Kelli Schaefer is not an artist who is eager to talk about her craft in public. She tends to let her songs do the talking and, to be honest, they say more than any interview could reveal. Last year Amigo/Amiga Recordings released her debut full-length Ghost of the Beast, a collection of previously released singles that displayed a spectrum of intense emotion. On that album, Schaefer embraces the stark spaces of her songs as readily as she does the impassioned moments she fills with her always soulful, sometimes pained and discordant, and often startlingly literal exclamations. The result is a complicated beauty that reflects both the darkness and hope of humanity.
After finding out that Schaefer was beginning work on a second full-length, I invited the Portland songwriter to The Song Show to talk about her old songs and maybe play some new ones before heading into the studio. She agreed and, with her husband (and bandmate) Jeremiah in tow, jumped into her tour van with her guitar and amp, and made the trip up I-5 to play us four songs. The performance, recorded at the Rendezvous in Seattle on June 7, 2012, proved that Schaefer is just as adept at expressing herself with her words as with her songs.
…and watch Schaefer perform a brand new song, “Enough to Go Around,” for the Song Show cameras.
Photograph of Kelli Schaefer by Vincenzo Frattarola.