Permanence & Motion
Keith Hershberger was surrounded by music from birth - born in Eastern Pennsylvania into a family who loved to sing together, and into the Mennonite Church (known for their four-part, accapella singing). When he was three, he spontaneously announced "I'm going to sing a song for you now" in church one Sunday. When he was six, his family moved to Kenya for several years and he learned to love the sounds and rhythms of Kenyan music. Coming back to the States, he sang in school choirs and took some piano lessons, but he didn't pick up a guitar until he was fifteen, when his mother taught him his first three chords. Although he did take some classical guitar lessons, he learned to play the guitar mostly by learning chords from a chart, writing songs (most of which have been, thankfully, long forgotten) and playing them excessively. He kept writing, and the songs started getting better. The next year, he formed a band with three friends, played some shows and put out a recording that was played on the radio during a local music show. At this stage, his musical influences were a strange mix of the music he grew up with, a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, some Led Zeppelin, and a healthy dose of The Smiths and The Cure. Meaningful, interesting lyrics were always important to Keith - something he continues to strive for, and in college he traded his electric guitar in for an acoustic and made two recordings - Hope, and All These Years of Leaving - learning how to use the acoustic to put down a rhythm over which he told his stories - putting the focus of the music on the words and melody. When he left college, he discovered alt-country and started listening to The Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo as well as some quieter music - The Innocence Mission, The Red House Painters... During this time he moved to Arizona for a job that didn't work out, traveled around, and ended up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The songs he wrote during these two years became his first professionally recorded CD, Permanence & Motion, released in 1998. Songs from the CD were in regular rotation on radio stations in Pennsylvania and Maine. For the first four years or so, Keith continued to assume he would leave Pittsburgh the following year, but now has come to love it. He now teaches digital art at Manchester Craftsmens Guild to High School and Middle School students. He plays regular shows and has a community of musicians he works with - appearing on recordings by Brad Yoder and Heather Kropf and playing guitar in Heather's band. He got married to an amazing woman and they bought a house together. He makes pots in the basement on a treadle wheel his father made for him. He is currently working on his next recording, tentatively titled A Thousand Shades of Blue, which should be out this summer.