Album Release Brewing for Local Band
By Cheryl A. Cuddahy
Keith McLinden, Andrew Caouette, and Erik Von Geldern are full-time professionals who take their careers and families seriously, but music is a passion that fuels them.
And with that passion, “The Keith McLinden Project” was produced and they will celebrate the release of their new album, “One Word Too Many.” from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at The Wachusett Brew Yard, 175 State Road East, Westminster. The album will be available on CD as well as some other band merchandise.
“We are proud of the album and excited to share it with our friends, family, and everyone else willing to listen to some new music,” said McLinden. “We will perform most of the album live and we’d love it if people spent some time with the recording as well.”
McLinden and Caouette are both teachers at Monty Tech, where they teach history and English language arts, respectively. Von Geldern works in the private sector and runs Carriage House Studios with his partner Don Schweihofer.
“Andrew and I have classrooms across the hall from each other and we just bonded over our passion for teaching and music,” said McLinden.
McLinden said he asked Caouette to play drums on his solo album, “The Ballad of Willie McCall,” and once the album was complete, the duo put together a full band to perform the album.
“Following a few lineup changes, including some excellent local musicians, we found Erik to play bass guitar,” he adds. “Erik brought excellent musicianship to the band. He is a skilled music engineer and producer.”
The trio worked over several months on the new album fitting studio sessions in between their commitments to day jobs and family, with the reality of work and family slowing down progress on the album.
“The band often joked about it on stage,” McLinden smiles. “We will have an album out by the end of 2017, or the beginning of 2018, or the fall, or 2020. But, with all of the realities of a busy life, making a high quality, cohesive, and interesting musical statement remained a priority.”
Rehearsals, recording sessions, and live performances include a lot of laughter and an easy working relationship, “that is reflected in the music and makes it easier to put in the time it takes to have a good band and creative album,” McLinden said.
The creative process has been an outlet that helps keep them balanced.
“Erik’s contributions of bass, keyboards, saxophone, didgeridoo, and his production skills have raised the band’s sound to a new level,” said McLinden. “Andrew’s exceptional talent and vast experience on drums and percussion give the band a strong feel in the pocket and the ability to play comfortably in odd time signatures.”
McLinden said his ‘out of the box’ songwriting has benefited from the strength and chemistry of the trio.
“I enjoy the creative process of writing music and lyrics. It is even better now that I have added these exceptional musicians to make my compositions come to life,” said McLinden.
The trio has honed their craft playing covers and originals around central Massachusetts.
“Set lists have included everything from Zeppelin to a one-time cover of Backstreet Boys with a heavy dose of the Beatles and Radiohead,” McLinden adds. “The original music is a reflection of the band’s strong musicianship, the three unique personalities, and large variety of influences.”
So what’s in the future for KMP?
“We plan to have a lot more fun!” McLinden said quickly. “The band has already started bouncing around songs and ideas that will be part of the next recording project.”
They are looking forward to interesting live performance opportunities. They will make their debut at Strong Style Coffee in Fitchburg on Jan. 11 and return to Classics Pub in Leominster on Jan. 26.
“The band is unique in that we are all able to break out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves stylistically and technically,” said Caouette. “I appreciate Keith giving me the opportunity to make the drums a feature at times, giving us a different sound from other bands in the area.”
The album is a real journey in texture, imagery, and dynamics and has a special meaning to McLinden.
“My father always reminded me, and his many students, to ‘walk the talk,’” explains McLinden. “I wasn’t conscious of it, but that message has become a theme in the lyrics.”
“We really love to play this music and want to make it a fun party,” said Caouette. “I am very excited to play this venue and love that we can do it in my hometown.”
“We have made an interesting record,” said Von Geldern. “I am looking forward to seeing how people react to it.”
McLinden adds to their sentiments.
“It’s fun. Once you have played music and really locked in with other musicians you always crave that feeling. So, having a band is just part of life for us.”
For more information on the band, you are welcome to visit their website at www.kmpmusic.com ; their single “Path Home” is available on iTunes, Amazon and YouTube.