Some voices just somehow slip the cracks, which is criminal. Take Jim Keaveny, who weaves a tapestry of southwest flavored melodies across a vocal presentation that wreaks a mix of Tom Waits, Todd Snider, Greg Brown, and old world novel characters. Keaveny ain’t no poser and is as REAL as they come, where he lives off-the-grid in a house he built with his bare hands in Texas. This singer-songwriter deserves a regarded place amongst the Hiss Golden Messengers and Phosphorescents, yet this talent has surely remained in the undercurrent.
Years after the release of his acclaimed LP, Put it Together, Keaveny reveals the benefits of patience in his songwriting with “Sunrise” and “Golden Carmen,” a digital 7-inch highlighting his more romantic side. Glide is premiering “Sunrise
(below) which offers the mystic lonesome twang gleam of Giant Sand while invoking Keaveny’s own true American original musical ethos.
“Sunrise” began decades ago during his childhood piano lessons, but his instructor didn’t care about his attempts at songwriting.
“She’s was a nice woman but very strict. She just wanted me to learn the classics,” Keaveny says. “So, I did. I won trophies and things like that, but when I showed her something I wrote, she’d kind of push it aside. She wasn’t interested. I composed a song on piano that became ‘Sunrise’ back in those days. The whole melody, the changes, everything except the lyrics. I’ve had it with me for many years, that particular song, and then I turned it into a completely different thing.”
Over the years, Keaveny built “Sunrise” from a childhood piano melody, to a straightforward folk tune, to a full-band love song that embodies the spirit of the Southwest. Keaveny was reeling from his divorce. It was one of the darkest times in his life. He was fighting off a heavy depression, when he met a woman who became a shining beacon of hope—to pull him from the darkness and into the light.
“She helped me heal from my divorce,” says Keaveny. “It’s like the sun set and it was gone for a year and a half. Sitting there wondering what I did wrong. Am I a bad person? She gave me the attention and love I needed. It ended up not working out, but she had a big impact on me at that moment. Just to have someone say, ‘Hey, you’re fucking awesome.’ I had this moment of I’m back. I’m back on the scene. I’m alive again! This song was a euphoric experience.”