The death of Vancouver musician Derek Kehler (stage name Steel Audrey) was felt throughout the city’s music scene. Now many are coming together to honour the late musician and celebrate the posthumous release of his full-length album From Which I Came.
Kehler and his girlfriend, Helena Curic, passed away June 8, 2015 while camping in the Blue Mountains of Australia. Authorities believe a small collection of coals brought in to heat the shelter created toxic levels of carbon monoxide poisoning. As soon as the news was released, outpourings of grief and support converged on the Vancouver music scene.
Kehler’s final contribution to that community is an album funded by The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), a source of financial assistance for the independent Canadian music industry. Kehler worked with producer Matthew Rogers, of The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, through the whole project, and they often talked about their religious upbringings, family, and the trials of life. These conversations gave birth to a folk and country album that reflects Kehler’s childhood in rural Manitoba, where he grew up with country classics.
In a celebration of his music and life, donations given to the family are being used to manufacture a release of the album and rent a hall for the release party. Notable musicians from Vancouver will be playing songs from the album as a tribute to Kehler. This includes The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Nat Jay, SAVVIE, The Reckoners, and Just A Season. The St.James Hall in Vancouver has been rented out on October 18, with doors opening at 8:00 p.m. for the show. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at www.steelaudrey.com or brownpapertickets.com.
Longtime friend Adrian Glynn stated in a press release “The release party will be an emotional night for a lot of us. But we also want to celebrate and share Steel Audrey’s music with those who may not have heard his incredible tunes yet. Derek was not the kind of guy to go gently into the night, and we want to give Steel Audrey and his songs what they deserve; a night of stomping, clapping, and singing great country music, with whisky shots all round!”