“I channel the music. I’m am just a conduit for it. Most of the time, I am trying to get out of the way and to let things flow the way they flow.”
Kevin Dolan is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, studio engineer, mastering engineer, and producer based in Asheville, North Carolina.
Born into a very musical family, it seems only natural that Dolan would have music embedded in his DNA. He began playing guitar at eight years of age, was learning piano and keys by 10, and soon after would take on the bass guitar. Dolan’s two brothers took up the guitar as well, and the family band was going to need a bottom end.
“When a song can be stripped down to it’s essence, just an instrument and a voice and it retains it’s strength, than you know you’ve got something.”
Dolan draws from a deep well of musical influences from The Eagles and Steely Dan to Jackson Brown. From the late, great John Prine, to bands like Boston. Dolan appreciates the process of the music, writing itself through the work of his hands, voice, and heart.
“The songwriting process always varies from song to song. Some songs are written over many years. I may have pieces of tunes that do not come to completion until long after I started working on them. At other times it’s a focused effort to construct and sculpt an idea that does not begin clearly but materializes over several sessions. I like to let the music come together as it does, and often things come out in ways I had truly not expected. My latest release, "Burning Bridges," has that quality for me.“
Dolan's latest solo album "Burning Bridges," released in May of 2020, was a labour of great love and dedication. Thirteen tracks, all written or co-written, arranged, performed, recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced by Dolan himself. Kevin is joined by his brother Patrick and sister Kaeylea Vankieth on the track "The Only Everything", which the siblings co-wrote together. Paul Koptak spices this cut and several tunes on the album with the sound of his sweet Dobro, bringing even more warmth to an already sultry sounding canvas.
“Making an album like this can be a daunting task if I view it from the angle of what it will take to complete the project. I’ve gotta break things down step by step because when you’re self-producing, you are wearing many hats, but you can only wear one hat at a time. I’ve learned that I must compartmentalize the process, or I will feel completely overwhelmed. This album has taught me a lot about approaching a self-produced solo record.”
In addition to writing, performing, and recording his music, Dolan offers his many years of experience in the studio, playing, recording, mixing, and mastering for artists looking to document their music. In the peaceful mountains of Asheville, Dolan has built a studio complex where musicians can book recording sessions. Kevin is also available as a studio musician and can receive projects digitally for mixing and mastering work.
“Since moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, I have found creative energy that has inspired and motivated me to begin to pursue the music that has been stirring in my soul since youth. I’ve equipped a comfortable and professional recording environment that provides a place for capturing and documenting these moments of inspiration. I welcome like-minded musicians to share and take part in this vision of creating and documenting new music."
I am looking for clients with insight, skills, and passion that need a place to record and that I can offer my assistance based on the needs of their particular project. I have done records for people and provided all of their backing tracks, and with others, I’ve merely mixed and engineered and let them call the shots. I know when to lead, follow, or get out of the way. I view the song itself to be the essential thing and try to allow it to guide and decide what it needs to be complete.
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Whether you are a singer/songwriter or a group, Shake Rag Recording (Mars Hill) has a relaxed and creative environment for you to realize the potential of your music. Contact us and let us help you take your music to the next level.
“ This has been many years in the making. I've always had an in-home studio throughout the years, but to have a fully functioning separate studio space is something which I've always dreamed of happening.”
“I guess my idea on this album was that I wanted to talk about life, pain, love, and just humanity; what we go through as human beings. My faith and real-life encompasses all of these things. I believe that the purpose of music is to glorify God, but I think God wants to say a lot of different things."