Ron Keel joins The Metal Summit and talks about Steeler, Keel, his short stint with Black Sabbath, Gene Simmons, and living in South Dakota.
During recording sessions for their 2019 original album release FIGHT LIKE A BAND, the Ron Keel Band warmed up each day by ripping through some of their favorite southern rock classics. What started as a fun way to loosen up in the studio has now turned into SOUTH X SOUTH DAKOTA, an 11-track covers album featuring the music of Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Outlaws, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, Creedence and more, releasing worldwide April 24th on the HighVolMusic label.
“At first, we didn’t even know Mike (producer Mike Dresch) was recording,” Ron says. “We were just having fun. But of course, Mike records everything we do, and when I started listening back I realized that we had something really cool on our hands.”
The band has had a lot of practice on these tunes; many of them have been included in their live show for the past several years. Their cover of “Ghost Riders In The Sky” was the debut single and video when RKB was known as the “Badlands House Band” and “Homesick” (originally recorded by Atlanta Rhythm Section) was their 2017 summer single. Both those recordings are included on the new SXSD collection.
Venturing slightly from traditional southern rock fare, the album also includes “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” and a live recording of the band’s CCR Medley of “Born On The Bayou/Bad Moon Rising/Fortunate Son.”
And now the SXSD album project has evolved into a full-on concert experience as the Ron Keel Band is booking select performances which will feature all these songs and more. Fans at the “South X South Dakota” shows will also get treated to all the southern rock classics and more, including Eagles music (“If the Eagles had been from anywhere but California, they would have been dubbed southern rock,” Keel claims) and other outlaw standards from Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels and more.
“I realize that even though I’ve sold a few million albums in my career, there are still a lot of people who aren’t familiar with me or my work,” Ron explains. “But everybody knows and loves these classics, so when we do a casino show, or a big bike event, this platform allows us to give the people what they want while introducing them to some of our new original music at the same time.”