Scott Rednor’s band Brothers Keeper hits Vilar stage for Ghost Light Sessions Thursday
Guitarist Scott Rednor and drummer John Michel ate lunch in Shakedown Bar in Vail, taking a quick break from cutting final drum tracks for an upcoming Brothers Keeper album. The band, rounded out by bassist Michael Jude, is playing this week’s Vilar Performing Arts Center’s Ghost Light Sessions, the series of live-streamed Thursday night concerts that has been happening weekly since May 7.
Starting this week, the Vilar is selling a limited number of tickets to the show. A small, socially-distant gathering will watch the band as it records the concert. The Vilar is following all Eagle County guidelines and then some — small purses only, no concessions and others.
Brothers Keeper is naturally excited to get back on stage. But during quarantine, like many musicians, they’ve been spending a lot more time in the studio. They have 20 new songs, and are thinking about doing a double album with so much material.
“We’re going to be performing all of our new music,” Rednor said of the Ghost Light show.
Over the past six weeks, Brothers Keeper has been workshopping songs for the new album, and the tracks are being mixed by a Grammy-winning sound engineer.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a musician that hasn’t missed the energy and power of a true live stage performance. But for Brothers Keeper — the band’s typical live schedule picks back up this Saturday, June 27 with inaugural 6:30 and 10 p.m. shows at Shakedown, which Rednor owns — having a break from the constant go-go-go of a live schedule has been welcome.
“We’re really stoked to have a break from that. The job here is focused on the people: what do the people want? We’re playing all the upbeat stuff, and that starts to filter into your writing. We’ve said so many times, ‘Oh, we gotta write upbeat stuff for the club.’ It’s infecting your thoughts and your creativity,” Rednor said.
Since Rednor owns Shakedown, he’s able to use the venue as a recording space. The band has been heading in recently to cut tracks from the stage, which gives the recorded music a live quality that can’t be achieved in a typical insulated sound booth.
“We’ve had the chance to just write,” he said. “It’s about the process.”
Before cutting any originals, Rednor said, “let’s start with a cover.” He chose “Drive” by The Cars, which also has some other friends on the track. That gave the band the chance to streamline their methods and really get down to business churning out originals.
“It’s without any of the infections of the mind, of what people want,” he said. “It’s ‘What does this song want?’ And we were given the time to sit there, with a lot instruments, and figure out what the song wants. Not what’s close to us, or ‘What do you know how to play?’ It’s just taking the time. It’s an organic process.”
Rednor compared the band’s current recording process to Pink Floyd hanging out in the studio with sounds, and when you watch the 1972 concert documentary “Live at Pompeii,” you can see some of those same things that would later become iconic in “The Dark Side of the Moon.” There are also similarities to The Beatles’ writing many of the tracks on 1968’s “The White Album” while on a transcendental meditation retreat in India.
And when the time comes to play these tracks for the Vilar audience, in person and virtually, Rednor is excited to showcase his new work.
“I think this album, with the free approach that we’ve gone at it, we’ve really written everything and recorded it: in our hearts, it’s really us,” he said.
The band is excited to provide a big service to the community by staging a performance.
“We’re blessed,” drummer Michel said.
To access the stream
Visit vilarpac.org/streaming. The stream starts at 7 p.m. today.