REVIEW: Keats’ “Radio Sounds” is Just in Time for Summer


Keats has a new release Radio Sounds and we are really hooked. Produced by Dave Coleman and recorded at Howard’s Apartment Studio in Nashville this album is just as “radio ready” as its title implies, out in time for kicking back at the barbecue this summer.  Tony Keats is backed by Brian Pitts on bass, Kyle Walsh on drums; with Brian Rogers on pedal steel; Don Eanes grooving on organ, piano and clavinet too; with Dave Coleman in the mix with guitars and percussion.

“Radio Sounds,” the title and lead track, Keats says is a “be careful what you wish for” story, inspired by a Miranda July short story. This song chronicles a coming- of –age realization and the experience of learning to live with regrets in a build-up song: “maybe this is what they meant by ‘pay your dues.’” The opening bass riffs for “Love and Affection” quickly draw you in and pinpoint the precise rhythms required for a man pleading with his crush for mercy, to want or set him free, which he has been “waiting in the wings for so long” for them to do, accompanied by trumpet.  “Something Changed” continues with pedal steel over snappy drum beats and a tale of a person evolving into a love relationship.

The interpretation of Van Morrison’s “Cleaning Windows,” is a fun version over Hammond B3, while “East Nashville Fireflies” traces the carefree antics of youth under neighborhood police helicopters. This song highlights the purity of Keats’ vocal tones, and the local delicacy of ‘Frito Pie,” and to the extent that it captures the feel of youthful innocence, this is the heart of the album. “The Dream” is a wistful anthemic song with mournful pedal steel and “when you’re all alone…a sound echoed through the night.”  “Una Cervesa is a warm weather celebration song; while “To Be Happy,” and “Raining in New Orleans,” are love songs and “The Get Away” evokes specters of addiction.  The album’s release just in time for summer is great timing; it’s just the kind of kick off your shoes, grab a cold one and heat up the barbecue album summertime requires.

Keats says, “Most of these songs reflect on growth, change and continuing to move towards something — whether it be art, love or happiness. I no longer think in terms of destinations or end results but more in terms of paths and changes.”

Get your copy, here.

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