Yes, volume two. It’s now officially a recurring feature on this page. A dedication to the passionate and hard-working artists in our city, who deserve all the accolades. I want to shine a light on the quiet, unassuming background players who are actually doing amazing things for Salem’s cultural identity. And seriously, there’s no one more humble about it than Stan Keightley. It is with much affection and admiration, that I dedicate this article to him.
I’ve had the honor of knowing Stan for close to 15 years. He is a solid, stand-up man and he’s had his capable and artistic hands on so much music in our community. Aside from being a gifted keyboardist, guitarist and singer in bands such as SuperLube, Easterly, and currently Orchards; he is an adept sound engineer. His recording studio, Vegetative State has recorded Brette & Blake (No Aloha), Seahorse, Tonya Gilmore (Hexteria), Potatoe Famine and so many more I’d love to list, but, I need room for all his other praiseworthy accomplishments.
In 2013, he took the plunge and got a top-notch PA system and brought his equipment and magic ears to Level B. Of course, Level B had the best sound in town, during that period. In fact, reconnecting with Stan around this time helped renew my own passion for music and more specifically my passion for the Salem music scene. And here we are, dear reader. A big thanks to him.
His story doesn’t end there. About a year ago, Doug Hoffman tapped Stan to help revive the storied Space Concert Club. Excellent choice. Together with Freddy Ruiz, Jr. and Stan’s gifted vegan chef of a partner, Summer, they have resurrected The Space in West Salem in the old Morton’s Bistro spot. Guess what? It’s a delightfully enchanted venue. Of course I can’t read minds, but I get the vibe from Stan that this is exactly what he’s been working so hard for. And so far, The Space has exceeded all expectations and has been an overwhelming success. Personally in the few months they’ve been open, I’ve seen some of the best shows I’ve ever seen in Salem. Why? Equal parts quirky and cool spot (the Fonz would definitely hang here); the staff is so chill; they get the best acts around; and of course, because Stan is behind the board doing a remarkable job on sound. In fact just last week, Tony James of Seattle’s Trannysaurus Rox exclaimed during their performance, “Oh my gawd! This sounds amazing! I can actually hear myself. Stan, you rock!”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. I for one cannot wait for what’s next. Keep on.