Kevin Stetz

Kevin Stetz


Honest songs of love and war in an emotional and lyrical folk tradition.


Throughout the year 2004, singer/songwriter Kevin Stetz wrote plenty of songs of both a personal and topical nature. Near the close of the year, he entered Joshua Tree, California's Nomadhouse studio with songwriter/producer Ted Quinn to record what became Kevin Stetz Presents: Songs for Oxygen, his solo studio debut.

After a few years of recording his indie-folk songs on a cheap 4-track, Kevin had decided that these new songs were worthy of a better quality recording and better packaging than his earlier home-made demos. He recruited Quinn, the center point of the local burgeoning Joshua Tree music scene, as producer based on their friendship and mutual love of each others work.

As a departure from his earlier recordings, Songs For Oxygen is built on collaborations to create an album full of many different sounds, without ever leaving the intimate realm of the singer/songwriter. "Everything's Gone Down" and "Just Like Home" both exist in a solemn universe, as the sound of a perfect stranger playing songs in the dark. You can hear breaths being drawn between words and taps of fingers against the acoustic guitar body, but the album also travels deeper into the listener's mind, revealing layer upon layer of sounds.

During the sessions, a range of musicians had dropped in to Nomadhouse to provide a backdrop to Kevin's vivid words. Banjo, mandolin, strumstick, and ukelele put "Poisoned Wells & Burning Flags" out on a front porch in the deep south. Clive Wright's electric guitar work and Monet Blair's plaintive vocal help create the perfect atmosphere for the cornerstone track "Oxygen." The choir on the anti-war anthem "We Will Never be the Same", including Alternative-Americana queen Victoria Williams with Wooden Nickel singers Tal Hurley, Sue Bradley and Quinn, lends comfort to the troubled mind of a young man, too wise for his young years.

Kevin Stetz grew up in the Southern California desert where Gram Parsons found his inspiration and his demise. Stetz' work is informed by that time in Southern California, when other young songwriters, shared his same concerns of love and war.

Support on Songs for Oxygen includes: Arjuna, Bingo (Bingo Band, Golden Delicious), Monet Blair, Sue Bradley (Wooden Nickel), Paul Brainard (Richmond Fontaine), Carol Ann Crawford (Thrift Store All-Stars, Wild Ass Ranchers), Tal Hurley (Thrift Store All-Stars, Wooden Nickel), Ted Quinn (Wooden Nickel, IRockAndRoll and Tree), Victoria Willams (Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter, Thrift Store All-Stars), and Clive Wright


Poisoned Wells & Burning Flags

Written By: Kevin Edward Stetz

I haven't seen lights like the ones in my dreams last night
Since I feared poisoned wells and burning flags
Don't drink the water, because it was always bad
I haven't heard words whispered high like little birds
Since I wrote broken hearts and empty souls
"Don't drink the water," is what I was always told
I'll never fight a war when there's nothing worth fighting for
But I've seen bloody shoes and missing links
Don't drink the water, it was never meant to drink

Now there's trouble across the river
But I can't swim to get me there
I'm hoping for a rainy storm to drift me away
Yeah, there's trouble across the river
But I can't swim to get me there
I'm hoping for the end of oxygen in the air

I haven't seen drunks like the kids I knew growing up
They never knew open hearts or open dreams
Don't drink the water if you come across the stream
I haven't had sores like the second time I was born
Since I feared endless wars with body bags
Don't drink the water, even if it's all you have
I've never lost a thought like the words from last night that I dropped
'Cause I woke up feeling lost and without blood
Don't drink the water, 'cause it will never breathe love


The Moon During the Day - LP - 2004
Songs for Oxygen - LP - 2005

Set List

Latest setlist:
From Joshua Tree
Tomorrow's Blues
Like a Fallen Angel
Car Crash Corner
Our Songs to be Our Sound
When the Clouds Embrace the Stars
Poisoned Wells & Burning Flags
New York in September
I Won't Get Out Alive.

I've played sets from 20min to 2 hours. I've occasionally done some covers by artists like Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, Ryan Adams, and the Kinks, but mostly stick to my own original material.