Instruments: guitar, voice, harmonica, mandolin, and bass
Born: Opelika, AL
Keith Moody is a triple threat, who not only can sing and tear it up on the guitar but also writes on a level far above most of his peers. His unique music is a place where rock, blues and country cross paths on the way to a remarkably contemporary sound. Through his constant touring, Keith is a seasoned performer who is known for his strong work ethic, passion for music and determination to persevere. He has played over 100 dates each of the last 2 years growing his story at each stop along the way. With his over 10 years of experience, the journey continues through the support of his fans, friends and family which has transformed him into a modern music juggernaut working at the grass roots level to forge a name for himself at the forefront of the music industry’s future.
Keith’s debut album as a solo artist, The Only Ride You Can Get, received airplay on over 130 terrestrial radio stations as well as significant internet play. Both the first single, "Press Gas and Go", followed by the second, "Think" have become well known standards that have the crowd singing along. This album gave Keith recognition for his songwriting ability which includes strong hooks and a unique musical creation.
His sophomore release in the summer of 2010 is an EP entitled Lines. This EP is a continuation of the same strengths of song as his first album. It also shows the growth of Keith as an artist who has settled into an alternative roots rock style that will be his signature moving forward. “The first record made me proud. It was a good record. It marked a time of transition for me. With this EP you can tell the electric guitar was in mind when it was written. I think I finally found an identity where you can see how my career is steering from here on out. I have a sound that is unique to me.” The EP also features Keith’s first venture into co-writing material on one of his own records. The closing track “Red Line” was co-written by fellow Alabamians, Bryan Jackson and Shawn Miller.
Moody possesses a maturity and depth that belies his age, and that depth no doubt seeps into every note of his music. This depth combined with a myriad of personal influences is a powerful combination evident throughout his material. These influences range from the straight-up soul of Ray Charles, to the bluesy grooves of John Mayer and the quirky, clever lyrics of southern treasure Tom Petty, it’s all in there. Keith feels he not only creates the song’s lyrics, but also arranges it completely in his head as well before he ever sets foot into a studio. “Like most people my age I listened to a variety of music and owned albums across all genres, such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Garth Brooks, George Strait, and Bruce Springsteen, which is why I have a hard time fitting music into a particular bin. If it is good, it’s good so why does it matter?”
Keith’s guitar is essentially a part of him. He and his Paul Reed Smith McCarty have been through some hard times, and some good times. Keith is proud of every knick and scrape his axe has taken up ‘til now. “I have a real relationship with that guitar,” explains Keith. “Most PRS’ you see are very nice, and kept pristine in cases, and mine has been played in about every dive bar across the Southeast, it smells, and it has pieces rubbed off of it and knicks out of it. Give me about 20 more years, and hopefully it will be beaten like Willie’s. That thing is like a part of me.”
Just how close Moody is with his instrument is revealed immediately the minute he launches into one of his soul-searing solos. The two become one as he morphs easily as he plays among the strings, one minute he’s channeling the heart of a 60-year-old bluesman in a number that will melt the house and your heart, the next he’s calling up the ghosts of Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn in a full-tilt, scorching rocker.
Born and raised in Alabama, Keith grew up in a two-parent working family. “My grand-dad gave my first real guitar for Christmas when I was 17." Keith formed his first band, Mostly Harmless, that same year with a buddy from high school. As with many Southern performers his first performances were in church youth group shows. “One of the moments I will always remember was when my first song was on the locals only show of the Montgomery radio station when I was 18.” He continued to hone his musical chops throughout college by observing other artists as he worked in a local music store and played in local venues with his band. He recorded his first demo album in a local studio with his own money at age 20. By 21, word of his talent was already spreading, and he was receiving write-ups in local papers and gaining a significant reputation among local musicians for his guitar skills and performing antics. “One of the things I am most proud of was my organization of showcase for local artists by getting the venue, sponsors and advertising for the event. It gave me an appreciation of the business part of music. As a result I will always have an appreciation for my friends and supporters in the Montgomery and surrounding area.”
With some good advice from a local musician, Keith fostered his abilities even further with pursuit of writing and performing his original music. “Basically I had gotten a job at a guitar store in Montgomery and met a guy named Roland “Lucky” Jackson, said Keith. “He was an old school funk, jazz, and blues player and also a songwriter and arranger himself. I learned a lot about music from him as far as theory and how things are put together as well as the business side of it. He told me I was a natural songwriter, and that I didn’t need to give up on the original thing. Then one day, these two younger kids came into the store, and we formed a new band, The TaxiCab Armada.” The Armada performed for the next four years locally and into Florida. After finishing college and working a regular job for awhile, I thought I was going to give up music. “Music is just my love and I can’t let it go so it didn’t take much convincing for me to relocate to Nashville with my family in 2005 and pursue my passion.”
The wisdom and maturity of his debut and sophomore projects should separate him from the pack and with writing chops and musicianship like his, there’s no doubt he’ll one day be propelled into a stratosphere with stars much like the ones he idolized growing up…and will soon become one of them himself. Just don’t try to separate him from that McCarty.
Amazon: Only Ride You Can Get
iTunes: Keith Moody