A new generation of balladeers continues to spark the neotraditional movement in country music. Artists including Cody Johnson, Aaron Watson, and Jon Pardi uphold the roots of country and keep tradition alive. The movement continues to steam forward with the appearance of Cory Keefe, bursting onto the scene with I’ll Keep It Country (KDM Records).
“Cory Keefe may be a new face in country music, but traditional sounds run deep in his soul. He’s one of the new traditionalists keeping a lost art alive, and Cory is definitely keeping it country. His vocals are as deep and rich as the likes of Haggard, Whitley and Singletary. Cory Keefe is a true star in the making and I’m proud to be a part of his debut album. ~Lorrie Morgan
The album was produced by Nashville hitmaker Buddy Hyatt, a former member of the rock group TOTO (Rosanna, Hold the Line, Africa). Hyatt has worked with Lee Greenwood, Randy Travis, Mickey Gilley, Lynn Anderson, Jessica Andrews, JoDee Messina, Tracey Lawrence, to name a few; making him a perfect fit for Cory’s traditional style. Together with Hyatt, Cory chose 13 tracks written by some of country music’s most successful songwriters and gathered a stellar list of players and singers to join Keefe in the studio.
A preview track was released earlier this year. “Where There’s A Beer There’s A Way,” written by Tom Botkin, Kevin Denney, and John Edwards, gave fans a taste of the straight up country music Keefe is ready to serve up. A lyric video accompanied the track.
Concurrent with the album release, the title track will hit radio. “I’ll Keep It Country” was written by Michael Rogers, Tom Botkin, and Craig Morgan. The release will feature a music video with a guest appearance by Grand Ole Opry star, Lorrie Morgan, who also lends her voice to the album on the song, “I Just Want You.”
A gifted guitar player and singer, Cory Keefe is unabashedly country in his style and delivery. The self-taught musician was influenced by parents who are also talented singers. Along with his twin brother, (who makes a guest appearance on the new CD), Cory often participated in talent shows and other live music events, with a rising passion for music that continues to drive Cory’s ambition. Admittedly, Cory became a stickler for rehearsals after he and his twin showed up for a competition self-assured and unprepared; a youthful lesson well-learned.
With inspiration from the music of artists like Daryle Singletary, Kevin Denney, and the late Keith Whitley, Cory’s style is rooted in tradition, with a modern twist. His eclectic taste runs from Merle Haggard to rock music and even pop artists like Ed Sheeran might be heard blasting from the radio of his pickup truck. As a singer, however, the affable Keefe has a heart for pure country. Diehard fans of the legends will feel an instant kinship with Keefe, perhaps even feeling an immediate urge to sing along; certain they’ve heard him before. The sound is that familiar and comfortably country.
Cory was among the artists who performed at Nashville’s CMA Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for the 2019 Keith Whitley Memorial Show, hosted by Lorrie Morgan and Jesse Keith Whitley. Sharing the stage with a lineup that included Garth Brooks, Joe Diffie, Joe Nichols, Ricky Skaggs, Tracy Lawrence, Mark Wills and more, the country newcomer not only held his own, but brought the audience to its feet. The performance prompted emcee and legendary broadcaster, Bill Cody, to keep the young singer onstage to chat and give the enthusiastic crowd a chance to know him better.
When he’s not wowing audiences with his vocal chops, Cory works as an electrician and enjoys softball, bowling, racing, and basically anything that feeds his competitive spirit. He’s grounded, rock solid and country through and through.
I’ll Keep It Country is available April 16, 2021 on KDM Records.
Deeper Well (Jeff Stevens, Steve Bogard)
She Calls Me Cowboy (Monty Russ Criswell, Bubba Strait)
I’ll Keep It Country (Michael Rogers, Tom Botkin, Craig Morgan)
Till Now (Phillip White, Blue Miller)
Where There’s A Beer There’s A Way (Tom Botkin, Kevin Denney, John Edwards)
That’s Where I Want To Take Our Love (Dean Dillon, Hank Cochran)
I Just Want You Feat. Lorrie Morgan (Max D Barnes, Sylvia Barnes, Troy Seals)
Young Man Old (Justin Chambers)
Damn Strait (Tom Botkin, Caleb Daugherty)
Brotherly Love Feat. Dustin Keefe (Tim Nichols, Jimmy Alan Stewart)
Anything (Tom Botkin, Jon Michael Henderson, Lester P Richardson)
When I Breathe (Linda Buell, Craig Martin)
Going Home (John R Schneider, Troy Seals)