Tag Archives: Kaylee Keller

Get it or forget it – Franks and Deans, The Innocent Bystanders, Pistoleros, Jason Hawk Harris, Kaylee Keller

The snow continues to fall here in Montana, with more than two feet additional snow forecast by the end of the year.  Guess I’ll have some time to try and review the remaining 60 or so requests for review.  No promises that I can get them all done by the end of the month, but I’m gonna do my best.  Here are another five for your reflection.

Artist NameFranks & Deans

Album NameThe Best You’re Gonna Feel All Day

Label:  SquidHat Records

Genre:  Punk Rock & Roll/Ska

Track Listing:  1.  Fly me to the Moon; 2.  Chain Gang; 3.  Just a Gigolo; 4.  Splish Splash; 5.  Sway; 6.  Down in Mexico; 7.  Feeling Good; 8.  I’ll be Glad When You’re Dead (You Rascal You); 9.  Luck be a Lady; 10.  Hello Mary Lou; 11.  The Candy Man; 12.  That’s Life

Publicist:  SquidHat Records PR

Review:  Franks & Deans are a Las Vegas legend, transforming songs of the Rat Pack into punk rock and ska classics.  On their sophomore release, they also tackle more modern songs from the likes of Sam Cooke/The Pretenders,  Louis Prima/David Lee Roth, Bobby Darin, The Coasters, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, and Ricky Nelson,   This is a party album and the perfect background for time with your friends.  It is a blast to hear these songs totally re-arranged in a truly original way.  We would really love to see these guys live, because it must be a blast to hear them in that arena.  This is one of the best, if not the best, cover albums we have ever reviewed.  Imagine Sinatra’s “Luck be a Lady” as ska.  Unbelievable, but they pull it off with flair.

Recommendation:  Don’t think twice – Get this one today!

Artist NameThe Innocent Bystanders

Album NameAttractive Nuisance

Label:  Bystander Records

Genre:  Stax/Ska

Track Listing:  1.  Gotta get Outta Here; 2.  Highways; 3.  Emerald Eyes; 4.  Working Man’s Daughter

Publicist:  None

Review:  We have been fortunate to have seen The Innocent Bystanders back when we lived in San Diego.  This is their first album of original music, and we couldn’t be happier.  We only wish there was more than four songs.  Fortunately, the four songs are enough to whet your appetite and make you crave more.  These songs are super radio friendly and deserve major industry attention.  “Gotta get Outta Here” has some amazing keys, sax and a Jimmy Buffett vibe, while “Highways” has more of a Chrissy Hind/The Pretenders feel.  “Emerald Eyes” has a very jazzy blues kind of vibe, while the final track, “Working Man’s Daughter,” adds some flute to the guitar to give it a Seals and Croft/Steely Dan feel.  This band is truly a Southern California treasure that we would love to see shared with the rest of the world.  At least London is already on board the train!

Recommendation:  This band may be a guilty pleasure, but you simply must Get their music.  By the way, it’s free to download.

Artist NamePistoleros

Album NameSilver

Label:  Fervor Records

Genre:  Rock

Track Listing:  1.  You are not Alone; 2.  Lost and Gone; 3.  Did you Wake up all Alone; 4.  Living in the Dark; 5.  Parts of Yesterday; 6.  Always You and Me; 7.  NYC Queen; 8.  You Belong; 9.  Gimme Gimme (explicit); 10.  Summertime; 11.  Don’t Break my Heart; 12.  Broken Man

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  The Pistoleros have been around for 25 years, and have gone through quite a few personnel changes during that time.  On this special album, three of the founding members return to contribute to this momentous occasion, and the result is breathtaking.  The band started out as The Chimeras and was founded by the legendary Doug Hopkins of the Gin Blossoms, who added Mark and Lawrence Zubia, Scott Andrews and Mark Riggs.  The band was signed to Hollywood Records and EMI Publishing before changing their name to the Pistoleros.  Hopkins and Riggs were the first to leave, but Riggs has recently rejoined the band after an absence and his presence is truly felt.  You can definitely feel the Gin Blossoms influence on the band’s sound, making every song radio friendly and worthy of industry attention.  Best songs include “You are not Alone,” “Lost and Gone,” “Living in the Dark,” “Parts of Yesterday,” “Always You and Me,” “NYC Queen,” “You Belong,” “Summertime,” and “Don’t Break my Heart.”

Recommendation:  This one is a true keeper – rush out and Get it now!

Artist NameJason Hawk Harris

Album NameFormaldehyde Tobacco and Tulips

Label:  Free Man Records

Genre:  Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Phantom Limb; 2.  Give Myself to You; 3.  Tell me I’m Good for You; 4.  I’m Afraid; 5.  The Smoke and the Stars

Publicist:  Lucky Bird Media

Review:  If you are a fan of indie folk band The Show Ponies (one of our favorites), you are already familiar with the amazing guitar work of Jason Hawk Harris.  Like the Foo Fighters’ Chris Shifflett, Harris is doing some of his best work as a solo artist.  This five-song EP gives Harris the chance to try some things differently with a more Americana feel than The Show Ponies style allows.  He starts it off with the hard-hitting “Phantom Limb,” which explains the album title within its lyrics.  “Give Myself to You” has a Lumineers feel, with incredible guitar picking and lyrics that are visceral in their clarity, painting a word picture that is crystal clear.  “Tell me I’m Good for You” has a sound and a story like a good country song.  Harris totally changes direction on “I’m Afraid,” with its rapid-fire drums and Garth Brooks-like lyrics and delivery.  He closes out the EP with “The Smoke and the Stars,” an eerie, haunting tune that returns to his Americana/alt-country roots.  All in all, this is an excellent solo effort, and deserves strong industry attention.

Recommendation:  One of 2017’s best EPs, you had better Get it now.  This artist is going places.

Artist NameKaylee Keller

Album NameRubies

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Country Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Nowhere America; 2.  Let Your Love; 3.  Get Back Up; 4.  You’re my Broken Compass; 5.  Taking out the Trash; 6.  What I Believe

Publicist:  Nashville Publicity Group

Review:  Kaylee Keller is a true home-grown musician, who has stayed true to her roots despite her success.  With a sound similar to that other small-town girl Carrie Underwood, Keller could be a huge star on country radio.  She is also trying her hand at acting, and has the potential to be a double success.  Her first song, “Nowhere America,” belongs on radio now, as does “You’re my Broken Compass,” and the rest of her songs deserve further industry attention.  Her music is lighthearted, uplifting and just plain fun.  Check out the fiddle work on “Let Your Love” and the ukulele on “Get Back Up” (which was recorded live).  She closes out her EP with the stunning ballad “What I Believe,” which could be an amazing theme song for a non-profit.  This EP is awesome from start to finish, but our favorite tracks are “Nowhere America” and “You’re my Broken Compass.”

Recommendation:  Kaylee Keller is the voice of the future for country pop.  Jump onboard the train and Get her EP today!


Kaylee Keller wants to help her community with the release of her Christmas song

When we last visited with Kansas-born Kaylee Keller, she had just won the LA Music Critic Award for best lyric video for her collaboration with the Vinyljackers of her hit “Diamond.”

More recently, Keller released a duet with country singer Rusty Rierson of the Alabama classic hit, “Christmas in Your Arms.”  Check out the stream below.

Today we’re sitting down with Keller for another interview on what’s new in her career.  Grab a cup of coffee and learn new things about this amazing indie artist who, surprisingly, just turned 19 years old.

IVB:  What have you been doing since we last talked after your win for LA Music Critic best lyric video?

KK:  First, after I won, I was waiting to receive my Grammy.  But seriously, I have been in Nashville for the past three months working on my new EP.  I worked with some of the best songwriters in Nashville who have helped me craft my new six song EP, which I plan to release as a group of singles throughout 2017, and then release the collection near the end of 2017.  I loved working with my producer Nathan Meckel.  I’ve been thinking of calling the EP Ruby, as a spin-off to my first EP Diamond, so then you could look me up as the Gem Collection.  We want to test the waters with each single so that they will stay fresh.  I like to be a trendsetter and do my own thing as an independent artist.

IVB:  Tell us about your latest project “Christmas in your Arms.”

KK:  This one was a fun project.  Garden City, Kansas is my hometown and they approached me to see if I wanted to be part of their annual holiday compilation album, called Kozy Kansas Christmas.  It’s their fourth year of doing this CD and I was honored that they wanted me to do a song for the album.

The proceeds from the sale of the album go to fund local charities in Garden City.  They only print a limited amount of CDs, which makes them more valuable.

I’ve known Rusty Rierson for about three years after we met at a Joe Diffie concert.  I was doing the National Anthem, and Rusty was the opening act.  After I was approached by Garden City, I asked Rusty what song we should do.  He suggested that we do an Alabama song called “Christmas in Your Arms.”  My mom suggested we make it a duet.  Both of them proved to be great suggestions.  We had a blast turning the song into a duet.

The album is available on Garden City’s Facebook page and can be purchased there.  My single on the album is also available on iTunes.

The project is getting a lot of media attention, including The Ellen Show, as they begin planning for next year’s double CD.

IVB:  What’s next for Kaylee Keller?

KK:  I wanted my current EP, Diamond, to be country, but it turned out to be more of a pop project.  I’m using my new Christmas single to introduce me to the country pop community.  I’ve been called a mixture of Colbie Caillat meets country pop by local media.  The new project is much more country based albeit country pop, which is where my heart truly lies.  We are looking forward to bringing this side of me to my fans and to hopefully find new ones in the country pop genre.


Getting to know the 2016 LA Music Critic Award winners – Kaylee Keller

We are back with our next feature on one of the LA Music Critic Award winners of the first half of 2016.  Today’s featured artist is the amazingly talented 18 year old phenom Kaylee Keller, who won for her VIP video remix collaboration with the VinylJackers of her hit song “Diamond.”

Sit back, enjoy the ride and learn things about Ms. Keller.

IVB:  How long have you been performing?

KK:  All my life, really, from talent shows and competitions to  performing for my family and friends.  I really love to jam with my family.  I learned to play guitar about a year ago.  I have also tinkered with the snare drum and keyboards.    I once bedazzled my guitar for a couple of years before learning how to play it.  At the time I was taking acting lessons and not into pursuing my music.

IVB:  Who are your influences?

KK:  Definitely Shirley Temple when I was younger, but around middle school I fell in love with the music of Jamie Grace, Shania Twain, ABBA and the Go Gos.  I also started to check out other artists like Hanna Montana (Miley Cyrus), Hillary Duff, and High School Musical.  Lately, I’ve been grooving on Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Adele and Ellie Golding.   Glee made a big impact on me as well because it was so creative and featured top notch acting.  But I had to stop watching because the content was too mature for me.

IVB:   What made you decide to go the DIY route?

KK:  Well, my mom has been with me every step of the way.  I felt inspired by God since the age of 6 and never really wanted to do anything else but music.   I did musical theater as well as acting in film and TV in New York City.  The opportunity opened up when I graduated two years early (at age 16) and since then the connections have all been coming together.  I simply love being an Indie artist and although I have been offered things by the labels, I’m not ready for that yet.   I want to make sure I have the right team together before I sign with anybody.

IVB:  Are you seeking to be a mainstream artist?

KK:   I do want to be signed to a label and go on tour, but more importantly I want to see what doors God opens for me.  I also would love to have what Meaghan (Trainor) has.  I’m happy learning songwriting and am open to all opportunities.  I want to try them all.

IVB:  How did the collaboration with VinylJackers come about?

KK:  My song “Diamond” was submitted to Radio Diego in the Netherlands and it kept popping up in the Top 5.  The VinylJackers worked alongside of them and reached out to do something with me.  They used the original video I made for “Diamond” to create the VIP remix.  They are two guys who won the title of Best Producers in the Netherlands in 2015.  At the time they were the youngest to win that title.  They have also worked with Chris Willis on his song “Blood in my Veins,” as well as working with Star Beats and performing at big dance parties.  I believe there will be more collaborations in the future.

IVB:  Did you write “Diamonds?”

KK:  My mom and Jeff Pardo wrote it with me, as well as three other songs.

IVB:   What are your future plans?

KK:  I’m going back to Nashville in August to work with Nathan Meckel.  We’ll be writing more music at the Cowboy Clinic Studio over the course of a couple of weeks.  I love working with Jen (Lyneis of Ue3 Promotions) – she has such a good heart and is one of the few people that I can trust.   So many cool things keep coming up because she believes in me.

IVB:  Any good stories from touring/recording/performing?

KK:  Once, I was performing on stage in a musical.  It was a really rough performance.  Early in the play, I was supposed to walk off the stage but instead I walked into the side of the house set piece.  I was talking to the audience and not paying attention to where I was on the stage.    I also broke a plate backstage to create a breaking sound and one of the techs got cut.  I also poured an entire plate of spaghetti on another actor.

IVB:  What type of social media presence do you have?

KK:  I have the usual, including my website and Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Thanks to Jennifer Lyneis for the nomination.