Roadhouse Album Review: Dave Keyes and his keys sparkle on “Rhythm Blues & Boogie”

Dave Keyes — “Rhythm Blues & Boogie — Blue Heart Records

I’ve always been a fool for fine piano music — blues, boogie and otherwise.

Which why this tasty new album by veteran keyboard whiz Dave Keyes hits all the right notes. (And yes, Keyes is his name as well as his game.)

His bio will give you a few facts:

New York City native keyboardist, singer and songwriter Dave Keyes is a 30-year veteran of the blues, roots, and Americana music scene. The three-time Blues Music Award nominee, who has released six highly acclaimed albums under his own name, was named the “Best Unsigned Artist” by Keyboard magazine

His music will tell you much more.

Keyes adds world-weary vocals to tireless piano stylings that rock, romp, boogie and sometimes pianissimo their way through a set of mostly originals (plus one cover) with considerable feeling for music just keeps moving right along.

The album kicks off with “Shake Shake Shake,” a rollicking invitation to dance your way onto the floor where the music flows, highlighted by a spirited sax solo, followed by “That’s What The Blues Are For,” a bouncy blues with liquid guitar work. “Blues and Boogie” is next, a romp through some of each.

Next is a little gem with just Keyes and his keys on the plaintive Wille Nelson chestnut, “Funny How Time Slips Away,” filled with just the right amount of heartache and melancholy; a late-night ode to lost love.

Then he bounces back with “Ain’t Doing That No More,” soaring along with a rhythmic taste of New Orleans second-line flavor; followed by “Ain’t Going Down,” a tough, percussive anthem of survival.

Then it’s time for a bombastic boogie-woogie instrumental on “WBGO Boogie,” titled after a Newark jazz and blues radio station. He romps, he stomps, his left hand driving a right hand that knows exactly what it’s doing. “Not Fighting Anymore” carries Latin rhythms into and out of a relationship struggle.

“Invisible Man” is a loping lament about finding a woman — “your mind is taking orders that your body can’t fill” — aided by the incomparable Doug MacLeod on acoustic guitar with a little vocal advice.

It all wraps up nicely in the anthem-like “7 O’clock Somewhere,” a romping tribute to front-line workers driven hard by Keyes’ piano and stinging guitar.

This a fine, fun album full of Dave Keyes’ sparkling piano and sharp vocals. Plus great music from his bandmates. What more can a music lover ask?

Here’s a video of “That’s What The Blues Are For”:

Track List, Credits & Musicians:

One thought on “Roadhouse Album Review: Dave Keyes and his keys sparkle on “Rhythm Blues & Boogie”

  1. dave keyes November 17, 2022 / 9:27 pm

    thanks jim for listening and for your supportive words! best wishes and hope to see u down the road!


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