Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Dave Keller's got Soul
Dave Keller's last album won the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge Best Self-Produced CD Award in 2012. Backed by The Revelations and produced by Bob Perry, Where I'm Coming From wasn't a Blues album, it was a Soul album. Obviously a huge fan of the music, Dave sings his heart out on covers of some of the greatest Southern Soul tunes of all time, no doubt introducing songs originally performed by the likes of O.V. Wright, James Carr, and Clarence Carter to a whole new generation of listeners. His take on one of my own personal favorites, Darryl Carter and Bobby Womack's classic More Than I Can Stand, stays pretty close to the Chips Moman produced original until Perry and The Revelations bring things into the present day and funk things up towards the end... very cool stuff!
So how do you follow an award winning album that had also climbed to #2 on the Blues charts on Sirius XM?
Go to Memphis, of course.
Concrete Blues, with our friend Boo Mitchell down at Royal Studios in 2011, knew it would be a perfect fit for Dave Keller as well. Dave liked the idea so much he launched his own Kickstarter Project to fund the journey, and cut six tracks down on Willie Mitchell Boulevard this past February.
Darryl Carter to co-write this great song we have here with Dave. As I said about Darryl last year: "In a way, perhaps that has been his greatest strength, the rare ability to truly collaborate with other people, and create something greater than the sum of its parts." Which is something (he informed me just last week) that he learned from his mentor Chips Moman.
Blind, Crippled and Crazy at Royal some forty years before - he and Dave "wrote that song together... in about 25 or 30 minutes, and we cut it that same day." With a horn chart that could have been written by James Mitchell, Dave's own stinging guitar work, and all those Hodges in the house, "This one," as Darryl said, "is a hit!"
Thom Gilbert (who would also provide the cover photo for the album) brought Bobby Bland down to Royal for a photo shoot as part of his Stax Records Memphis Music Project "Soul Men". After he helped Bobby make his way back to the control room, Dave sat there pretty much in awe as Bobby listened to the playback, then gave him a few pointers on how best to go about singing it. How very cool is that? "absolute best record" I ever put up on The B Side) cut with The Revelations back at their home base in Brooklyn, making Soul Changes an all-around must have that reflects the incredible talent of all involved.
In the liner notes, Keller quotes the great Louis L'Amour; "There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."
I am right there with that.