peace (1K)
David Kesler - Too-K
David Kesler - Inscriptions

Inscriptions (1997)

Too-K (2000)

David Kesler

David Kesler-Inscription Records
1632 Cornell Avenue,
Berkeley California 94702.

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mois Benarroch

While searching for new names at CD Baby, a web site devoted to independent artists, I thought that if I had any intention to hear most singer-songwriters, I can just give up on the task. More than ninety percent of the names I browsed were unknown to me. The CD revolution brought pristine sound but also cheap production and an avalanche of artists looking for your attention.

Then I noticed a name that seemed familiar, David Kesler. Was this name the same Kesler that was on one of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine albums that I had been looking for so long. His song, Bliss, had blown me away ten years ago and I listened to it a thousand times. Fast Folk Magazine appeared for more than twenty years in New York and each issue had an LP, first on vinyl and then on CD, of singer songwriters performing their songs. The recordings have many great songs, which include artists like John Gorka and Suzanne Vega, as well as unknown artists. And I thought this one the best song of the whole recordings. I forced everyone who came to listen to my collection to listen to that song for years. I had started to think Kesler had just recorded one song.

So, thanks to the internet, I discovered he has released two CD's. His music is folk of the New York intellectual brand (think Richard Meyer or Jack Hardy) but what makes him so special is the way he goes form one verse to the next, without breaking the line, and making his music sound like a lullaby or an ancient hymn. Kesler is an architect in his every day life, but he has written more than three hundred songs waiting to be recorded. He lives a normal family life and that seems not be a good marketing scheme for someone in show business.

His songs are often joyous and optimistic and with titles like Caravan and The Garden you cannot miss the Van Morrison influence. But hints of Leonard Cohen, Rod MacDonald and Richard Shindell are also heard. Most songs on Inscriptions and Too-K are performed with a small band, percussion, bass, guitar and some other instruments. The rest are performed with guitar only. The production is a very high quality, especially for self produced CD, and the voice is rightly up front and delivers all its quality.

Look at all
The beautiful people
Central park on a hot summer's day
I have been walking alone in the city

Let's hope Kesler's music does not walk alone any longer. He is name to be discovered and nourished by all lovers of great folk music as well as pristine songwriting.

Track Lists:

Inscriptions (1997) Too-K (2000)
  • The Rake's Progress
  • Broken
  • Inscription
  • Promenade
  • Caravan
  • Blessed Art Thou
  • The Garden
  • Building
  • In That Town
  • Michael
  • The River Bend
  • Old Photographs
  • Carry Down
  • Bliss
  • Armageddon
  • To The Street
  • In That Light
  • Devil's Chair
  • Emptiness
  • One Million One
  • Stay Mine
  • Too
  • Full Moon
  • Two
  • Central Park
  • Midnight Dream
  • Time and a Half
  • Angeline

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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