The following description comes from the event organizer.w/ Lo-Hi
Swell, as it was, will never be again. But the original members are uniting for a tribute to David and the formative years of the band. They will be doing a short European tour in April 2023 playing favorite songs from the first 4 albums.
Swell 2023 is co-founder Sean Kirkpatrick on drums, Monte Vallier on bass, Niko Wenner as lead guitar, and John Dettman-Lytle, original guitarist, stepping in to play acoustic guitar and take on the majority of the singing.
Sean Kirkpatrick, drummer, started the collaboration with David in 1989 that led to the recording of the first album “Swell”. Sean’s unique drumming can be heard on all the albums through the 4th album “Too Many Days Without thinking”. Sean collaborated with David again in 2003 for the 7th album “Whenever You’re ready”.
Sean is currently a celebrated visual artist living in Santa Barbara, California, and released a debut album in 2022 with his band The World is Haunted.
Monte Vallier joined as press and radio publicist for David’s pSycho-sPecific Records release of the first album. When the need arose for the recording project to become a live band, Monte joined as bass player. He played on some tracks for the CD release of the first album “Swell” and continued writing, co-producing, and touring on all the albums until 2000’s Everybody Wants to Know, but left the band before that album was finished. Monte is a producer and recording/mix engineer with hundreds of album credits currently living in Seattle.
Niko Wenner is the longest playing electric guitarist with the band, touring as the lead player1993 through 2003. Niko is the primary songwriter and guitarist in the art-rock band Oxbow with 8 albums including the newest Love’s Holiday, which he produced with Joe Chiccarelli, out summer 2023 on Ipecac Records. Niko lives with his wife and children in San Francisco.
John Dettman-Lytle learned a lot of guitar technique from David Freel, and the “Swell” strumming style has been ingrained. As loft mates at 41 Turk Street in San Francisco’s tenderloin neighborhood, he was there while Sean and David worked on the songs that would become the first album. David asked John to join as guitarist for the first live shows and the recording of the 2nd album “…Well?”. John, back then, was assistant art director at Thrasher Magazine and became a pioneer web developer in the dot-com era. Currently residing in Las Vegas, he has been remixing famous 60s hits by Herman’s Hermits as Dj Something Good, and is a consultant in the footwear industry.