Dave Keller Wins The Blues Foundation’s 2012 –
“Best Self-Produced CD Award With Deep Soul Gem”
Taught by Paul Rishell, employed by Ronnie Earl, mentored by Mighty Sam McClain, protégé of Johnny Rawls, Keller’s ‘Where I’m Coming From’ mined from remarkable soul-blues lineage, establishes him as leading voice in future of soul music.
Blues Foundation judges crowned ‘Where I’m Coming From’ by Dave Keller of the Rhode Island Rhythm & Blues Preservation Society as the 2012 Best Self-Produced CD. Keller’s CD was chosen from the seventy-four submissions from blues societies around the globe. Keller joins past winners Robin Rogers, Roxy Perry, Nathan James & Ben Hernandez and more.
A typically humble yet elated Keller explains “The whole project started after hearing the production work on The Bleeding Edge by The Revelations featuring Tre’ Williams. I was thinking about my next recording and that CD really jumped out of my speakers. Full, funky, and extremely soulful, reminding me of Hi Records from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, but with modern clarity and presence.”
Keller contacted The Bleeding Edge’s producer Bob Perry, unaware of his chart-topping albums by artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Brian McKnight, and Foxy Brown, only knowing he loved the sound and feel of The Revelations’ CD. When Perry responded, it was with a curveball. “I had planned to record a fourth all-original CD,” Keller says, “but Bob suggested tackling soul songs that should’ve been classics, but somehow slipped through the cracks.” Thank goodness he did – it seems to be an award-winning decision!
A distinguished group of judges from five blues record labels selected ‘Where I’m Coming From’ based on collective evaluation of (1) Blues Content, (2) Musical Performance, (3) Audio Quality of the Presentation, (4) Cover Art and Design and (5) Credits and Liner Information.
Keller’s ‘Blues Content’ was the selection of semi-obscure soul and blues songs close to his and Perry’s hearts. The ‘Musical Performance’ was provided by Keller’s vocals and guitar and complemented by Brooklyn based soulmasters The Revelations featuring Tre’ Williams. The ‘Audio Quality of the Presentation’ was thanks to aforementioned producer Bob Perry and engineer Arnold Mischkulnig.” ‘Cover Art and Design’ by Paul Grosso.
The ‘Credits and Liner Information’ succinctly reflect Keller’s humility and gratitude. Influences listed are Bobby Womack, Syl Johnson, The Patterson Twins, David & Jimmy Ruffin, Percy Sledge, O.V. Wright, Clarence Carter, Robert Ward, J.J. Barnes, James Carr, Otis Clay and Arthur Alexander.
Since 2005 The Blues Foundation has celebrated up and coming artists by bestowing an annual award for the “Best Self–Produced CD” of the year. It is a nascent and exciting award to complement the thirty-two and twenty-eight years of the Blues Music Awards (BMAs) and International Blues Challenge (IBCs) respectively.
As the winner of this year’s Best Self-Produced CD, Dave Keller receives $750 cash, airplay on Sirius XM’s BB King’s Bluesville, Music Choice on cable and satellite TV, a Blues Breaker status on The House of Blues Radio Show with Elwood Blues, and on various radio programs hosted by the judges of the first two rounds.
With Where I’m Coming From as his award-winning calling card, it’s clear that Dave Keller is grateful and qualified to be a contemporary voice in carrying soul music forward, helping to create the next generation of fans.