megan keely
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megan keely

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Deciduous Album Review"

Megan Keely recently tweeted: “Dear music, life is so much better with you in it.” Surely no one reading The Owl Mag would argue otherwise, however it should still be said that Megan’s latest album, Deciduous, hands down pertains to that declaration. Delicately churning from folk to country to blues, Deciduous’ common stroke in all nine tracks is precise poetic lyrics laced with consistent mellifluous vocals.

Despite being Bay Area born and raised, to concoct this album Keely ventured to Nashville, TN where she received some stellar help. Nathaniel Smith (Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck) plays cello on two wholesome tracks (“I Met You” and “Just Enough Time”). Brittany Haas (Crooked Still, Steve Martin) offers up her extraordinary fiddle skills on six songs. For the closing tune, however, Keely relies on no one but herself as she describes her time in Nashville and admits to falling in love with the country music capital.

The Chapel in San Francisco is hosting the album release party on Friday, July 12. - Amy Osgood, The Owl Mag


"Megan Keely at Viracocha"

Every time I hear Megan Keely, I remember that she has one of the most beautiful folk songwriter voices in San Francisco. She also plays a mean ukulele and kazoo. I first saw her at an Amnesia open mic and quickly saw that she totally out-classed the other performers. Of course, the other “performers” were weird spoken word artists, guys who just figured out how to play “Under the Bridge” on guitar, and shockingly bad insult comics. But still.

Meg got her start at the ever-popular open mic at Hotel Utah. She quickly caught a lot of folks attention and starting doing her own regular gig at Amnesia. Her delightful dad and bro are also in her band. I have no idea how they make that work. I couldn’t even play Legos with my brother for 20 minutes without kicking him in the nose.

The album is called “Acorn Collection” and Megan made acorn necklaces for the first 60 lucky buyers. I guarantee it’s the best acorn related purchase you’ll make this year. - Vic Wong


"Megan Keely Features at The Utah"

Hey the feature this week down at the ol' utah is Megan Keely. and yeah, I know, I should append a '!' to that last statement, and perhaps I will, but see my problem there is I fear once I start adding exclamation points to the end of Megan's name, I won't be able to stop and this email would become infinitely long and filled with '!'s and it will crash the internet because of the infinity. but hey, I probably shouldn't live my life ruled by my fears... so here goes: hey the feature this week is Megan Keely! !! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! ! !must stop exclaiming... must.. stop.. the humanity. phew - that was a close one. but see Megan is so good that once I start exclaiming, it's dangerously hard to stop. Megan sings with this casually gorgeous voice that could do just as well singing smoky jazz as it would singing whatever type of pop they want us to listen to this year, but she quite thankfully chooses to sing the types of songs that I love best... and I don't want to label her type of songs other than to say that she sings the good stuff - songs that feature her relaxed plucking and her stories and hit me right square in the heart. You know, the good stuff. - JJ Schultz


Discography

Sy Klopps Sessions (2008)
Acorn Collection (2010)
Deciduous (2013)

Photos

Bio

Bay Area born and raised, Megan has now gone out on a limb. She spent this winter in Nashville Tennessee, creating her second CD in collaboration with some of the finest musicians of her generation. The resulting ‘Deciduous’ is spectacular, from the first plucked fiddle riff to the last, exhausted sigh.

Megan’s path to Deciduous - a word that means “dropping leaves at maturity" - started comparatively late in life: she didn’t pick up an instrument until she went off to Cornell University to study Landscape Architecture. But those childhood years she spent on the road with her dad’s psychedelic rock band must have given her roots: by 2008 she and her brother Brandon had started recording collaborations in his Manhattan apartment, and by 2010 she had written the collection of songs that became “Acorn Collection" - the CD that earned her a spot on KFOG’s Local Scene Sampler and an invitation by T Bone Burnett to submit songs for potential inclusion in the blockbuster Hunger Games soundtrack. ‘Rules’, the song she and Brandon recorded for T Bone’s release (with the lovely Jayme Dee on vocals, the inimitable Jay Bellerose on drums, and Keefus Green on keys) also appears on Deciduous with Megan’s own voice lamenting post apocalyptic love in a dazzling arrangement.

All of the songs on Deciduous grew magically as Megan and Brandon collaborated in studio with their musical heroes including Brittany Haas (Crooked Still, Steve Martin), Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn, The Greencards), and Nathaniel Smith (Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck, Sarah Jarosz, Chris Thile). The songs go in many different directions, from cinematic to R&B to contemporary folk to late-night bar room to old-time ballad. And yet they weave together beautifully, with key changes and tempos and instrumentation that keep the focus on Megan’s heartfelt songwriting and delicate, honey-coated vocals.

If you’ve not wanted to take Acorn Collection out of your CD player, you now have a reason to do so: lean forward with your eyes closed and Deciduous will set your head spinning.

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Megan can play a solo troubadour set accompanying herself on guitar and ukulele, or fill the room with a full band featuring upright bass, guitar, drums, and a horns section.