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John Keenan
Fool's Crusade

There are those artists whose songs create a fantasy world for the listener and those whose music gives the listener a dose of hardcore reality. John Keenan's falls in between the two, sometimes giving his music a romantic spark like on "Bus Ride Away" or "Emerald Eyes" and then at times his music and lyrics turn introspective and temporal with charcoal burning fumes filling the instrument textures like on "Night On The Hill" and "Just A Kid." His whiskey tinted vocal tones are at home with country-folk registers and blues-rock gales. John Keenan's latest release Fool's Crusade on Tidbit Music inspirit a blend of America's alternative country breeds and world music's soul-rock fusions.

A native of Scotland, Keenan is a cross between John Prine's gruffy tinctures and Morrissey's smooth drifts. Keenan's country-folk has soul with slight lifts in the rhythmic mounds and spikey guitar bows created by fusion guitarist Mike Harwood, better known as Cruiserman. Produced by multi-instrumentalist Markus Wagner (Ann Nyk), Fool's Crusade is fluent in guitar and piano harmonies from the folk-rock styling of "Half The Man" to the soul-filled saxophone warbles on "Who's To Say" and the smooth jazz motifs on the title track. Keenan credits Frank Sinatra and Steve Earle for his vocal finesse which has Earle's rough hues and Sinatra's curves for groping the melodic furls. His rendition of Gordon Lightfoot's tune "If You Could Read My Mind" has a soft rock tempo that flows and ebbs with lissome slings. The tempos are mild with snare drum rafters, doleful moods, and rings of soul-endowed vocal harmonies on tracks like "Emerald Eyes" and "I'm Just Waiting." The light crests in the blues-rock movements of "Who's Gonna Save Me" have a correlation to The Mother Hips and the spikey guitar swells on "South Of The River Crowd" light up the softly coved piano looms. The Southern rock grooves of "Wishing Well" and the smooth jazz saxophone loops on "More To Loving" display contrasting modes of elegance and soulful definitions.

John Keenan's latest release Fool's Crusade is a hybrid of casual gushes and cultured textures. His country-folk is coated with contemporary seasonings and soul. Keenan's album is only available at his myspace site, but with 16 tracks you feel like you are getting the full monty.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. If You Could Read My Mind
2. Emerald Eyes
3. Bus Ride Away
4. Night On The Hill
5. Lost In Her Fiction
6. Girl On Her Own
7. Half The Man
8. Who's To Say
9. I'm Just Waiting
10. Just A Kid
11. More To Loving
12. Not Too Late To Turn
13. Fool's Crusade
14. South Of The River Crowd
15. Wishing Well
16. Who's Gonna Save Me

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