CD Review: Heaven’s Headlines (The Keetons)
Average Song Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
Producer: None credited.
Song List: It Won’t Be Long; Coming Thru For You; Heaven’s Headlines; Answer For the Lost; Lay Them Down; A Beautiful Life; Following In Their Footsteps; I’ve Been Saved; Never Too Far; Coming Home (Dan’s Testimony).
Available from: Artist.
* * *
Before joining the Dixie Melody Boys, Dan Keeton led a trio with his wife, Nancy, singing alto, and Rick Grey singing bass. Keeton left the Dixie Melody Boys last year and launched the Dan Keeton Quartet, with Nancy and Rick, joined by baritone Chris Little. This group recorded a live album of classic songs. Earlier this year, Chris Little left the group. Since they were back to the same lineup they used before Dan’s Dixie Melody Boys stint, Dan brought the Keetons name back.
This project is the group’s first recording of new songs since bringing the name back. There are ten tracks; one is the classic “A Beautiful Life,” featuring Rick Grey. Another, “Coming Home,” is Dan Keeton’s (spoken) testimony.
The other eight tracks are new songs, all penned by Dan Keeton. There are several good uptempo songs (“It Won’t Be Long,” “Lay Them Down,” “I’ve Been Saved.”) “Following in Their Footsteps” and the title track are lyrically strong slower songs.
Rick Grey’s only has one extended feature (“A Beautiful Life”), along with a few solo lines here and there. Generally speaking, the solo lines seem to be keyed a little too low for his range. However, I have heard the group live, and his low notes work perfectly in a live setting, where the vocal spread on big endings would make the Parrack / Riley Gold City jealous.
This debut (or, more precisely, re-debut) recording wasn’t backed by a major-label budget, but it certainly shows promise of what the group can become.