Dave Keller


Dave Keller, based in Montpelier, VT, has steadily built a national reputation as a top notch soul/blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. He is a two-time Blues Music Award (BMA) nominee. Fueled by his love of deep Southern soul and blues, Keller’s performances ring out with passion, integrity, and an ability to break down the barriers between performer and audience.

His new album, You Get What You Give: Duets (Tastee-Tone Records, Dec. 2020), hit #6 on the Living Blues radio chart (the gold standard for soul and blues airplay). It features some of the finest singers in the roots music world (Joe Louis Walker, Trudy Lynn, Johnny Rawls, Annika Chambers, Dawn Tyler Watson, etc.) joining Keller on a batch of his brand new original songs. All money from album sales is being donated to groups working for racial justice and equity.

In early 2020, Keller released his first-ever live album, Live At The Killer Guitar Thriller! (Tastee-Tone Records), which won the Tammie Award for Best Album of the Year. His previous studio CD, Every Soul’s a Star was produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tower of Power), and released on esteemed soul/blues label Catfood Records. It earned a 2019 BMA nomination for Best Soul Blues Album, and hit #1 on the Roots Music Report Soul Blues chart.

 

The press has been particularly enthusiastic. AXS.com named Keller one of “The Best 13 Blues Singers,” and he has been featured in USA Today’s notable songs of the week. France’s renowned Soul Bag recently featured Keller in a full-page interview. Elmore magazine calls Keller, “a magnificent soul singer, his luxuriant voice rising flawlessly to every occasion.” And U.S. standard bearer Living Blues calls Keller’s music “moving and powerful…confirms his rightful place in the soul universe…Steve Cropper-like riffs and soaring vocals…songwriting genius…straight-to-the-heart soul.”

Based in Vermont since 1993, Keller grew up in Massachusetts where he picked up guitar at age 16, but amazingly, didn’t begin singing in public until age 20. Discovered by legendary blues guitarist Ronnie Earl (Keller guested on Earl’s BMA-nominated 2010 album Living In the Light), Keller learned his art firsthand from some of the deepest soul and blues musicians: Johnny Rawls, Robert Ward, Paul Rishell, and Mighty Sam McClain.

He has released nine CDs, including the 2014 BMA-nominated Soul Changes, recorded with Al Green’s original Hi Rhythm Section in Memphis. Keller is also the 2012 winner of the international Blues Challenge’s Best Self-Released CD Award. He has performed at the largest blues festivals in the East (e.g., PA Blues Fest, North Atlantic Blues Fest), and top venues such as B.B. King’s (Memphis) and Biscuits and Blues (S.F., CA).

Keller’s current band includes Ira Friedman (keys), Jay Gleason (drums), and Alex Budney (bass). These master musicians bring a funky spontaneity and contagious energy to each performance, expanding upon the recorded versions of Keller’s songs.

Awards

2019 Nominee Blues Music Award
Best Soul Blues Album

2017 Nominee Blues Blast Music Awards
Best Soul/Blues CD of the Year, Music Magazine Awards

2017 Nominee Blues Blast Music Award
Best Soul Blues Album

2017 Nominee Best Blues Album of the Year
Downbeat Magazine Reader’s Awards

2014 Nominee Blues Music Award
Best Soul Blues Album of the Year, Soul Changes

2012 Winner of the Granite State Blues Challenge

Granite State Blues Challenge

Discography

2016 Right Back Atcha
2014 Soul Changes
2011 Where I’m Coming From
2009 Living in the Light
2009 Play for Love
2001 Down at the Aloha
1998 Faith
1993 Deep Down in My Soul

Press

4 stars ~ Downbeat

“a magnificent soul singer” ~ Elmore Magazine

“Steve Cropper-like guitar and soaring vocals…songwriting genius…infectious rhythms…straight-to-the-heart soul” ~ Living Blues

“All night, gut bucket, roadhouse soul that doesn’t stop just because the sun is coming up.” –Midwest Record

“Stunning.” –Michael Kinsman, Blues Revue

“His soul can send chills right through you.” — Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine

“It’s one of the best records I’ve ever heard.” — Ronnie Earl, legendary blues guitarist

“The Playlist — one of 10 intriguing tracks found in the week’s listening: ’17 Years’, Dave Keller – Recorded with vets from Hi and Stax, this Keller (co-written) tune evokes soul’s ’60s heyday.” — Jerry Shriver, USA TODAY

“Every song on here is a gem.” — Richie, WFOS, Chesapeake, VA

“#1 with a bullet! “17 Years” – Most requested song of the week.” — Richard Carr, CKIA, Quebec City, QC, CANADA

4 out of 5 stars — Julien Crue, Soul Bag, Paris, FRANCE

“For lovers of soul music, this is an absolute must.” — Freddy Celis, Rootstime, BELGIUM

“Soul Changes is, hands down, my favorite record of this year. Son of a gun, you’ve got pure soul running through your veins. This record swoops, hollers, makes me cry, makes me smile, and simply moves me.” — Brett Fleming, WEVL, Memphis, TN

“Arguably, this backing band represents the greatest collection of soul musicians alive today. “17 Years” is tormented, tortured soul at its best. The strength of this CD will have me re-visiting past Keller albums to see what I’ve been missing.” — Bill Mitchell, Blues Bytes

“A superb songwriter and storyteller… Over the years I have heard them all, from the giants to the legends and Dave Keller has what it takes to join their ranks. He is, without question, the real deal, pouring it out with heart, soul and a power that emanates from the deepest regions of the heart. This is the finest soul I’ve heard since the early days. Give him a listen…you won’t be disappointed.” — Bill Wilson, Billtown Blues

“…devastatingly powerful…Soul Changes proves again that Keller is a real deal soul man and tasteful guitarist.” — Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine

“His honeyed-and-whiskeyed voice makes him sound like a man who has known hurt and found redemption… he inhabits the songs more than just sings them…Keller evokes the period when soul stood for something real, unlike the polished confections of pop.” — Steve Horowitz, PopMatters