Don’t Count Us Out showcases not only Keith’s sharply honed talents, but those of some of his dearest and most accomplished friends as well. This latest work provides the listening audience with a clean break in style from his last great work on Advanced Medication For The Blues. While ‘Advanced Medication’ rocked the house from its opening track, Don’t Count Us Out shows an entirely different side of Sykes with his best songwriting to date. More roots-oriented than his last record, this back-to-basics production style is Americana-friendly, and spotlights some fine finger-picking, rockin’ ditties, and downright contagious grooves.
There are several incredible duets, each offering something truly distinct. “Lavender Blue” and “It’s Just You” feature Iris Dement and are just dripping with a refreshing old-style harmony that will leave you hankering for more. Other friends of Keith’s who share the microphone include: John Prine “Everybody Wants To Feel Like You;” Rodney Crowell “Talking To A Stranger;” and Susan Marshall “Why Do You Treat Him Like That?”
If the list of guest vocalists doesn’t do it for you, then guest musicians Teenie Hodges, Howard Grimes, Todd Snider, Fred Knobloch or Larry Crane will give you goose bumps for sure (if not have someone check your pulse right away)!
The record is truly an easy-listening, feel good album that will lift your spirits with songs like “She Will” and “Sally Got Jack” and cut straight through to your soul with the heartfelt ballad “Broken Home.” “Broken Home,” an autobiographical song first debuted at Keith’s Songwriters’ Showcase on Beale Street, has been his most requested song since he wrote it. The record even adds a twist with its comical ballad “Sweet Emily” (co-written with Syren’s co-owner, Kelcy Warren) about a man who has had the unfortunate fate of leaving this earth without his true love and sadly realizes that she must actually die before they shall meet again.
In addition to the fine music on the album, we’re also very proud to feature the artistic work of Susanna Clark on the CD cover. The piece is one that Susanna had drawn back in 1971 of Guy’s old blue denim shirt. Keith has always loved it and was thrilled when Susanna agreed to let him use it for the cover.
Go get a copy for yourself and let us know what you think…
…Sykes’ lyrical style is laidback and thoughtful and his arrangements are always clever and varied. He can rock hard or do ballads with the best and there’s not a dead spot on the CD. He’s a skilled craftsman on vocals, guitar and behind the control panel. I’ve reviewed albums for a long time and I don’t think I have ever heard a better CD than this one.
~B. Burnett/Bluespeak Magazine For the complete article click here.
KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT, writer for the Tennessean says,
“Don’t Ever Count Him Out”