Kelley Stoltz at High Dive, Seattle | 4 May 2008
I was beginning to think that the only people that new of Kelley Stoltz were a hand full of music geeks and advertising people. to say the shows were sparsely the last two times I’d seen him here attended would be generous . For his show at the Crocodile back in April of last year the audience consisted of a handful of people and the Essex Green who played earlier. I’m glad to see that the guy is getting a little more love these days. Sunday night he was the opening act for Vetiver, but you wouldn’t have known it buy the number of people and the enthusiasm they displayed. At the end of his short 45 minute set people were yelling for more.
I guess that’s what a few commercials (hello Marriott and Volvo)playing your songs will do, or maybe he’s just starting to break through. In any event, Stoltz has grown his band to six members, with a full time keyboard player and a guy playing the saxophone and theremin. They ping-ponged back and forth between songs from Below the Branches and the new Circular Sounds nary leaving out a favorite except for To Speak to the Girl (I swear it’s some long lost Kinks song). I thought he was going to play it when he said the next song contains the best bass line I’ve ever written. Apparently that honor goes to a new song about watches which a bouncy bass line similar to To Speak to the Girl. Watching this show, I was amazed at how tight Stoltz and his band sound, easily improvising a song about the bassist who is a State Stradelin’ Guy because he was born on the state line in Kansas City. Stoltz and his band emanate this kind of antique glow rock n’ roll that may seem like a throwback to the 60’s but it’s done with such craftsmanship that while watching them play you get a rush that feels like it’s brand new and right now.