First Thoughts Review
The Joe Keeley Band hail from Suffolk, and they are just about to release a brand new album called 'Blackwood'. It is out for pre-order right now, and will be available on all digital platforms on the 18th of June.
The opening track 'Blackwood's intro put me in mind of 90's UK country artists The Cheap Seats song 'Somethin' In The Water' but that is where the similarity ended. This song contains no less than 2 guitar solo's so I feel thoroughly spoilt. The band themselves describe their music as Alt-Country Rock ‘n’ Roll and I'm definitely inclined to agree with them.
Two stand out songs on the album for me are 'End Of The World' which puts me in mind of Garth Brooks in his heyday with its very prominent fiddle and 'Only Hurting For You' which is a beautiful pedal steel laden ballad.
'Blackwood' Album as a whole, takes you on a trip through several country genres from full on southern rock anthems to old time, traditional country waltzes to the full on 'heartache' country ballad. Joe's voice has a little of the gravel that I really like to hear singing a country song and there are some really nice harmonies and guitar riffs throughout.
After the moderate chart success of Joe Keeley’s first solo album ‘Headstrong’ in early 2019, he went on to pursue a team of musicians that could help take his ‘Alt-Country’ sound to a new and more adventurous level.
After featuring as a guest on a ‘Moat Cottage Covers’ video, Joe met drummer Alex Raymond and guitarist Jack Lawson, and recruited them to re-record popular singles from his first album; ‘No Good Livin’ and ‘Headstrong’. These were released under the band name ‘Joe Keeley and The South East Three’ after involving a local bass player to lay down the bass tracks.
The good reception that these singles received led them to decide they were going to go forward as a permanent group; thus ‘The Joe Keeley Band’ was formed in late 2019.
Upon recruiting Jason Rampling (bass and backing vocals) who was known to the group for his work with singer/songwriter Gabby Rivers, the band set to work on their first studio album, later to be named ‘Blackwood’.
The album was written, produced, recorded and mixed by all the band members in a local studio - the masters were finalised by a professional who Jack had previously worked with.
The album features several different musicians associated with the band, such as Rob Childs on steel guitar, a touring musician and part of Perrier Award winning comedian ‘Rich Hall’s Hoedown’ show. Another name on the list is 2020 GRAMMY Award winner Michael Cleveland who recorded fiddle on a track - ‘End of the World’. Michael is a familiar member of the American music scene for his work with bluegrass group ‘Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper’.
After six months of work, The Joe Keeley Band can finally present ‘Blackwood’, their debut studio album, available for pre-order now, and for purchase and streaming everywhere 18th June 2020 (18/06/20).
Follow the band here:-