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Alumni reunite to make music

Photo by: Ben Kailing | Staff Photographer
David Beck, guitarist for Blue Healer, performs Aug. 27 at Stubbs.

When the members of Blue Healer met at Texas State in 2009, none of them imagined they would be performing on stage together six years later.

Dees Stribling, drummer and vocalist for Blue Healer, said he, David Beck and Bryan Mammel started the indie rock band in January.

“I met David on Palm Sunday at the First Methodist Church in San Marcos after I had moved there in 2009,” Stribling said. “Shortly after, we met Bryan when he was playing with HalleyAnna Finlay’s band.”

Stribling said the band members worked on themselves individually as artists before coming together to perform.

He said the sound they developed when they were apart is directly related to how the band sounds as a whole.

“It took us quite a bit to officially become Blue Healer,” Stribling said. “In that duration of time we were all going to school and developing our own individual sound on instruments and personal taste.”

Beck, who plays upright bass and guitar in addition to singing vocals, said a variety of artists inspired him to make music.

“I was around a ton of Beatles and Bob Dylan growing up,” Beck said. “My mother listened to Earth Wind and Fire, which later got me into weird punk music and early hip-hop around high school.”

Mammel, who plays the analog synthesizers and sings vocals, said listening to the Beatles as a child motivated him to become a singer.

“When I got turned on to the Beatles—which was way too late in my childhood—everything changed,” Mammel said. “It all started there.”

Stribling said his love for performing came from the desire to experience all genres of music.

“I was raised on classical music until I was about 12,” Stribling said. “That’s when I started listening to the radio, jazz, rock, and just about everything I could find.”

Beck said the band’s ability to blend three different sounds into one unique melody sets them apart from other artists.

“Our sound is somewhere between Bob Dylan and Tears for Fears,” Beck said. “Like, if they had a baby, and but they couldn’t raise it so the funky uncle raised it—very fun and unique.”

Stribling said the band is constantly searching for new ways to reinvent their sound.

“I think that finding a sound is an ongoing and everlasting process for any artist,” Stribling said. “However, one of our main goals is ensuring that everyone is having fun in hopes that will transfer into being entertaining for an audience.”

Beck said the band hopes every audience member walks away from one of their shows feeling empowered.

“The overall message Blue Healer typically wants to put out there is ‘Go be you, and be you hard,’” Beck said.

Stribling said the band recently performed at The Granada Theater in Dallas, Stubbs and The Mohawk in Austin and Acme in Nashville.

He said they would return to San Marcos Sept. 5 for a show at Cheatham Street Warehouse.

Stribling said the venue holds a special place in each member’s heart.

“Being a part of the Cheatham Street Warehouse family is a colossal part of our lives as musicians,” Stribling said. “Playing shows at that building now is especially powerful because it is our home.”

Follow Sarah Bradley on Twitter at @sarah_bradskies.