Tom Keenan sounds like a darker Dylan

Winnipeg musician and actor Tom Keenan’s new CD Romantic Fitness contains gritty and poetic folk music about all kinds of different topics like committing crimes, sniffing glue and starting fights at weddings. There is a quite a bit of  Beatles influence on tracks like ‘Please Don’t Think Less of Me,’ and some Bob Dylan, but grittier.
 It’s beautiful music utilizing a variety of instruments and even more beautifully dark lyrics.
I like Keenan’s voice which is reminiscent of Shannon Hoon of Bind Melon. The old  style countryish ‘River Street’ is a highlight, which features The D-Rangers’ Jaxon Haldane on banjo. I also love his lyrics, which are wry and witty stream of consciousness rants yet immediately appealing. The  lyrics and arrangements remind me of a toned down (popular Vancouver roots band) Swank.
Twilight Hotel’s Dave Quanbury figures prominently on this CD too, playing drums on six tracks, organ on three, pedal steel guitar on two, something called a box shaped heart on one and even trumpet  on ‘I Committed a Crime’ which is very cool, not to mention one of the outstanding tracks.
 There is lots of unusual instrumentation piano, organ, banjo and a couple of weird things I don’t recognize, but it all works. Keenan’s lyrics come out loud and clear. There is even Ruth Moody on violin on a couple songs ‘Another 100 Hours’ and ‘Lullabye.’
I like the story of “I Don’t Want to Lie Down,” which is Keenan’s song about starting a fight at a wedding because he doesn’t get along with the father of the bride — and losing it. And you have to give him credit for setting a Shakespearian sonnet (With Heigh) to music.
It’s just an interesting combination of folk and assorted weirdness that just begs you for repeated listens.
— by Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor

CD: Romantic Fitness
Artist: Tom Keenan
Genre: folk
Record label: indie

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