Album review: KELLY KEELING – Mind Radio


Frontiers Records [Release Date 03.07.15]

After his shambolic display spoiled Baton Rouge’s long awaited Firefest appearance a couple of years back, I did wonder whether we would hear again from Kelly Keeling, but the respected singer whose husky, bluesy tones have graced a range of projects over the years is back with his first solo album in over a decade.

This is a strange one, pairing him with Frontiers’ all-Italian  in-house musicians, led by keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio and guitarist Mario Percudani.  The music is typically melodic with clean guitar solos and keyboards to the fore, and occasionally they go off mid-song  into almost a Kansas or Seventh Key direction with some quite progressive sounds. However despite trying his best, Kelly’s  sandpaper vocal style is completely unsuited to the musical backing, which lacks a bottom end and is spoiled by a singularly feeble drum sound.

It comes over as a very contrived and inauthentic studio project. Recording vocals and music on different continents is not unusual these days in such a scenario but on this occasion it is almost as if the two have been wrongly matched together.   Only on ‘Sunshine Over Me’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, both with a Joe Lynn Turner feel, does the combination really gel.

Yet among these disappointments  are three excellent songs in ‘Written In Fire’, ‘Monkey House’ and ‘Who Do You Run To’.  Co-written with Baton Rouge colleagues Jack Ponti and Lance Bulen, they  sound like prime time Baton Rouge, very possibly being unreleased songs lying in the vaults and sonically very different from the rest of the album.

As with Ponti’s trademark work the production is meatier, the choruses more convincing and the big, rhythmic sound better suited to his voice.  But it is a moot point whether they rescue the album or merely highlight that the rest of it does not work.  **3/4

Review by Andy Nathan


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 24 January, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

THE WEDDING PRESENT We Should Be Together (Scopitones)
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