1978 - The Basement Blues Band originated in the basement studio of the Greene Building, the home of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture.Classmates Kent Eaton (bass), Rob Goldman (harmonica), Josh Keller (guitar) and Peter Belford (saxophone) set off on a cacophonous exploration of blues and rock & roll in the dark hours of the long upstate New York winter nights.Joined by Mitch Stein on drums, the first complete working unit played a Halloween house-party on 15th Street, followed by several RPI campus performances. 1979 – Kent, Rob and Josh recruited Bob Garron as the new drummer.The band secured gigs at “Telly’s Tinderbox”, “Just Something Else”, and at RPI fraternity house-parties.The band worked on material ranging from blues/rock to jam-band explorations.
Those Happy Golden Years 1980 – Kent, Rob and Josh were joined by fellow Architecture School classmate Ted Eacker on drums. They were occasionally joined by classmate Jim Avery on vocals. The band had a monthly three night gig at “Legends” on River Street.It also played at Hullaballo Music Club, J.B. Scotts, “Just Something Else”, “Give Me Shelter”, RPI, Russell Sage, St. Rose, Bennington, Skidmore, SUNY Albany, fraternity parties and house parties.On Halloween of 1980, the band played the unforgettable Beaux-Arts Ball at the Frear Building, an abandoned turn-of-the-century department store in downtown Troy.
Josh, Rob, Ted and Kent's publicity pictures:
1982 – In the fall of 1981, Ken Powis joined the band to replace Josh who had moved back to NYC.The band played as a five man unit on several occasions, including the Frenetic Fashion Faux-Pas produced by Kent Eaton’s “Studio K”.Kent, Rob, Ted and Ken continued playing local clubs and festivals through 1988, including Pauly's Hotel and the RCCA Riverfront Arts Festival. Ted moved to NYC in 1988, and Kent left for Vermont in 1989. The last outing for the Band was Rob and Ken's 20 year anniversary performance at the RCCA festival that featured an elite group of local musicians.
Where are they now? After graduating RPI and being rejected by several up and coming bands, Josh became a pimento stuffer in an olive factory.After twenty years of service, Josh was promoted to his current position as assistant head pimento stuffer, where he looks forward to retirement.His solo musical endeavors are described at www.joshkeller.com.
Nobody needs to know what Kent did after the breakup of the band.It is sufficient to say that as a result of an incident five years ago, Kent’s security is no longer guaranteed by the Federal Witness Protection Program.Kent lives in Vermont where he plays bass and tries not to attract attention.
Rob’s musical explorations ultimately morphed into the study of the native music of the Maldives.He is the host of the popular PBS series “Maldives Beat”, and teaches world music at Princeton University’s annual Hindu music festival.Rob is one of the few people in the world that can play “Boduberu” on the blues harp.His travel adventures are featured at www.nysmarinehighway.com
Ted is the only band member who became a practicing architect.He spends a large portion of his time making sure that he is not associated with any of his former band-mates.He raises alpacas in his backyard in Brooklyn, NY.Ted’s cousin has a friend who once dated Tony Danza.
Ken is the only band member who became a professional musician.Ken studied music theory and composition at the Sorbonne as a student of Stroganoff.He is presently a saxophone player in the renowned “Weather Channel” band.Ken finds the musical selections a little repetitive, but he enjoys the challenge of getting it right every time.
Please join us for our 30 year reunion performance!