The local band The Keep will play a free live show in your library’s Buffalo Mountain Room on Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. The Keep is daniel and Bets Couper, an eclectic indie folk duo. Their music spans a unique range and combination of styles and can be heard at www.thekeepmusic.com/music. We recently got to talk with them about their music and evolution as a band.
JCPL: How did you become interested in music and performing?
Bets: According to my parents, I was a performer from the get-go, singing in front of crowds at Dollywood as a small child and leading my extended family in choral renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Daniel, on the other hand, wasn’t especially interested in music until his teen years, when he began gradually picking up instruments that were just laying around the house. He taught himself how to play guitar, piano, and drums, and he began playing with his church’s youth band in high school.
JCPL: How has your music evolved as you’ve grown as musicians?
daniel: As a beginning songwriter and musician, one of my defining traits was stubborn independence. I didn’t bother learning cover songs because I didn’t want them influencing my original songs. It took a painfully long time—and a wife, honestly—to realize that learning through imitation can open up new worlds of skill and versatility. Although it’s subtle, that’s probably been the most significant development in the way we write our own songs and arrange other people’s.
JCPL: How would you describe your style?
daniel: Well, we like harmony a lot, and sometimes it’s fun to shout a bit. We don’t actually like to get caught in one genre or style for too long, so we mix up our instrumentation and arrangements whenever possible. Overall, I guess you could call it something like eclectic indie folk.
JCPL: Who are your favorite musicians and why?
Bets: We really like Gregory Alan Isokov, Glen Hansard, Sara Bareilles, Aurora, Joseph, Switchfoot, and The Collection. We appreciate the care and nuance they put into their music. Each of these artists brings something unique and wonderful to the musical universe, and they’ve certainly influenced our music-making.
For updates on The Keep, follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Call 423-434-4454 for more information on Songs of the Cosmos: Live Music with The Keep. And don’t forget to follow Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on library happenings!