New Milford musician explores themes ‘relevant for these times’ in new album

NEW MILFORD — Creating music has long been a favorite pastime for Dave King.

As a child, he played his drum set and then the full bass set his parents bought him one Christmas.

But seeing the Beatles perform on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 further enhanced his interest in music, sparking inspiration and a passion for a field in which he has immersed himself for decades.

“Music has just been there forever with me,” King said.

He recently released his latest album, “Into the Deep Blue,” which features 12 tracks. The musician said he never expected to release an album in the middle of a pandemic, “but it’s an album that I believe is very relevant for these times.”

The themes of love, travel, optimism and enjoying life are explored in the album available on CD on his website, online retailers and streaming services.

“These (themes) are all things that we could certainly use more of in the world today,” said King, who wrote and produced all the songs.

In addition, he produced a TV show, “Dave King Music Video Collection,” that features a few music videos interspersed with on-location narrative about themes, lyrics, location and reflection to the songs. The majority of videos were filmed locally, including in New Milford, Newtown and Danbury.

One of the songs explores gun control, so he filmed his personal narrative in Sandy Hook.

The half-hour show will air on Charter Cable Channel 192 the next two Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. and the next two Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Besides the TV show, the music videos for the songs are available on the musician’s YouTube channel and other online platforms. He continues to create music videos for his songs and expects to produce a second TV show.

King described his new album as “pretty upbeat” with folk-rock songs he wrote, performed, recorded and mixed over the last four years in his home studio. Mastering was done by Scott Hull, of Masterdisk in New York.

The songs have received airplay on WMNR, WHUD, WPWL and WFUV radio.

Mike Catalano, of Stamford, first met King at a party at least 10 years ago. Impressed by King’s performance, and how he rolled with the flow by picking up his acoustic guitar and kept performing when the power went out at the party, Catalano hired him to perform at his gatherings for friends and families.

“I said, ‘Let’s get the man,’” Catalano quipped. “He’s a great guy and now he’s got a following down this way.”

Catalano praised King’s natural ability on stage, extensive repertoire and friendliness.

“He’s cool,” he said. “He’s a good singer and even better at guitar playing.”

Former New Preston resident Lynn Wellings hired King to perform at parties she and her late husband hosted at their home throughout the year.

“Dave was always there, a major player, and we were making family memories, but at the same time, Dave was part of those. He’s almost like family,” Wellings said.

She said she appreciates King’s compositions and how he honored her recently by asking to use one of her paintings, “No Trees,” on the cover of the new album.

Wellings created the painting during a painting fundraiser for the New Preston Congregational Church years ago. King was there as a performer at the event and remembered her work.

The artist, who now resides in Florida, was touched with his gesture and tracked down the owner of the painting, who agreed to let King use it on his cover.

“It’s been a wonderful connection with him and his music, and I’m honored,” Wellings said.

For her, the new album “invokes all of the sensory perceptions of what it’s like to be in an environment that’s so inspiring — a lake, the openness,” she said. “His music generates for me all of those memories, that nostalgia.”

Over the past nine months, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the performing arts community hard.

Locally, musicians such as King have had limited public interaction with their fans. King said it has been “challenging.”

King has done a few Facebook Live concerts, but said performing online isn’t the same as being in front of a live audience and getting feedback.

“It’s the camaraderie, the people singing along, that’s what makes it so enjoyable and fun,” King said of performing in front of a live audience. “I don’t feel you can duplicate that online.”

These days, consumers listen and purchase music differently than they have in the past. CDs aren’t as popular while streaming services have taken off.

In 2004, King released his first full-length CD, “Shades of Blue,” and has since performed at venues in the region and released some EPs.

King, who has been in music professionally for more than 30 years, said he does it “for the love of music.” But, it’s also rewarding to get music out into the public realm because “everyone takes away different things.”

King related that his music has evolved over the years and is now “a lot more sophisticated.” He acknowledged the growth technologically, and how the melodies are a “little more evolved than they would’ve been years ago.”

On the production end, the advancements of technology have changed immensely. King quipped about how “all you could do was record on a tape recorder, but now everything is done on computer.”

King plays all the instruments on his albums himself. “I’m kind of a one-man band.”

In the past, he collaborated with other musicians when he was in garage bands in high school, but he said he prefers performing solo.

“I like the ability to call my own shots,” he said.