About Small Sur
Small Sur songwriter Bob Keal grew up on a farm outside of Brookings, South Dakota. He spent most of his time outdoors exploring nearby oft-flooded ditches and fields in search of river carp, old liquor bottles, and garter snakes. Although he’s still fond of carp, Keal eventually lost interest in old bottles and grew rather frightened of snakes, so at the age of 19 and on the heels of his father’s death he abandoned his life in the Midwest for the golden shores of California.
Herein lies the soil from which Small Sur rises. Whether paying homage to the pastoral, lucid rhythms of summers in South Dakota or times spent with friends on the beaches and cliffs of the Pacific, their music is deeply personal -- bathed in seas and sunsets, reservoirs and rivers, forests and fields. Keal, now 26 and residing in Baltimore, Maryland, has spent the past couple of years teaching kindergarten by day and sharing his songs by night alongside a rotating cast of friends, including current co-conspirators Andy Abelow (Saxophone/Banjo), Scott Dennison (Bass), Julianne Nelson (Vocals), and Austin Stahl (Percussion).
About We Live In Houses Made of Wood
Available August 19, 2008 on Tender Loving Empire, Small Sur’s debut full-length, We Live in Houses Made of Wood, finds the band at their most nostalgic, meandering patiently among lush, reverb-drenched harmonies, and delicate, spare arrangements. Keal’s vocals, equal parts tender and haunting, are the centerpiece throughout, and his lyrics evoke both Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and the childlike wonder found in the assorted scribblings of Little Wings’ frontman Kyle Field.
Mixed by Adam Cooke and mastered by Rob Girardi (whose collective credits include Arbouretum, Beach House, and Celebration), the record features instrumental and vocal contributions from members of Wye Oak (Merge Records), Madagascar (Western Vinyl), and Private Eleanor (The Beechfields).
Small Sur is: (left to right)
“Refreshingly pure and confident in style.”
- Greg Szeto / Aural States
“A quiet force to be reckoned with…this is one of the best live bands in Baltimore right now.”
- Joy Davis / SĒN Baltimore Magazine