“[Keller] has a knack for making seemingly simple lines like those sink a little deeper, especially when you add them all up in connection with the world-weary gravitas of his rumbling voice…Keller’s songwriting, wry and understated, yet always gently stirring, holds center court.”
“Mistakes” included in Rolling Stone – Best New Music Releases from Country and Americana Artists for this Week
Backed by Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo on guitar, singer-songwriter Jim Keller whips up a moonlit tune about regret with “Mistakes,” from the upcoming album By No Means (out February 12th). Mixing Dr. John’s New Orleans shuffle with the eerie openness of Kiko-era Lobos, it’s a shadowy environment perfect for surveying one’s psychic damage and trying to purge a few demons.
Check it out on Rolling Stone!
The new single from By No Means is “Mistakes,” a dark and smoky number about guilt — “one of my favorite song topics,” says Jim, adding it’s “A never-ending flow of material coming from that river.”
Maybe the band Tommy Tutone was a one-hit wonder, but for a time in the early 80s, this song, written by band founder Jim Keller, was inescapable.
PREMIERE: Jim Keller’s New Song Benefits The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund – on WNYC’s New Sounds Weekly Music Roundup
Video Premiere in New Sounds’ Weekly Music Roundup, which features Jim and “Easy Rider” as the lead story.
Song of the Month
Jim Keller, “Don’t Get Me Started.” What is a musician supposed to do for fun when much of their life was put on pause when the pandemic really took over and so many things were shut down? For Jim Keller, it was time to go deep and use whatever technology was available to record a song he felt had to be done. With Byron Issacs, Keller wrote “Don’t Get Me Started,” part lament and part anthem, to raise a fist to all that was changing right beneath his feet, and make a stand that they wouldn’t disappear too easily. Working with producer Mitchell Froom, the song is a hot-blooded look at what’s been lost, but also an examination on what is still possible. It’s tough as nails and just angry enough, and the kind of song that could live well beyond the present time as an ode to stick-to-it-ness. It has that menacing kick of the best rock and roll, with Keller’s midnight voice and slinky guitar. And just to keep the fires burning, he enlisted a strong set of musicians to add their own contribution to the song’s outro for a virtual collection of a walk on the wild side. Included are Nels Cline, Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Phillip Glass, Val McCullum and more. For Keller, the man who co-wrote the mega-hit “867-5309/Jenny” for his band Tommy Tutone and unleashed it on the world in the early ’80s, it all shows there is no end to the music.
Click here to view original review.
Watch a video of Jim and Thad DeBrock on Radio Woodstock (100.1 WDST).
Hear Jim, Adam Minkoff, Tony Mason, Teddy Kumpel and Jim Cowherd play songs from “Heaven Can Wait” on WFMU.
Read the review by Bill Bentley here.
Listen to Jim being interviewed by Scott Simon on NPR Weekend Edition, discussing Heaven Can Wait, working with the famous minimalist composer and — yes — the legacy of “Jenny.”
“Walk You Home” is featured in American Songwriter‘s “Song Premiere” section. Listen to the track and read its story as told by Jim.
Nippertown had nice things to say about the Aug 3rd show at Helsinki Club, where Jim opened for Sonny Landreth:
“…The real surprise, though, was opener Jim Keller. Yes, he sang the Tommy Tutone hit “867-5309/Jenny,” but the real story was found in material from his sophomore solo album, Soul Candy. Without ever losing sight of his own identity, Keller called up aural images of Willy DeVille, Alejandro Escovedo, Dan Penn and Landreth’s old boss, John Hiatt. Magic, baby, magic.”
Head over to YouTube to see a video of “Mystery Train”, filmed June 4th at the sold-out Levon Helm Benefit at Brooklyn Bowl. It’s also available in the video section of this site. Jim is on guitar and vocals, and the rest of the roster is: accordion – Marco Benevento, organ – Jason Crosby, piano – Brian Mitchell, guitars – Jim Weider and Scott Metzger, bass & additional vocals – Byron Isaacs, drums – Joe Russo, horns – Kevin Moehringer (trombone), Aaron Rockers (trumpet), Adam Schatz (sax), and Jonah Parzen-Johnson (bari).
From Now I’ve Heard Everything:
After being away from writing and performing music for a number of years (he was in Tommy Tutone and co-wrote “867-5309/Jenny”), Jim Keller has collected a band full of top notch musicians and been performing in small local venues and recording. Soul Candy is Jim’s second album in as many years. You’ll find 10 soul tinged songs on the record ranging from rockers like “Meltdown” and “Giving It Up To Love” to ballads like “Julianne” and “Modern Girl”. And of course Jim makes skillful use of a horn section.
See the “Best albums of 2011” list at nowiveheardeverything.com.
Jerry Shriver of USA TODAY selects Jim’s “Julianne” for this week’s playlist: “Echoes of Southside Johnny waft from this rich and sweet original track from the new Soul Candy.”
“He got it! Jim Keller, co-writer of the 80s’ Tommy Tutone smash, now calls Phillip Glass ‘The Boss.'”
Read the article at The Modern
Tommy Tutone alumnus serves up ready-made meat-and-taters rock.
“A stylistic chameleon working within clearly defined parameters, the veteran Jim Keller is equally at home with every iteration of mid- to late-’70s guitar rock. On his second solo album in as many years, Keller hews close to his origins as the guitarist in the Springsteen-influenced Tommy Tutone and co-writer of the iconic 1082 hit “867-5309/Jenny”. Working primarily with ready-made elements, the veteran applies his rugged, lived-in baritone to material that vividly evokes Graham Parker & The Rumour (whose drummer, Steve Goulding, is on the record) on “White Gloves And Pearls”, Mink DeVille on “Julianne” and Moon Martin on the title track.” – Bud Scoppa