IF YOU GO
What: Dr. Dog featuring David Vander-velde and Quiet Life.
When: 9 p.m. today.
Where: Track 29, 1400 Market St.
As a teenager, David Vandervelde had a life-changing encounter in a garage in Peoria, Ill.
Then a ninth-grader, Vandervelde drove there from his home in Michigan with the members of his metal band to record at a friend's home studio.
Although he had obsessively been playing guitar and writing songs for a year, seeing sound engineering in action was eye-opening, he said.
"After I saw how the whole thing worked, I got more into it and got a four-track and started making recordings at home," he said. "What was cool was coming up with other parts to one guitar part. That was a pretty cool thing."
Growing up on a diet of early rock artists such as Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, Vandervelde, 27, has made a name for himself through his work on both sides of the control booth.
After graduating high school in 2003, he moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he opened his first studio. There he recorded himself and local artists. His work with indie-pop singer Brie Stoner attracted label attention, and when Stoner was signed to record a new album, Vandervelde went with her to Chicago, where he began collaborating with ex-Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett.
Their work together sparked a long-lasting friendship, and Vandervelde moved into Bennett's Pieholden Studios. There, he began recording the material that comprised his solo debut, "The Moonstation House Band."
Now based in Nashville, Vandervelde said some of that initial material, some involving contributions from Bennett, continues to find its way into his sets, such as the one he'll be performing tonight at Track 29 in support of Dr. Dog.
Vandervelde said he still loves manipulating the strings in the studio, but performing at shows offers him a chance to satisfy his passion for the spontaneity and feedback of the live experience.
Those are characteristics no amount of digital smoke and mirrors can replicate.
"I can do a pretty good fake band by myself," he said, laughing. "But when I can just fully get into playing guitar and playing with the band and singing my songs and having somebody else sing harmonies with me, that whole world just feels really, really fun and really natural to me right now."
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...
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