"Rainy Day Soundtrack"
Searing lyrics, soaring vocals, driving rhythms strummed passionately from an acoustic guitar. Harmonies that lift hairs and bring up gooseflesh. Unexpected chord changes causing you to stop and LISTEN.
This is David Kav's newest CD, "Better You Here Than Alone."
I'm listening to it for the umpteenth time on a rainy day at the end of a rainy week, and it's the perfect soundtrack. Not because it's dreary or drab; in fact, it's just the opposite. It's got a bluesy feel that does what blues do best - take a bad situation and pour it out for the world to commisserate. His songs tell tales of love, deception, and lies lies lies, but they're sung with such passion and energy and committment that the message becomes more about learning and living than losing.
Singer/songwriters are expected to be "deep" in a cliched caricature of angst. Somehow, David seems to go beyond that cartoon image to a, perhaps, deeper place. Each song is musically individual enough so that he escapes a cookie-cutter oh-woe-is-me busker in the subway station sound. "Two Avenues" is a jaunty tribute to forks in the road. "Muse" is a ballad that crescendos gradually until it fairly pierces the heart, reminiscent of Ravel's Bolero. Jen Porter's guest appearance as the lead vocalist on "Please Let Me Be" brings a powerful woman's passion into the middle of this man's outpouring of regrets and missed opportunities. You hear a bit of a crack in his voice during the haunting "Yesterday's News" as he sings "I've never, never felt so near the sunshine."
What makes this not just a good but the perfect rainy day CD? The last song on the CD is a duet with Jen Porter. It opens with whistling, and before it's over you hear this line:
"All I know is that the sun is shining now through the gray sky and the clouds."
Catch David tonight at Goose Island for his CD release show. He doesn't go on until 1am, so there's plenty of time to wade through the streets.
Full disclosure: David thanks me in the liner notes of this CD. He has been a featured artist on The Local Tourist and as you can tell, I'm a fan! ~Theresa
David Kav: Extra!
Guitar Hero: David Kav’s Look Into My Eyes an Affecting Rock Ride
August 3, 2007. Artist: David Kav Album: Look Into My Eyes. “Trying to be one in a million” may be the opening lyric to the title track of David Kav's assured debut album Look Into My Eyes—an impassioned, ten song collection of melodic guitar folk rock full of catchy riffs and muscular, driving vocals—but to that ambitious end, the talented young singer-songwriter is distinguishing himself quite nicely. Kav describes his sound as a "male Indigo Girls with a dash of Morrissey," and he's pretty close to the mark on both counts with an impressively versatile guitar (acoustic and plugged) and an endearing vocal sensitivity recalling the edginess of early Rob Thomas, circa Tabitha's Secret. For a young musician, Kav displays a remarkable confidence and authority on guitar and in full voice, alternately restrained and convicted, unafraid of big emotions. As for Morrissey, he's certainly got a melancholy that seems all his own, spiked with an occasional dose of self-aware irony ("I am a messiah for only 10 minutes more”). Yet Kav is distinctly himself here. From the catchy title tune to the soaring vocals of These Neon Lights, from the contemplative, guitar instrumental An Angel’s Dance to the scaled-down, harmonica hymn open to “I’m Still Falling,” and topped off with a rousing live cover of The Box Tops’ 60s classic “The Letter,” Look Into My Eyes plays like a great, one-too-many, bleary-eyed, soul search album for anyone who might have lost the girl somewhere along the way but has yet to find himself. The best thing about David Kav’s affecting Look Into My Eyes is the promise of what is yet to come (his second album is in the works). In an American pop music world of increasingly vapid posers and American Idol castoffs, Kav’s personal portrait of the artist as a very talented young man is the perfect antidote, a truth serum for listeners looking for that one in a million: a young singer-songwriter putting the focus back where it belongs—lyrics, heart and some damn good guitar. -LCS.Chicago
14 July 2007
When you think of nightlife in Chicago’s Gold Coast, what comes to mind may be shot-and-beer places like Shenannigan’s and Mother’s, orÂ Viagra TriangleÂ upscale spots like Tavern On Rush, or possibly Jilly’s Piano Bar.
Hopefully Underground Wonder Bar also makes an appearance in your thought process. Since 1989 owner Lonie Walker’s clubÂ has been hosting musicians every single night, and she even performs three days a week. It’s a veritable breeding ground for local talent, and she continues to foster that with her annual Wonder Talent Search.
I went this past Monday. Besides the fact that I love live music, I wanted to support David Kav. He was recently featured on TLT and he’s an energetic, charismatic, and passionate performer. His original pieces are diverse and emotional. One of the things I truly enjoy about David’s performance is the contrast between his stature and his projection. He’s of slight build, so you expect him to have a softer sound. Until he belts out his first lyrics and you just think “Wow! That came out of him?” He’s not all bombastic powerhouse vocals, though. “Yesteray’s [sic] News” is a haunting, melancholy song that gives me goosebumbs [sic]. Combine that with his Bare Naked Ladies-like sound and his considerable talent on the guitar and there’s an artist I want to see again and again.
Since Monday was a talent search, each artist could only perform for twenty minutes. As much as I love to see David, I was also quite impressed with a few of the other contestants.
When Keoki performed, he also contradicted my initial impression. With curly black hair and an orange County Jail t-shirt, he looked like a tough guy until he got to the mic. He’s got a raspy and sensual voice that sounds more like a balladeer’s.
Even though the slots for the talent search are booked, UWB’s website invites hopefulls to show up because there might be no-shows. Joanna Wood was able to perform because of that. Although obviously nervous at suddenly being thrust on-stage, her Celtic-like quick vibrato and mournful melodies brought out the maudlin Irish in me.
One of my favorite aspects of the evening was that people actually listened to the artists. The audience showed respect and realized that it takes guts to get up on stage and perform in front of a bunch of strangers. Even people at the bar, which is at the entrance opposite from the stage, turned to face the musicians and conversations stopped. Well, most conversations. There was one lovely lady who decided that she needed to gossip on her cell phone (”but he’s married!”). She was talking so loudly she could be heard all through the bar. Granted, it’s a small place, but her attitude was so oblivious she seemed to be offended that she couldn’t be heard over the musicians.
What happened next is why Underground Wonder Bar is now my favorite spot to see live music. She was asked to keep her conversation down or leave.
There was another no-show at the end, so Jen Porter finished up. Jen won the search five years ago and now hosts it. (She’s also the featured artist this week on The Local Tourist.) When she sat down at the piano David Kav was so excited he was literally bouncing in his chair. I quickly understood why.
You can tell she’s been doing this for awhile. She has sheer power and confidence. As an emcee she was OK. She encouraged the other artists, made quick work of the introductions, and kept them within their time slots. But as soon as she started singing I thought of one word -
Jen Porter sings like a woman who was born to it, and you can’t imagine her doing anything else.
After her performance she and David chatted. They’re going to be working together on an uncoming project. I can’t wait to hear that collaboration!
The talent search continues through July. Each night two artists are chosen to go to the finals (David wasn’t chosen that night, and personally I feel he got robbed) on July 30.
Underground Wonder Bar
10 E Walton
REVIEWS OF LIVE SHOWS AND OF "LOOK INTO MY EYES":
"... Kav’s personal portrait of the artist as a very talented young man is the perfect antidote, a truth serum for listeners looking for that one in a million: a young singer-songwriter putting the focus back where it belongs—lyrics, heart and some damn good guitar. -LCS.Chicago"
"One of the things I truly enjoy about David’s performance is the contrast between his stature and his projection. He’s of slight build, so you expect him to have a softer sound. Until he belts out his first lyrics and you just think "Wow! That came out of him?” ... Combine that with his Bare Naked Ladies-like sound and his considerable talent on the guitar and there’s an artist I want to see again and again." - Theresa Carter of thelocaltourist.com
"This CD [Look Into My Eyes] has a tremendous amount of heart and soul in it. Words and music have an undeniable authenticity, which is what makes it such a pleasure to listen to again and again. It is an important piece of work." - Mark Shallow
"Where many singer-songwriters come across as pretentious, "Look Into My Eyes" rises above and feels quite genuine. Listening to the CD you are transported to an intimate performance where you're the only one in the audience. The songs are restrained without compromising any emotion and my personal faves so far are "These Neon Lights" and "I'm Still Falling." - Durrell Dawson
Musician rides Amtrak for charity
By By Travis Bean
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Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
From Chicago to Memphis, one man is raising money for charity with his guitar and a train ticket.
David Kav, a musician from Chicago, said he boarded the Amtrak in Chicago on Tuesday and began his Writing The Rails tour. He will be performing in various cities in Illinois en route to his final destination in Memphis, Tenn., he said.
Kav said he is raising money through his shows and all money would go toward the St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. He said he hopes the tour will be the first of many and he will be able to raise money for other charities.
“Every town we are looking into helping out a charity,” Kav said. “What appealed to us about St. Jude’s was its pediatric care. Anything about children has always tugged on my heartstrings.”
Leah Jones, owner of Natiiv Arts and Media, said Kav is one of her clients. She said when she first met with Kav, she had a one-on-one brainstorming session with him and suggested the tour.
“We were sitting there, and I said, ‘You know I see you and your guitar on a train,” Jones said.
Jones said Kav thought about it and decided to start planning the tour over the summer. She said Amtrak chose not to sponsor the event, but the tour may convince Amtrak to sponsor future tours. New artists would be used for other tours in order to reach out to more charities, she said.
Theresa Carter, a Chicago native who runs thelocaltourist.com, is documenting the event with photos and video for the event’s Web site.
“A trip like this, it needs to be documented,” Carter said.
Carter said Amtrak has been very cooperative with the event. She said she feels pressure to do her job well so the event can be repeated for a different charity.
“If I do a good job at recording this, documenting it and creating excitement then (Amtrak) is more likely to sponsor future tours,” Carter said.
Kav said his journey kicked off at Maui Wowi, a coffee shop in Chicago. He said he performed Tuesday at the Aroma Café in Champaign and Wednesday at Mac’s Uptowner Cellar in Charleston. He will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Longbranch Coffeehouse.
Kav said he would end his tour Saturday in Memphis at the St. Jude’s Memphis Marathon, where he will be playing along the route of the race. He said he would hold a private concert Sunday for patients of St. Jude’s and their parents. Kav said he has had to adapt to different environments during his tour. While the vibe was more upbeat in Chicago, he said it was much more subdued in Champaign because students were studying for finals. Also, he had hoped to perform on the train rides, but he did not feel the mood was right.
“I just go with the flow,” Kav said. “The flow has not called me to play on the train just yet. But that may change.”
Apart from receiving recognition, Kav said he would use the Writing the Rails experience to inspire songs for his next album. In addition, he said he hopes the experience will allow him to make some human connections.
“I’m looking to get something I didn’t expect,” Kav said. “And so far that’s what I’m getting.”