Tell Me Something: Becky Kessler, organic farmer and song spinner

Becky Kessler and Floyd Kellogg comprise the indie duo VIOLENT MAE.
Becky Kessler and Floyd Kellogg comprise the indie duo VIOLENT MAE.

Singer and guitarist Becky Kessler won Best Singer-Songwriter at the inaugural Connecticut Music Awards in 2012 and went on to win Best New Band in 2013 with producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist Floyd Kellogg as indie duo VIOLENT MAE. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Kessler moved every year or so, mostly around the Southeast. Ten moves in, the family finally rested on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where Kessler survived high school and honed her songwriting. She studied jazz at Berklee College of Music in Boston for a couple of years before returning home to the Outer Banks, gigging in several bands and cooking in restaurants. Kessler and her boyfriend moved to Connecticut in February 2011 to live and work on a friend's estate with the goal of turning it into an organic farm. A mutual friend introduced Kessler and Kellogg at Casa de Warrenton Recording Studio in Hartford, where the duo eventually recorded their self-titled debut LP to be released this October. Kellogg is the owner of the studio and frontman for another New England band, You Scream I Scream. Two tracks from VIOLENT MAE's upcoming album are available on Soundcloud:

Say you have a present day high school locker. Whose picture would be hanging in it?

My cat, my chickens and my goats.

What's your favorite sandwich?

Tomato and mayonnaise.

You're locked in a museum for a night, which one would it be?

Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Penn., to see their extensive Wyeth collection.

What's your favorite Rolling Stones song?

"Gimme Shelter"

Name an item you can't live without:

Bigsby vibrato.

Item you should live without and keep meaning to get rid of:


Push comes to shove, what's your favorite organic vegetable?

Eggplant. One of my first gardening experiences was watching this sexy object replace a beautiful lavender flower. I was so in awe!

Last book you couldn't put down:

"Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan.

You're a DJ at a club. What's the night's last song:

"Oh So Buena" by You Scream I Scream into "Buena" by Morphine.

What's a word you can never spell correctly on the first try:


You have a time machine and concert tickets. Who are you going to see?

Jeff Buckley.

What's the last TV show you binge-watched?

"The Daily Show"

Which television show, movie or theatrical production most accurately depicts life as a musician?

"The Blair Witch Project."

What's your favorite key in which to write songs?

Hmmm. Maybe F.

Which is better: Saturday night or Sunday morning?

Sunday morning, 12 a.m. sharp.

North Carolina or South Carolina?

North Carolina. The Outer Banks is the place I mostly grew up, so I call it home.

Peas or carrots?


Sorbet or ice cream?

I don't understand sorbet.

Soduku or crossword?


Pick a number between 12 and 67.

'67, the year of my Fender Bassman.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

A songwriter.

What historical event would you like to have been witness to?

The premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" 100 years ago.

What is your favorite place in Connecticut to recharge and/or find serenity?

The Shepaug River that runs through my back yard. I live and work on a gorgeous estate/organic farm.

Who alive today do you most admire?

Kim Deal, Bjork and Amanda Palmer.


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