Jim Keller releases new album Soul Candy

Jim Keller new album Soul Candy

Guitarist/singer-songwriter Jim Keller, co-founder of rock band Tommy Tutone and co-writer of "867-5309/Jenny" - one of the most enduring anthems of the '80s - releases Soul Candy on October 11, 2011.

Recorded with members of his current live band and assorted friends, the album is the product of a year's worth of writing and playing together in support of Keller's 2010 LP, Sunshine In My Pocket, his solo debut.

In describing the process, Keller says, "The best songs happen from that first blast of inspiration. Basically nothing is cooler to me than a great three-minute pop song. It's like a little bit of soul candy."

In celebration, Keller and band will play a special CD release show November 4, 2011 with Sonny Landreth at New York's Highline Ballroom.

Responding to the success of Sunshine In My Pocket, which was hailed by NPR/WXPN's World Café as "upbeat, rootsy folk that shimmers with optimism," Keller and friends returned to the studio with producer Hector Castillo (Brazilian Girls, Roger Waters) and recorded an album that further broadens the scope of Keller's soulful repertoire as a solo artist.

The band includes Byron Isaacs (Levon Helm), Glenn Patscha (Sheryl Crow) and Chris Masterson (Steve Earle) with help from Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Steve Goulding (The Rumour), Shawn Pelton and background vocals by The Holmes Brothers. Mixed by Tchad Blake (Los Lobos, Crowded House, Tom Waits) and mastered by longtime friend Dave McNair (Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo), Soul Candy features Keller on lead vocals and electric and acoustic guitars.

From beginning to end, Soul Candy is packed with the immutable energy that has come to define Keller's live shows.

Crowd favorite "Giving it Up to Love," with its driving guitars and Hammond organ, features hummable harmonies and an infectious optimism; the bluesy "Julianne" conjures a longtime love with its gospel-tinged backing vocals by The Holmes Brothers and pedal steel by Jon Graboff; and "Modern Girl" is a lushly produced layered pop song that demonstrates Keller's affinity for producing soul candy of his own.

Keller's passion for the songwriting craft and his roots in the pub rock tradition are evident in his humble beginnings: the bars, grange halls and road houses of Northern California, where he played to "hippies, red necks and cowboys."

Last year marked Keller's return to performing and recording after a ten-year hiatus, and with Soul Candy - his second album in as many years - he proves he has no intention of slowing down any time soon.

"Listening to Jim Keller's music makes me feel like I have big plans, no worries and all of my hair." - Tom Waits

Buy CDs, MP3s, more:

Jim Keller on Amazon.com

More music: Jenny May music

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