Reviews

What people are saying about Dave Keller

 

Named by About.com as one of six young blues artists to watch in 2010.  Read the article here.

"...it's time for the gifted soul-blues vocalist to take center stage and earn the audience he deserves with his skilled songwriting and powerful vocals."

-- Rev. Keith A. Gordon, About.com

"Keller proves a fine bandleader and incisive guitarist in the no-note-wasted-mold of Steve Cropper.  The title track - a stately gospel-inflected ballad - plays off sweet soul, intense blues, a bit of folk, and a host of haunted soul slow-burners, with Keller's expressive and sincere vocals always at the heart of things."

-- Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue

"Keller is as much a soul artist - think Clarence Carter, Chuck Jackson, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and especially Boz Scaggs - as a blues player, and wears both hats well.  While he is capable of impressive playing, Keller reins in his ego in service to the material; no superfluous solos, playing what's right when it's right.  Add songs with meaning and substance, and you get maximum results.

-- Rick Allen, Vintage Guitar

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

"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."
-- Przemek Draheim, "The Voice of the Blues", Radio Sfera, Torun, Poland

"Keller reveals an authentic soul man nature. His singing possesses the conviction of the African-Americans who have influenced him, but he doesn't look to imitate them. It's going to be necessary to put Vermont on the map of blues and soul."
-- Jacques Perin, Soul Bag, Paris, France

"It's very compelling -- a beautiful record with no pretensions."
-- Paul Rishell

"The best 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 Telecaster. From the moment his vocals first come in, you hear the soul oozing out. What becomes obvious by the end of Play for Love is that six years is too long to wait for such a talented Vermont artist to release a CD."
-- Adam King, Seven Days, Vermont's Arts Paper

"...inspired lyrics...masterful guitar work...and the jewel...his voice"
-- Michelle A.L. Singer, The Montpelier Bridge

"Dave Keller’s third CD, Play for Love, showcases the work of a mature blues musician. 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 CD is highly recommended."
-- Art Edelstein, The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus

"I love the CD. It just sounds great. It's so nice to hear somebody putting out a record with some space on it. And the title track is a classic. It should be covered by a hundred people. I just love it."
-- Mark LeGrand, honky-tonk 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 Manager, WGDR, Plainfield, VT

"Vermont blues and soul-meister Keller is in fine form on his new record. A stripped down approach-- keys, bass, and drums from his road-tested band-- points up Keller's emotive vocals and plenty of bold, stretched-out, bare wires electric guitar. Keller goes deeper with his songwriting than most modern blues artists dare to, touching on spirit, faith, and the lessons of life. All in all, this feels like a record that the artist made from way down deep inside."
-- Kevin Brown, The Spiel

"The band plays with real taste and energy."
-- Bruce Iglauer, President, Alligator Records

"Keller is a threat on several levels: He's a tough harp player, an interesting and gritty guitarist, a fine singer with a hint of Gregg Allman to his smoky tone, and a thinker whose interests stretch beyond typical blues boundaries. "West Helena Blues" starts from Rice Miller's stomping grounds and investigates the economic and racial issues behind environmental pollution. A soulful gospel detour on "Rope of Faith" and the Deltafied solo "Too Close for Comfort" are the changeups on a powerful contemporary blues album."
-- Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine

"Keller comes on pretty strong here, as songwriter and singer (especially on the soon - to - be - a - gospel - standard, "Rope of Faith") and as guitarist and bandleader throughout."
-- Blues Access Magazine

"A quartet, the Dave Keller Band is augmented by horns on five of this disc's ten tracks, including Eddie Shaw's sax on I Wanna Know and Blue Jean Gal. All of the songs are original; Keller plays guitar and harmonica in support of a musical vision that blends West Side Chicago blues with contemporary R&B and soul/blues. Adding variety are the hard gospel Rope of Faith and the darkly humorous Too Close for Comfort, an acoustic National steel-and-harp driven song that shows Keller's vocal and instrumental skills to best advantage."
-- Peter R Aschoff, Living Blues Magazine

"With "Faith", Keller has presented an effective, multi-faceted modern blues date. From the opening "I Wanna Know", which features the pairing of Keller's shuffling guitar with the thick tone of Eddie Shaw's tenor, it is obvious that this group favors a no-frills approach. While Keller's band supplies the necessary support, the leader displays a variety of talents, blowing a mean harmonica, backing his own vocals with choppy strumming, or unleashing a few ripping guitar solos. However, it is the disc's more traditional numbers that separate this session from the slew of blues recordings that hit the market each month. "Long Cold Spring" finds Keller picking a soulful solo over a nice mellow Motown-like horn arrangement; while "Rope of Faith" is an excellent stripped-down gospel piece employing just piano and vocals. "Too Close For Comfort" utilizes an earthy, unaccompanied acoustic guitar in the country-blues format. Inevitably there are a few dead spots but, overall, it is obvious that Keller has done his homework and understands that less is sometimes more."
-- Jon Morgan, Cadence Magazine

"The band describes its sound as honest, strong, and soulful. That's accurate, but too simple. There is a surging, funky creativity melded with a clear commitment to tradition that bodes well for future releases. Dave Keller is primed to expand his Green Mountain state exposure onto the national stage. Keep the Faith!"
-- B. Lee Cooper, Rock & Blues News Magazine

"Dave Keller rips shit up. One of the leaders in the Burlington blues circle, Dave Keller has just released his first CD effort, Faith, a killer blues album. Keller's playing is smooth, yet polluted, banging out soulful riffs on such tunes as "I Wanna Know" and "The First Time". A gritty, true funk style emerges on the tune, "When You Love Me". Keller even gets spiritual on the gospel-esque, "Rope of Faith".  The Dave Keller Blues Band plays blues the way it is supposed to be played: straight up, and down and dirty. This is real. Blues fans listen up."
-- Michael Forgione, Good Citizen Magazine

"He has honed his craft well. His fingerpicking is phenomenal and his resonant voice is captivating. His presence on stage is in great demand -- and for good reason. If you love the blues you will love him."
-- The Vox

"Keller's growling vocals and authentic rendering of Delta style guitar lines defy his youth."
-- Paul Kaza, The Burlington Free Press

"Rocking on the guitar, Dave got down and dirty by jumping off the stage and into the crowd. It was classic. By involving the fans with certain songs, the Dave Keller Blues Band was able to offer a show that was superior to many other acts. This became apparent when the crowd suddenly went wild."
-- Pete Zaranski, The Vermont Cynic

"Dave Keller is one talented man. He sings like a bluesbird, plays steely electric and dusky National steel guitar, and even contributes harp on occasion. Keller lives in Vermont and works the New England circuit. He writes thoughtful, socially-conscious lyrics, and looks toward his music as a source of higher meaning, hence the title. This isn't all serious stuff. Keller and his excellent band know how to kick butt too, with plenty of uptempo funk, gospel and R&B."
-- Bob Cianci, The River Reporter

"Strong soulful singing, tasty guitar licks and inspired lyrics."
-- Ben Sanders, Program Director for the Blues Channel

"The hardest working blues band in Burlington."
-- The Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington, VT

"Dave Keller had a great response, and it was the first night they played. So I hired them until April -- because they're excellent and fun."
-- Nicole Galipeau, Main Street Grill & Bar, Montpelier, VT
as quoted in The Times Argus

Original Blues and Soul

"Your music is just very, very beautiful." --Ronnie Earl, renowned blues guitarist

"He's for REAL. Y'all check him out!" --Mighty Sam McClain, deep soul legend

"It's going to be necessary to put Vermont on the map of blues and soul." --Jacques Perin, "Soul Bag", Paris, France

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