angeles at the International Pop Overthrow Festival at the Echoplex on August 9th and in West Hollywood at Bar Lubitsch on August 23rd. -

"Video Crush: Black Kettle, Spineless"

Adorable, catchy stuff from Black Kettle, who have a new four-song EP out this month (including this track). The duo will be at SXSW so if you're heading down try and catch 'em.
You have heard Black Kettle before in this very blog, as far back as May 2010, when their song "The King And All His Horses" was featured in an edition of C.D. On Songs.

When are they playing SXSW? Here's when: - Boston Band Crush

"Black Kettle Fresh Pick 3/10/11"

Indie Rockers – Black Kettle comes to us from the Silverlake section of Los Angeles and although originally from Boston, MA…the group seems to feel right at home now. Black Kettle’s music is very addicting to say the least… their songs are packed with great hooks and big choruses…really love the guitar tones!
Black Kettle was just voted Deli Magazine’s LA Artist of the Month for March!
If you are at SXSW this year, make sure that you attend at least (1) of their (6) shows..check out their show schedule on their website.
Fresh Track: Spineless
Check out their new music video below! -

"Black Kettle at SXSW"

If you're into female power duos like Meg and Dia or Tegan and Sara, then make some room in your collection for Black Kettle. This partnership comprised of Keeley Bumford & Kailynn West has everything going for them, except the fact they aren't sisters. Sweetly honest pop is their specialty and we don't have to wait long for their EP, due this month. From the bits and slices I've heard, I'm on the edge of my seat for this one.

They're be playing SXSW at the following:

Carousel Lounge SXSW
March 15, 2011, 6:00 pm
Austin, TX

Cherrywood Coffee House "Indie Radio Rocks the World" SXSW Showcase
March 16, 2011, 7:45 pm
Austin, TX

$2 Show SXSW Showcase Party!
March 17, 2011, 5:00 pm
Austin, TX

Berklee's HRR 6th Annual Official SXSW Party
March 18, 2011, 1:00 pm
Austin, TX

SXSW Boston Family Dinner Showcase @ the AMOA
March 18, 2011, 6:45 pm
Austin, TX

-Angelo Lorenzo
- Deli Magazine LA

" Top 10 mid-year records of 2010"

Mid-Year Top 10 Albums of 2010
06/29/10 at 04:54 PM by Tony Pascarella
This list is my top 10 (well, actually 11) favorite albums of 2010. This year, unlike some others, is so stacked with good music that most of these records could have been my #1 if released in a different year.

Don't pay so much attention to where they're ranked because all of these albums are "must-hear" material. And without further ado...

1. Eli "Paperboy" Reed - Come and Get It [link]
Come and Get It sets the bar for every other album this year. Reed's neo-soul sound could have stepped off American Bandstand but it is still fresher than ever. Every single track is an absolute gem, and I can't recommend it enough.

2. Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life [link]
As a longtime fan, I knew that My Dinosaur Life would be Motion City Soundtrack's make-or-break album for me after 2007's major label disappointment. However, the band is playing for keeps this time around—the record sparkles beyond anything I had expected. These are among the best songs they've ever written, and the renewed sense of purpose in My Dinosaur Life is one of the most refreshing things I've heard so far this year.

3. Steel Train - Steel Train [link]
Every year I have a couple albums that come out of left field and make an impression on me, and so far this year, Steel Train is the second (Eli "Paperboy" Reed being the first). I generally overlooked the band because of their former record label but I'm seeing the error of my ways after hearing this self-titled album. It's a more orchestral version of Fun—less jubilation, a little slicker, but still thickly layered and insanely catchy.

4. Black Kettle – Narrative [link]
Fans of Tegan & Sara or Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis would do well to take a flier on Black Kettle's Narrative. Superbly self-produced by the Berklee grads, you'll have these melodies bouncing around in your head for days.

5. Blitzen Trapper - Destroyer of the Void [link]
I didn't get into Blitzen Trapper until well after Furr released, but since then, I've been spinning both that album and the follow-up EP, Black River Killer. Destroyer of the Void lives up to its predecessors with a twist—it feels slightly less folk-country influenced and more concerned with warbling guitars and lush arrangements. As long as their fans don't jump off the bandwagon, this album has the potential to propel Blitzen Trapper into the stratosphere.

6. Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away [link]
So Runs the World Away is an intriguing mix of Ritter's last two albums—not quite as up-tempo as his last, which I loved. As always, the imagery is vivid and the songs tug at your heartstrings like no other singer-songwriter can.

7. Foxy Shazam - Foxy Shazam [link]
Queen for the Pop-Punkers, a.k.a. Foxy Shazam have been lauded for their incendiary live show (literally—the singer eats lit cigarettes on stage) for months now, and I'm proud to say the recorded version passes the bullshit test with flying colors. The band's self-titled major label release is quirky and unpredictable with a side order of smoke inhalation.

8. Hanson - Shout It Out [link]
Hanson is one of those bands that forever will be associated with one song, no matter what they go on to do. Some bands choose to mail it in as a result, but the Oklahoma trio has instead crafted a pop-rock album that puts most of their contemporaries to shame (and is a worthy follow-up to their similarly lauded 2007 album The Walk). There are potentially massive singles on Shout It Out—songs that simply will not quit. The pop-meets-R&B and soul sound is a nod to the band's inspiration—artists like Chuck Berry and Otis Redding—and it settles the "one hit wonder" argument. The Hanson brothers are here to stay.

9. Stacy Clark - Connect the Dots [link]
Connect the Dots maintains a healthy balance between pop and indie—weaving a middle ground between pop radio and indie powerhouses like as Regina Spektor. Her winning charm fights Connect the Dots onto this list, and hopefully onto yours too.

10. Poema - Sing It Now EP [link]
I remember when Poema first signed to Tooth & Nail and how I was blown away with their demos, hoping they'd be the "next big thing" and Sing It Now is a fantastic first taste. The Albuquerque duo (siblings Elle and Shealeen) have so many possibilities and so much potential. Poema's music is self-conscious and charismatic, reminiscent of Taylor Swift at times, yet heavy on the strings and supremely polished, and Sing It Now is well-worth your time.

The Narrative – The Narrative [link]
I tried my hardest to put The Narrative's self-titled record in my Top 10 list and I just couldn't downgrade anyone else. It is a fantastic full-length debut and I fully expect them to go on and do big, big things. The band's two lead vocalists each bring something totally different to the record—Jesse Gabriel's lead songs recalling Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Straylight Run, while Suzie Zeldin's range puts even some of the greats to shame. If you want to hop on a bandwagon before an artist becomes a household name, I'd put my money on The Narrative. -

"Black Kettle Album Review: Narrative"

Black Kettle - Narrative
Record Label – Heavy Rotation Records
Release – March 10th, 2010

“Oh please, tell me that you like me. Tell me I’ve got what you need. Tell me you want me around.”

Well all right then, Black Kettle. I do indeed like you and want you around. Narrative is bubbly sweet in all of the right ways. Induce the foot-tapping, head-bobbing, and maybe an occasional accompanying whistle.

Fronted by vocalist Keeley Bumford and Kailynn West, Black Kettle bring an air of effortless charm to a fine-tuned collection of songs. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, Narrative is lush with flirty, honey-sweet vocals. Take the instrumentals of Kimya Dawson, or sometimes Tegan and Sara, and throw Regina Spektor on lead vocals; you’re bound to nail at least one of the tracks on this ten-song disc.

Black Kettle has that barefoot, summer-tinged sound. Head for the boardwalk with sunglasses on and that cute boy or girl your heart’s been jumping to see and throw some Black Kettle tracks on for company. The album’s opener “Magnetic” effortlessly falls into this scene. Strange to think this female-fronted gem hails from Boston, a city often noted as home for a number of old-fashioned punk bands.

“Chameleon” opens with a well-placed collection of claps in place of any drums. You’ll find yourself tapping along on your steering wheel in no time. Yes, it’s soft and lovey-dovey, but this is exactly what works for this band.

Tracks such as “Like A Book” and “I Don’t Know” keep the listener on their toes, trading the peppy hand-claps for more somber, acoustic tunes. Violins and a quiet echo of ‘ba-ba-bah”s touch at just the right spaces in the latter of the two tracks. “You’re in through my ear and down to my heart. I’m losing direction, but I don’t want to fall this time,” Bumford’s vocals lament.

Leave the mainstream pop-rock slot for another band. Black Kettle has found just the right niche in this blend of quirky female-fronted indie-pop. Give them some acoustic guitar and a sunny afternoon in a coffee shop and you’re set. - Absolute Punk

"Heavy Rotation Records- Another Hit CD"

For Peter Holland-Recine, a senior in music production and engineering at Berklee College, getting his band onto Berklee’s student-run record label, Heavy Rotation Records,has been a boost.
“The most important things that we have gained from Heavy Rotation are recognition and exposure, which then give us validation in the [music] industry,” he said of his Black Kettle band.
The label recently sold out its 10th annual release concert for its latest album, Dorm Sessions: 7 at the college’s 1,200-seat performance center, where all nine of the artists featured on the album performed.
Many agreed that the label has given their musical careers a terrific jump start.
Black Kettle is one of nine local artists featured on Dorm Sessions. 7 Others include Ann Driscoll, Jordan Tarrant, Liz Longley, Tin Soldier, Julia Easterlin, Liptease, Tais Alvarenga, and KR & the Future. The album features a compilation of rock, pop, Latin, folk and hip-hop genres.
Commonly known as HR, the label has released 12 albums since 1995, which have featured artists such as Big D and the Kids Table, The Click Five, and Emerson’s own Passion Pit. Heavy Rotation Records is run by students participating in the music business and management practicum at Berklee.
“The label serves as a springboard for careers in the music industry,” said Berklee’s website, which cited HR alumni as current Interscope, Capitol Records, DreamWorks, Live Nation, and Universal employees.
The faculty advisor of the label, Jeff Dorenfeld, who is also the former manager of the band Boston, said that the practicum gives students the opportunity to work with realities of the music world.
“The students must apply what they’ve learned in a practical sense, take risks, and do the work of a true label. The result isn’t a test score, it’s the record itself,” he said.
Heavy Rotation student director Cierra Walker, a senior music business and management major, said the best part of running the practicum as a “true label” is that it helps the artists focus on their music. “We take care of all the business aspects so that the artists don’t have to. That way, they can focus on putting their best work forward, creating the best show possible and getting the most exposure they can,” she said.
Heavy Rotation produced 2,000 copies of Dorm Sessions: 7, which was given away to those who attended the release concert.
Berklee junior music production and electronic production design double major Julia Easterlin said the album and its release performance have given her a broader audience and acknowledgement in the Berklee music scene.
“I have received a lot of positive feedback from not only the Berklee community but from the Boston community as a whole. People recognize me and are so enthusiastic about and supportive of my music,” she said. “I’ve gained lot more listeners than I ever could have on my own.”
Holland-Recine, Black Kettle’s guitarist, said that the band had put a lot of work into promoting themselves but that it was Heavy Rotation that sparked the band’s exposure.
“All of a sudden things just exploded for us with the release of the album and after the performance. It all happened much faster than ever before,” he said.
Both Easterlin and Black Kettle agree that Heavy Rotation’s support has been the most beneficial to them. Black Kettle vocalist and guitarist Kailynn West, a Berklee senior music production and engineering major, said the band’s collaboration with the label has given it the reputation it needs to continue on in the business.
“We’re not sure where we’ll be headed next, but we know that our relationship with Heavy Rotation will extend beyond Berklee and we will be able to continue to work together,” she said. “That kind of support is really encouraging.”
Easterlin said Heavy Rotation has helped her become more secure in her musical style and identity. “It makes it so much easier when you’re booking a gig to have someone there to back you up and say, ‘She really can do this,’” she said. “Their support really boosts my faith in having a musical career.”
Heavy Rotation is currently working with four of its recorded artists and will be attending the “South by Southwest” music festival in Austin, Texas, which Dorenfeld described as one of the largest independent music events in the country. “The music never stops at South by Southwest, it is 24/7,” he said. “A lot of artists get discovered there.”
The festival will begin on March 17 and end March 21. Attending the event will be Black Kettle, Ann Driscoll, Jordan Tarrant, and Nini & Ben, a Heavy Rotations alumni group.
“We’re driving down and checking out all the major music cities along the way,” Holland-Recine said. “We’re going to see where we fit in.”
Editor’s addendum: I went to the last Dorm Sessions concert, which is why I asked Rheanna to write about this. It was the night of the ‘blizzard that wasn’t,’ and a meeting had been cancelled, so I decided to celebrate by asking for a press pass to this event – I have never been happier with a blizzard in my life. This year more than 300 individuals and groups auditioned, so the nine who were finally selected all totally feel like “top of the heap” performers.
I won’t try to say something intelligent about every single act, although I really liked every single one. But I was especially moved by Liz Longely and Julia Easterlin. When they sing about love it’s easy enough to imagine being in love with them, if you’re inclined that way. But what they really accomplish is to model a version of love that you want to adopt as your own. For a few minutes they make what should be seem like what actually is. That’s what makes us want to listen to them over and over again.
I also appreciate that the concert organizers topped it off with KR and the Future – they were a great band to climax the evening with – sent us back out into the faux storm with a little extra energy.
- Stephen Brophy - Fenway News Online

"Boston Band Crush"

“Local duo Black Kettle makes sunny pop/folk songs that will appeal to fans of The Icicles and similarly minded bands, but Black Kettle somehow has more teeth, more soul.”

- Ashley Willard

""Top 5 bands in Boston to watch in 2010""

BLACK KETTLE | Café 939: February 5 | I still have a big red smack mark on my face from the first time I heard "Ruins" — the smokin'-hot single from the duo of Zak Broman and Justincredible known as Roguewaves. Not only were its speaker-crushing production and jagged edges addictive, but the voice of its departing lover introduced us to the stunning pipes of Keeley Bumford.
Turns out, Bumford is currently all over the place, collaborating with the aforementioned 'Waves, cranking out summery glitch-pop alongside Isom Innis and Zack Lipkins, and most recently forming Black Kettle with co-chanteuse Kailynn West and a healthy stable of helpers —drummers Carl Harkness and Matt Musty, guitarist Peter Holland-Recine, upright-bassist Ann Driscoll, and whomever else they can come up with. They produce a special brand of sweet, folksy pop — fans of She & Him take notice. "I Don't Want To Know" is a tender lament of a split-up, its single violin tracing a melody like a tear track under the buttery countrified harmonies of Bumford and West.
Check them out and preview your Sunday-morning soundtrack for the next 12 months. - The Boston Phoenix

"Heavy Rotation Records interview with Black Kettle"

By Zac Taylor
Managing Editor
Black Kettle’s music could be the soundtrack to a wholesome teen flick, or a revamped indie-pop folk group from 1964. Fronted by the two charming, playful songbirds Keeley Bumford and Kailynn West, the group also features Pete Holland Recine on guitar, Ann Driscoll on bass, and Curran McDowell on drums. They will release their debut CD Narrative at Café 939 on March 10.
Zac Taylor: I see three of you here, but more people that play in the band. So you three are the nucleus, and you have a rotating cast of other musicians?
Keeley Bumford: Well Kailynn and I started doing kind of quirky things piano and ukelele or mandolin. Pete played with us for a while, and is now in the band. Ann Driscoll plays bass, and we kind of switch drummers, but we’re looking to lock that down.
ZT: Pete, how did you come to join the band?
Pete Holland-Recine: Well I knew both of these girls as they were first starting. I helped out with a lot of recordings. And when it came time to play live, I was always there to cover the second guitar parts and everything. Recently, after the recording process was over and it was time to start writing again, they asked me to become more of a creative contributor and collaborator.
ZT: Tell me about the record.
KB: It’s been done since December. And we’ve been waiting for artwork since forever. We just got the final proofs last night. With any luck, we will be able to send it off to be printed within a week. We had it mixed by Rich Mendelson and mastered by Tom Carr, who are both MP&E faculty. Besides the basics, we engineered all the overdubs ourselves, and Pete helped, because the three of us are MP&E majors. It was all self-produced and engineered.
ZT: So if I made a Black Kettle channel on Pandora, who else would I hear?
KB: Definitely Deathcab. Telekinesis.
Kailynn West: You’d probably hear Feist and St Vincent.
PHR: Tegan and Sara.
KB: Probably the Cranberries, too.
ZT: So Keeley’s done with school, and you two are done in May. What’s the plan?
KB: We’re sticking around for the summer, and looking for different places to move. Our interest has been peaked by Portland, Oregon, and possibly Seattle. We were set on L.A., but now probably not. Maybe Austin. We have no idea.
PHR: It’s very up in the air. We’re planning on going down to SXSW to check out Austin, and hopefully check out Nashville on the way down there, and play there too.
ZT: So you’re driving? That’s going to be a looong drive, boys and girls.
PHR: It’s kind of a friendship test.
KR: We’re going to see if we can not kill each other before we move somewhere.
PHR: According to Googlemaps, it’s 1 day and 7 hours.
ZT: How’d you guys get that write-up in the Phoenix as one of the five bands to watch in Boston for 2010?
KB: We didn’t even know about it. I sang on this track for another band called Rogue Waves, not to be confused with Rogue Wave, that Isom Innis produced, and it was like a dance track. So I think the guy found me through that, and through Myspace found Black Kettle. - The Berklee Groove

"The Unplugged Series"

Sponsored by the Student Activities Center, a new student project titled The Unplugged Series will debut its first show at the LOFT at 939 this Friday, October 23. The first series will feature: Nini & Ben, Black Kettle, and Emily Elbert. Admission is free, doors open at 6:15P.M., and the show begins at 6:30P.M.

The Unplugged Series was developed by Berklee students Nick Riebel and Trevor Paul who came up with the idea when they realized the school needed a weekly and free music venue to see not only Berklee students, but also national touring musicians in an intimate space. “We wanted to book talent that we ourselves loved, and yet, knew would translate well acoustically,” said Riebel, who is in charge of booking for the Unplugged Series. “I knew the first series'talent bill before I even got the ?go' from the school.”

The Lineup:
Nini & Ben began as loving partnership between Nini Fabi and Ben Gebert. Nini, a talented vocalist with a classical background and Ben, a strong pianist and gifted music engineer has traveled the world together seeking adventure and music. In 2007 they settled in Boston, Massachusetts to attend Berklee College of Music and bring together their vision within the hotbed of talent of the Boston music scene. Their first show as a steady lineup was to a sold out crowd of 1,200 people at the Berklee Performance Center and since then, their shows have been peaking the interest of fans all around the world. In 2009, Nini and Ben signed to Boston’s Heavy Rotation Records and have just finished recording their second album, The Reasons We Try, at the world famed Avatar Studio in NYC under the guidance of engineer and producer Rich Mendelson (Rhianna, The Cars, Boston), which will be released next month.

Black Kettle is a female duo comprised of Kailynn West (Hershey, PA.) and Keeley Bumford (Seattle, WA.) With folk, bluegrass and indie roots, their eclectic tastes blend to make a unique sound with quirk and charm, which creates a refreshingly youthful sound for their genre. Playing a combination of guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, chord organ and other percussive instruments, the two are self-sufficient recording artists as well as producers and engineers; their friendship being rooted in the recording arts. The two met on a common ground where their collaborative songwriting brings new and creative ways to say, “I love you,” and even “I hate you.” Black Kettle is a group that strives to keep music and emotion humble, organic, and most importantly, sincere.

Emily Elbert was raised in Texas on a musical diet of Antonio Carlos Jobim, James Taylor, and oldies radio. Her music has delighted audiences and music critics alike with her jazz-infused sound, which she describes as “acoustic soul-folk.” Fresh off a northeast run with G-Love and Special Sauce and a showcase spot at the Folk Alliance Festival in Memphis, Elbert is already making a name for herself. Elbert’s debut CD, Bright Side, contains eleven original songs that she wrote, arranged, performed and recorded at Bob Gentry’s New Masters Studio in Tyler. Texas Instruments recently licensed videos of two of Emily’s songs to demonstrate their new video cell phones throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. In addition to G-Love and Special Sauce, Elbert has opened for Kaki King, the Wood Brothers, Patty Larkin, Ruthie Foster, Marcia Ball and Ben Taylor and even Ryan Montbleau. When Elbert is not touring, however, she attends Berklee College of Music and is a recipient of a full-tuition scholarship. - The Berklee Groove

"Black Kettle Releases Debut Record "Narrative""

Oh please—tell me that you like me,” Keeley Bumford sings in the first tune of Black Kettle’s debut record, Narrative. Charming. Fun. Flirty. These words describe the songwriting, production, and even performances on these ten self-produced tunes.
The bulk of the record falls into the folky-quirky pop category, especially aforementioned opener, “Magnetic,” “Chameleon,” and “The King and All His Horses.” But after these first three single-worthy tracks, the Kettle throws a welcomed curve ball with the demure “Like a Book,” which sounds like a track from Tegan & Sara’s The Con.
Fast forward to “I Don’t Want to Know,” a ballad lush with gentle fingerstyle acoustic guitar and elegant violin. Bumford loses the cheeky flirt in favor of passive jealousy, cooing “You’re crawling up my spine, you’re in through my ear, down to my heart, I’m losing all direction, but I don’t want to fall this time.”
Narrative’s sound immediately tosses a grappling hook into your eardrums upon which the oohs, bop-bops, whoa-whoas, ukeleles, and glockenspiels climb into your brain and hang out. The guitar work and orchestration from Kailynn West and Peter Holland-Recine sounds as sharp and well executed as anything Blake Sennett (Rilo Kiley) has done recently.
The band’s CD Release Show earlier this month at Café 939 was very well-attended, thanks in part to openers Tamsin Wilson and Natural Forces. Wilson’s honest delivery and positively lovely stage presence mesmerized the crowd. Accompanied by Jörn Bielfeldt on cajon and Tommy Bohlen on pedal steel, the mellow trio played tunes off of her self-titled EP, including the entrancing tunes “Just How it Goes” and “Foolish.”

Left to right: Bumford, Baum, Hayes, and West. Photo by Cierra Walker.
Natural Forces, an upbeat rock duo consisting of Josh Washam singing and playing guitar and Andrew Kahl backing him up on both drums and backing vocals, played tracks off of their new EP One-Track Mind, calling to mind a stripped-down Jet singing Jim Croce-style songs. The duo’s performance easily outmatched the energy from most rock trios and quartets.
Still hot from Heavy Rotations Records CD Release show in February, Black Kettle took the stage in full force, relishing the opportunity to get all of the sounds and quirks of their record performed live, including the bops, whoas, and oohs from sexy backup singers Elyse Hayes and Whitney Wolf. Throw in guest musician Chris Baum for the violin on “I Don’t Want to Know,” and of course the grooving rhythm section of drummer Curran McDowell and bassist Michael Manke, and you got yourself one hell of a CD Release Party.
And Keeley, to answer your first question: Yes. We like you. - The Berklee Groove

"Black Kettle- A Review"

“You’re not the light at the end of the tunnel.
You’re not the lamp that is guiding my way.
No, you’re not the light at the end of the tunnel;
You’re my oncoming train.”

They write the words you wish you could be brave enough to say, and put them to melodies that you find yourself singing as you go about your day. Who are they you ask? Black Kettle, an indie rock band based out of Boston, MA, is releasing their debut album Narrative this month. The album is as the title states – a collection of songs about love, loss and standing on your own two feet each step of the way. The stories being shared come from Keeley Bumford and Kailynn West, who originally started the group together as a duo. With their differing musical backgrounds, the two come together to write songs listeners will enjoy and will put on their ‘most listened to’ list.

Narrative gives listeners a wide variety of music from songs that make you feel like you’re on cloud nine like Magnetic and Sawyer to songs for a rainy day such as Like a Book or Plot of Land.

The opener, Magnetic, has the perfect hook to grab your attention sounding like it belongs on a jukebox from the sixties with it’s tight bass line and guitar licks that could be straight out of “That Thing You Do!” It’s a catchy tune and keeps you yearning for more.

Like A Book has haunting harmonies on lines like “gladly bum” and “on this pedestal; I cheat, I lie.” That same feeling rings true with the echoes of lines toward the end of the piece where the harmonies are faint enough you almost don’t realize they’re there.

Like A Book leads into my favorite track, Oncoming Train, which you can read lyrics from at the top. All of the creative lyrics in this upbeat number are playful about a situation that’s just the opposite, where the person you’re with isn’t the fit that you should be paired with.

Sawyer is where quirky meets fun and listeners will be excited by the twang of the guitars, handclaps, bounce of the keys and banjo. Yes, banjo!

Plot of Land is the perfect closure for the album, it leaves us hopeful that things can work out despite all we’ve been through. The simplicity of it makes it even more beautiful.

Once you’ve listened, find the song that says exactly how you feel - wrap it up, put a bow on it and hand it to the one person you’ve been meaning to tell those feelings to. Black Kettle’s knack for handcrafting songs will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s to come. -

"CD Release Show Press Release"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 8:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02115 [Map]

Black Kettle can engage the innocence of a child as well as the heartbreak of the hopeless romantic. Rooted in folk, pop, and indie rock, their eclectic sound blends into a kaleidoscope of quirk and charm. Playful melodies carry heartfelt lyrics and find new ways to say “I love you,” and even “I hate you.” Born of the songwriting duo Keeley Bumford and Kailynn West, Black Kettle celebrates the imperfections within all of us and finds beauty in the “The Pot Calling the Kettle Black.” The two have been captivating audiences by keeping music humble, organic, and, most importantly, sincere. Please note that Black Kettle will selling their CD Narrative for a special rate of $3 at the show. - Berklee College of Music


5 song Demo "Black Kettle"- 2008

Debut Full Length "Narrative" 2010

Self Titled 4 song EP 2011



Newly settled Silverlake indie rock band, Black Kettle traded their cold Boston winters for Sunny Los Angeles, CA in September 2010. Formed in 2008 with songwriters Keeley Bumford (Vocals/Keyboards) and Kailynn West (Vocals/Guitar), the duo released their debut record, “Narrative,” in Spring 2010, which earned them a spot on the Boston Phoenix’s “Top Five Local Bands” to watch for the upcoming year. Now, a year later they have just released their west coast self titled EP as well as captured the title of Deli Magazine’s, “LA artist of the month.”
Don’t let these happy sounding tunes fool you- its about more than just falling in and out of love.

“Black Kettle brims with oodles of potential, purveying sunny pop songs that are distinguished by cheery, ultra-femme harmonies by Kailynn West and Keeley Bumford” – LA Weekly

“Fans of Tegan & Sara or Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis would do well to take a flier on Black Kettle’s Narrative. Superbly self-produced… you’ll have these melodies bouncing around in your head for days.”

“As songwriters and composers, Black Kettle has a knack for only picking the best notes for their melodies; like someone who can go shopping and pick the best produce without even seeming to try. Black Kettle makes it look easy, they make it sound easy and as a result, it is very easy to like this thing. You might even like-like it.” – C.D. on Songs

“Black Kettle makes sunny pop/folk songs that will appeal to fans of The Icicles and similarly minded bands, but Black Kettle somehow has more teeth, more soul.” -Boston Band Crush