Carey Keavy’s house concerts offer new twist on giving
By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN From her perfectly-pitched voice to effortless instrumentals, Carey Keavy seems like she’s been a musician her entire life.
In reality, though, this Winsted mother of four didn’t start performing until about 10 years ago.
“I kind of goofed around with piano when I was young,” Keavy said. “I was interested in music, but never really did anything with it.”
At age 30, Keavy decided to learn to play guitar. She also became skilled on the piano and baritone ukulele, and created her own songs.
“I’ve written poetry my whole life, and that just really translated into songwriting,” she said.
Keavy’s first solo performance was in 2006, at the former Crow River Coffee Shop in Watertown. As she sang and played for various audiences, her confidence slowly grew.
Keavy also began working with other musicians. Currently, she performs as a duo with Jonathan Benson of Minneapolis, in the band “The Fawn & the Flame.”
A breakthrough came four years ago, when a client at Keavy’s day job heard her original song, “Who I am,” online. The song filled him with emotion, and he felt compelled to help Keavy share her music with the world.
“He ended up writing me a check for thousands of dollars, which was kind of a shock,” Keavy said, noting that his gift propelled her to take music more seriously.
She worked with a producer to record a solo extended-play album, “Distant Lands,” which was released in May 2015.
Because of the generosity shown to her, Keavy wanted to “pay it forward,” and donated 100 percent of the pre-sale proceeds to The Sheridan Story, which helps feed children in and near the Twin Cities.
“I love the idea of music being used for good,” Keavy noted. “The thought of kids right here in our neighborhoods going hungry is heartbreaking to me.”
Recently, Keavy started a new charity effort called “House Concerts for the Common Good.” For this series, The Fawn & the Flame allows anyone with a space and a purpose to host a concert in their home. Attendance can range from 10 to 50 people, and the band plays for two hours, allowing time for interaction with the audience.
Hosting is free, and hosts can choose to raise money for anything mission trips, school events, or a favorite cause.
The house concert launch took place April 30 in Minneapolis, raising more than $200 for The Harriet Tubman Center.
“It was a really great way to get to know people,” Keavy said, adding that the band will travel anywhere in Minnesota and potentially out of state for these concerts.
Keavy and Benson typically play 90 percent original songs, and 10 percent covers. Keavy describes herself as a “hopeless romantic,” explaining that she mainly writes love songs.
Some topics are unexpected, though.
“One of the songs, ‘Burn,’ sounds like a breakup song, but it’s actually about me breaking up with my crappy ukelele,” Keavy said.
The Fawn & the Flame’s style is a mix of indie, pop, and folk. To hear samples, or to learn more about hosting a house concert, check out www.careykeavy.com.