The Art Thieves 2012: Kurt Keydel (vocals, keys, guitar), David Heuman (vocals, guitar), John Gahagan (vocals, bass), Scott Evans (drums and percussion)
The Art Thieves began as a few guys answering ads on Craigslist back in the spring of 2005: Mike Mesford and Dave Heuman got together for the sake of jamming on their guitars and sharing their love of music. Two others answered ads and a foursome was created of Mike, Dave, Tom Lehner (bass) and Bruce DeGrado (drums). The four musicians got together in late February and played somewhat cohesively, with Tom filling in the sound with his great vocals. Kurt Keydel, who had jammed with Mike on acoustic guitars earlier in the year, called him back up to see what he was doing. Mike mentioned that he was jamming with other players and that they needed a keyboard player. Kurt had an old Roland Synthesizer and decided to tag along in late April.
Work schedules pushed Tom out of the way so Kurt took over on bass. After two months of weekly practices, the band got their first request to play out. ...But what should they call themselves? Many names were tossed out and the band settled on the most appropriate name for their sound: Sixty-Cycle Hum.
Flyers, websites and tee shirts were made to create an identity for the band. After the next few paying gigs, someone noticed that Sixty-Cycle Hum was such a good name that the band was being confused for another band that had used that name earlier. Also, as cute(?) as the name was, it was just a bit too tongue-in-cheek for everyone's tastes. Thus, The Art Thieves were born!
Tom rejoined the band on bass in early 2006. After a year and a half of providing the backbeat, Bruce decided to pursue both styles of music that were more to his liking and a larger mix of original tunes. He left the band in November of 2006. Tom moved from bass to drums, and Kurt switched back to bass again. After months of a sparse lineup, the band finally grabbed the talents of Pacific Northwest music veteran John Gahagan on bass.
Tom suffered some problems with an old injury in his shoulder and had to retire from the drums in August of 2009. The Art Thieves took a break from the music for the remainder of that summer and finally convinced Emily Westman of various other local bands to practice and perform with them. Today, Emily can be seen behind the drums with the Seattle Rock Orchestra where she not only provides a solid rhythm, but also does much of their orchestration.
The Art Thieves are...
Dave Heuman (April 2005 - Present) - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead and backing Vocals
Rhythm and lead guitarist David Heuman, is a Seattle native, who has been in the construction industry since his youth, and with the exception of working summers in Alaska, has lived in the Northwest all his life. He started playing piano by ear as a youth, and taught himself fundamental guitar as a teen. David subsequently took piano lessons but more importantly took years of guitar lessons and theory from guitar teacher Mark Plummer. David has added his talents to a few Northwest classic rock start up groups over the past several years.
Kurt Keydel (May 2005 - Present) - Rhythm Guitar, Lead and backing Vocals, Keyboard (& Website Design)
Kurt was born in Seattle, but grew up near Annapolis, Maryland. He took piano lessons at a very early age and nearly drove his piano teacher crazy because he wouldn't practice and instead played by ear. (Now he drives his bandmates crazy for the same reasons). After high school, he played rhythm guitar in a rock band called "The Spies" in the late 1970's and lead/rhythm guitar in the vocal group, "The Miles River Band" in the early 1980's. In the mid-1980's he performed solo as a folk guitarist in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He has since dusted off his guitar, toy piano, and torturous vocals to play and sing with The Art Thieves.
John Gahagan (January 2007 - Present) - Bass, Lead and Backing Vocals, Guitar and percussion
John is the newest member of the Art Thieves, providing the funky bottom. John decided to take up the guitar on the evening of February 9, 1964 after watching a certain British pop group on the Ed Sullivan Show, even if it meant giving up on the Cub Scouts to do so. His determination led to the start of his musical career in high school as a member of Northern Lite, a top 40 cover band very popular in the Western Washington teen dance circuit, many years ago. John has played with many garage bands - and one shed band - over the years. Most recently, while serving a corporate exile in Texas, John played in the CrawlDaddys in many of the finer honky-tonks and juke joints of Dallas. Happily returned to his soggy homeland of Seattle, John was proud to be the bottom end of the Art Thieves. Today, John is also the bassist for the basement band, "The Basementeurs".
Former members and good friends...
Emily Westman (October 2009 - January 2010) - Drums and percussion, Lead and backing Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Bass
Emily Westman is a multi-instrumentalist who stoically hails from South Florida. She fled to Seattle in early 2008 to find more weirdos like herself. She searched under rocks and behind the milk, and indeed she found said weirdos. She has since been in a number of bands with them playing anything from drums, bass, and guitar, to keys and pots. She is also known as a composer, and has scored independent films from time to time. When avoiding music for an hour a day, Emily enjoys kneading dough and walking the dog.
Mike Mesford (April 2005 - May 2007) - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Vocals
Mike, a founding member of The Art Thieves, had been dragging a guitar around for years, but it wasn't until
the nineties that he got serious about playing. Since then, he's
been in a band called King's Ransom which practiced for two years
before playing a single gig and then calling it quits. He played
with some folks who called themselves the Catastrophic Climate Change
Project, but they never really gelled as a band (though they had a
lot of fun). For the last year he has been studying with Seattle
guitar teacher Pascal Louvel and singing coach Tony Bonjorno. When
he wasn't frantically learning songs for The Art Thieves he wrote songs
and contemplated the universe. Mike is now the lead guitarist for the northwest originals band,
Primo and the Tranzzplantz.
Bruce DeGrado (May 2005 - November 2006) - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Bruce started playing music in high school in the mid 1970's. He started playing seriously in 1984 in the seminal L.A. punk band "Worlds Apart". In the early 1990's Bruce played in the Northern California blues rock band "Thick as Thieves". In the late 1990's to 2001 he played in the Seattle blues jam band "Homemade Jelly". Bruce, still working hard, can be currently seen playing drums and percussion in the originals band, Primo and the Tranzzplantz . Check them out!
Tom Lehner (June 2006 - August 2009) - Drums and percussion, Lead and backing Vocals, Keyboards, Bass
Tom was one of the founding members of the Art Thieves (before they were the Art Thieves) along with Dave,
Mike and Bruce last year, but left on hiatus due to crazy work schedules and conflicts.
He returned to provide the Art Thieves with a solid bass and beat foundation,
and lending his outstanding vocals, keyboard skills and musical knowledge to round out the Art Thieves sound.
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