Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deep Wells

Drew Sellers, aka Saredren Wells, dives into the rich flow of local music

The Louisville music scene has much in common with, of all things, the Louisville tap water scene.

Both seem to be endless streams of fresh rejuvenation, and both are acclaimed as models of American excellence at work.

Drew Sellers is entering that flow.

Today, 28-year-old Sellers is known to music fans as Sareden Wells. His indie folk songs, evocative of long walks on cool fall nights, have been captured in an album, Memories Are Hunting Horns... which has been released this week on vinyl and for download by the Louisville Is For Lovers label at louisvilleisforlovers.com.

After contributing cuts to John King’s annual Louisville is for Lovers compilations, Sellers finally decided that the time was right to strike out on his own.

The occasion is being celebrated with two events, a performance on WFPK-FM's Live Lunch at noon Friday and a concert on the Glassworks rooftop later that evening.

"I’ve spent a lot of time around music — we’re old friends, you might say,” Sellers said. “What’s nice is that I didn’t know a thing about how music worked when I was younger, so I got my start getting inside of it in a way that was very free and open.”

Sellers grew up playing music in Louisville. He credits his mother for giving him his drive.

"While she never pursued music formally, she definitely has the mind for it,” he said. “We are both very good at mulling things over, and I think a lot of what makes a person artistically-motivated — as opposed to life-motivated — comes from that."

But a free and open musical environment only gets you so far, Sellers said.

“There did come a time when I realized that, in order to accomplish certain things musically, I would probably have to get some formal training," he said.

So Sellers began his studies in college, including a semester at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Eventually, the pendulum swung back the other way and he decided to go back to an instinctual approach.

"I want to say and do and make things that reflect what life is like,” he said, “so that while we are all here sort of hanging out we can look at it and have some sort of conversation about it. That’s really it."

His primary inspiration comes from the neighborhood.

He counts a few local pioneers — including David Grubbs of Gastr Del Sol, Rachel Grimes of Rachel’s and Brian McMahan of Slint — as "spiritual advisors." After launching his debut in his beloved hometown, Sellers is taking Sareden Wells on the road for a series of concerts with fiddler/singer Cheyenne Marie Mize, another local trying to make waves with a debut record.

Meanwhile, he's listening to a lot of music, trying to figure out where his instincts will take him next.

"Like most folks these days, I’d say my taste kind of runs the gamut," Sellers said. "I especially like things that get to you where you never thought anyone else would ever be able to go."

Sellers likes to try for a little mystery, so it was with reluctance that he revealed the origin of his alter ego. Sareden Wells is an anagram of his full name, Andrew Sellers.

"It's almost like a mythological name or something, something that's stranger than life," he said.

"I remember years ago reading 'Catch-22' and parts of 'Crime and Punishment', thinking to myself, 'Yossarian, Raskolnikov, now those are names that mean something'."

"I feel like it's kind of a bummer to let people in on that. Kind of takes away from the evocative and enigmatic nature of the name."

c. 2010 Velocity Weekly

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