dave keller
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dave keller

Band Blues Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


The best blues musicians know it's all about space -- hang back a little and you can let that guitar perform a triple-bypass. Creating space by knowing when not to play is exactly what makes local bluesman Dave Keller's new album, Play for Love, so good. Additionally, Keller has the innate ability to allow one unified voice to rise from both his lungs and his Stratocaster. From the moment his vocals first come in, you hear the soul oozing out. - Seven Days, Burlington, VT


The best blues musicians know it's all about space -- hang back a little and you can let that guitar perform a triple-bypass. Creating space by knowing when not to play is exactly what makes local bluesman Dave Keller's new album, Play for Love, so good. Additionally, Keller has the innate ability to allow one unified voice to rise from both his lungs and his Stratocaster. From the moment his vocals first come in, you hear the soul oozing out. - Seven Days, Burlington, VT


Dave Keller's third CD, Play for Love, showcases the work of a mature blues musician whose considerable guitar chops and vocals never get out of control.
Keller is a talent who needs more attention. His lyrics are not throwaway preludes to long-winded guitar solos. They are genuine and heartfelt expressions of a very thoughtful performer. This blues CD is highly recommended. - The Times Argus, Montpelier, VT


Dave Keller's third CD, Play for Love, showcases the work of a mature blues musician whose considerable guitar chops and vocals never get out of control.
Keller is a talent who needs more attention. His lyrics are not throwaway preludes to long-winded guitar solos. They are genuine and heartfelt expressions of a very thoughtful performer. This blues CD is highly recommended. - The Times Argus, Montpelier, VT


masterful guitar work... and the jewel... his voice. - The Montpelier Bridge, Montpelier, VT


masterful guitar work... and the jewel... his voice. - The Montpelier Bridge, Montpelier, VT


"Dave Keller needs a chance to be heard -- he's for REAL! Y'all check him out!" - Mighty Sam McClain, deep soul legend


"Dave Keller needs a chance to be heard -- he's for REAL! Y'all check him out!" - Mighty Sam McClain, deep soul legend


"Dave Keller's new CD, Play for Love, is a blues and soul treat. It quickly rose to #1 on our playlist, and for good reason. It's a great listen, from start to finish." - Greg Hooker, General Mgr, WGDR, Plainfield, VT


"Dave Keller's new CD, Play for Love, is a blues and soul treat. It quickly rose to #1 on our playlist, and for good reason. It's a great listen, from start to finish." - Greg Hooker, General Mgr, WGDR, Plainfield, VT


"I love your voice. I love your songs. I'm really happy that you're doing so well and your music sounds so good." - Paul Rishell, blues musician and recording artist


"I love your voice. I love your songs. I'm really happy that you're doing so well and your music sounds so good." - Paul Rishell, blues musician and recording artist


" Dave Keller is one of Vermont's premiere blues and soul performers! Play for Love showcases his growth as a songwriter and a dad, and takes us on his personal journey.; Dave says these are the songs that he needed to write and he's right! Check out "Only Place I'm Going (Is Down)" and you'll hear why Dave Keller is at the top of his game!!" - Jack Donovan, WDEV, Waterbury, VT


" Dave Keller is one of Vermont's premiere blues and soul performers! Play for Love showcases his growth as a songwriter and a dad, and takes us on his personal journey.; Dave says these are the songs that he needed to write and he's right! Check out "Only Place I'm Going (Is Down)" and you'll hear why Dave Keller is at the top of his game!!" - Jack Donovan, WDEV, Waterbury, VT


"Play for Love is one of the most enjoyable releases I have heard in a long time. In a world full of guitar slingers and endless solos your album brings the most important quality, so rarely heard today: the soul. I can hear it and feel it in every part of this beautiful ensemble effort -- in your passion -filled vocals, your tasty guitar licks, or Ira Friedman's church-like Hammond. Mixing soul music with blues is nothing new, but you've managed to create something unique and special, a treat for a sensitive music fan." - Przemek Draheim, "The Voice of the Blues", Radio Sfera, Torun, Poland


"Play for Love is one of the most enjoyable releases I have heard in a long time. In a world full of guitar slingers and endless solos your album brings the most important quality, so rarely heard today: the soul. I can hear it and feel it in every part of this beautiful ensemble effort -- in your passion -filled vocals, your tasty guitar licks, or Ira Friedman's church-like Hammond. Mixing soul music with blues is nothing new, but you've managed to create something unique and special, a treat for a sensitive music fan." - Przemek Draheim, "The Voice of the Blues", Radio Sfera, Torun, Poland


Discography

Play for Love (2007) CD
Down at the Aloha (2001) CD
Faith (1998) CD
Deep Down in My Soul (1993) cassette

Photos

Bio

When you think of soul, blues, and R&B, what places come to mind? Memphis? Chicago? New Orleans? How about Vermont? No? Well Dave Keller is trying to change that.

Currently based in Montpelier, VT, Keller leads a blues trio and a six-piece soul band, as well as performing solo. He has paid his dues the old fashioned way -- spending over 1,000 nights singing and playing his heart out. At sweaty, dirt road bars. At swanky ski saloons. At huge summer festivals. At jam-packed dance clubs, city halls, college theaters, prison gymnasiums, and blues cruises. You name it. Chances are Keller has played there. And chances are those audiences still remember dancing like crazy to his deep soul singing, his gritty guitar licks, and his super-tight, super-funky band.

When Keller moved to the Green Mountain state in 1993, he had already spent many years learning his trade. Growing up in Worcester, MA, he picked up guitar in his teens, before falling for the blues and starting his own band in 1988, covering songs by B.B. King, Otis Rush, and the Neville Brothers. Soon after, Keller moved to Boston. Weekend nights found him backing up Reggie Taylor, an older blues/R&B musician who himself had backed up many a blues legend. Weekdays Keller hung out with acoustic blues master Paul Rishell, learning the roots of the blues. Weekend afternoons Keller put his skills to use, sitting in at blues jams throughout the city.

Eventually Keller tired of city life and moved to rural Washington state. There he decided to take up singing and songwriting. With few other blues musicians around, he immersed himself in homemade tapes of Ray Charles, Son House, and gospel quartets from the forties and fifties.

By 1993, when Keller moved to Vermont, his singing and playing had taken on a new depth. He began playing solo shows with his National steel guitar, garnered a loyal following, and released a cassette (Deep Down in My Soul) on his own label.

In 1996, he formed an electric trio to play clubs and larger venues, and in 1998 the band released its all-original debut CD, Faith. The CD sold very well locally (over 1,000 copies), and earned excellent reviews in the three major U.S. blues magazines. Doing all the promotion and distribution himself, Keller found that radio stations across the U.S., Europe, and even Australia were excited to play it. Of special note, deep soul legend Mighty Sam McClain liked the CD so much that he took Keller on as a protégé, telling the world, "Y'all check him out! He's for REAL!".

In November 2001, Keller released his second CD, Down at the Aloha, full of old school soul, horn-driven R&B, and slinky funk. Reviews were excellent, with Burlington, VT's arts paper, Seven Days, calling Keller, "a born storyteller," comparing his singing to that of Stevie Wonder, and calling the CD, "as good as it gets on the local music scene." Seven Days even picked it as one of the top 12 CDs produced in VT in 2001.

Since then, Keller has kept up a heavy performance schedule, backing up soul greats such as Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me") and Robert Ward ("Papa Was a Rolling Stone"), as well as founding his own 6-piece soul band with a repertoire featuring originals and soul classics.

His new CD, Play for Love, released November 2007, shows his growth as a songwriter, singer and musician. Covering a range of topics, both personal and political, Keller has released his most personal recording yet. The CD's thirteen songs are inspired by blues and soul, but don't fit easily into either category. The band on the CD includes Jan Schultz (Fender bass) and Brett Hoffman (drums) from Keller's blues trio, as well as Hammond organ whiz Ira Friedman. Early press has been quite good, with The Montpelier Bridge noting Keller's "inspired lyrics", "masterful guitar work", and "the jewel...his voice."