A lot of performers, both in music and other entertainment fields, talk about environmental stewardship but few really practice it. An exception is San Francisco based Kelley Stoltz. His '06 album "Below The Branches" was the first record to make an on-package claim about renewable energy use with the Green-e logo. Green-e is a leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Stoltz tracked the electricity expended to record the set, and then offset it with green tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organization that sells renewable energy certificates.
"Using renewable energy to offset the electricity I needed to power my guitar amps and my recording machines was a simple and effective way for me to do something about my impact on the environment," said Stoltz. "Hopefully, people will see (the Green-e) logo; check into what they do, and make renewable energy a part of their lives, too."
We'll, if you're out to save the planet, San Francisco is a good place to be located. But Stoltz didn't start there.
Born in Michigan, in '71, Stoltz eventually moved to New York where he worked as a "fan mail sorter" for singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley's management company. Hard to believe that job kept him very busy. Nonetheless, Stoltz split for San Francisco in the late '90s.
'99's "The Past Was Faster" was released on Telegraph Records but Stoltz self-released his sophomore effort "Antique Glow," three years later. The CD earned favorable critical notices and was later re-issued by Jack Pine Social Club in the US. Stoltz signed with Sub-Pop in '05 and put out the EP "The Sun Comes Through." Tours of Europe and Australia preceded the release of "Below The Branches." "Circular Sounds" arrived in early '08.
1999 The Past Was Faster
2001 Antique Glow
2003 Australian Tour
2006 Below The Branches
2008 Circular Sounds
2010 To Dreamers
2013 Double Exposure
2015 In Triangle Time
2015 Scuzzy Inputs Of Willie Weird (under the pseudonym "Willie Weird")
2005 The Sun Comes Through
2012 Two Imaginary Girls (7")
Some people are just born too late - or so it seems. Had Stoltz arrived couple decades earlier he would have been standing on the corner of Haight and Asbury Streets waiting to join Moby Grape. That likely would have been good for all concerned. But that's not what happened.
"Below The Branches" and "Circular Sounds" feature pre-psychedelic fueled Rock with a reliance on rhythm guitars and piano. Stoltz has a great ear for melody and a refusal to give himself over completely to troubadour stylings. He gets down and dirty on "Birmingham Eccentric" and the Folk-Rock "To Speak To The Girl" (from "Circular Sounds") and "Wave Goodbye," "The Sun Comes Through" and "Prank Calls" (on "Below The Branches").