A wise man once wrote “I need some good songs to get me through the bad times”. Truer words have never been spoken and South X South Dakota, the new album from the Ron Keel Band will soon be here. Mark my words, this album is guaranteed to help ease the frustration of the isolation that we are all dealing with. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Fresh off of last year’s amazing Fight Like A Band release, the Ron Keel Band wasted no time delivering the second record that was completely unplanned! This outstanding collection of southern rock covers was never meant to be an album. In fact, the band didn’t even realize it was being recorded.
An Unplanned Record?
As the story was revealed to the Canadian Geeks during episode #96, Ron Keel – Canadian Thunder. “It wasn’t planned, I didn’t have a game plan. We were in the studio cutting Fight Like A Band and we would go in the morning and we’d just warm up by playing through some of our favourite southern rock covers. My co-producer Mike Dresch would be there getting the levels sorted out and of course, he was recording it. When I listened back I knew we had something pretty special here.”
Special indeed! Released on High Vol Music, South X South Dakota is a collection of classic Southern rock songs. One from each of those legendary bands. Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, The Allman Brothers, 38 Special, Blackfoot and more. South X South Dakota is the perfect soundtrack for campfires, cold beers and good times. Something we are all starving for about now.
Thoughts On South X South Dakota
If you haven’t figured it out I am loving this record. The Ron Keel Band are so just so tight and Ron‘s vocals are absolutely perfect for this genre. What I love most about this record are the song choices. They dug a little deeper than the “expected” hits and that’s what makes it so endearing. 38 Special‘s “Rockin Into The Night” is the perfect example, a killer track but not one of the over-saturated radio hits. “No Sweet Home Alabama” or “Freebird” to be found here, instead you get the lead-off single/video “Red White and Blue” as the Skynyrd track. Ron‘s vocals on this track are so heartfelt, so honest and so beautiful.
The biggest surprise for me here was “Don’t Misunderstand Me”. I loved this track! I ashamedly admit that not only had I never heard this song before, I had never heard of the Rossington Collins Band. Also, who was this powerhouse vocalist going toe to toe with Mr. Keel? Jasmine Cain, another name completely unfamiliar to my ears. Thank you, Ron, for the introductions on both counts here.
“Flirting With Disaster” is damn near perfection and the live CCR medley is like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae for me. My Dad used to spend Saturday afternoons cranking up the CCR on our old wooden stereo console. We were up north in Canada but “Born On A Bayou” stirred my southern soul. Wonderful memories. South X South Dakota is indeed a collection of good songs to get us through the bad times. Thanks, Guys!