Official Ron Keel Bio
written by Charles Troost, freelance publicist & promotional consultant
a project-by-project chronological biography
to download this BIO as a Microsoft Word document click here
Veteran vocalist/musician/songwriter/entertainer Ron Keel’s amazing career has taken him around the world and across the borders that separate the styles of music that he has performed and recorded. From the concrete jungles of heavy metal & arena rock to the dirt roads and backwoods of country music & southern rock, Keel is an artist who has been there, done that, and still has a lot to prove.
frontman for hard rock/heavy metal bands KEEL, Steeler, Saber Tiger, and
Fair Game (he also spent a brief moment in time with Black Sabbath), Ron
Keel sold millions of albums, toured the world as a headliner and opening
act for icons such as Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and many
more, plus notched several hits on radio and MTV including classics “The
Right To Rock”, “Because The Night”, “Tears Of Fire”, and
Country singer ‘Ronnie Lee Keel’ he has also toured the world,
performing for US troops at military bases across Europe and opening for
major stars like Jo Dee Messina & Chris LeDoux, releasing a solo album
and a CD with Nashville country-rockers The Rat’lers. His country music is
featured regularly on major TV shows like "CMT Insider" &
"CMT Total Access".
a songwriter, Keel’s compositions have been featured in an impressive
array of hit TV shows (“Desperate Housewives”, “The Simpsons”,
“X-Files”, “Guiding Light”, and many more), major films (“Men In
Black II”, “The Messengers”, “Chill Factor”, “1000 Acres”
etc.), and recorded by his own bands & projects plus other artists such
as Vixen (Keel co-wrote the title track to this EMI act’s sophomore effort
“Rev It Up”).
music can be heard on any given day on both VH1 and CMT; VH1 Classic and VH1
frequently air KEEL videos and special programs that feature Ron, and his
tunes have become a background staple on prominent CMT programs. Anthology
albums like “The Soft Side Of Hard Rock” put Keel’s compositions
alongside those of KISS and Deep Purple, while a “New Country”
collection showcased a Ronnie Lee Keel cut with those of Kenny Chesney,
Rodney Crowell, and other country superstars.
accomplishments extend to other aspects of the entertainment industry; Ron
has experienced the thrill of acting and working in movies like “Bad
Channels” and “Never Too Young To Die”, and the responsibilities and
challenges of being the Producer and Executive Producer of a number of
recording projects for other artists as well as his own. He enjoys doing
guest appearances on other artists' recordings, and participating in a
myriad of charity activities to help raise money for the less fortunate.
this from a man who began his career in Phoenix, Arizona, and dropped out of
high school to pursue his dream of music; at the age of sixteen, he was
already in demand locally as a session player and playing nightclubs from
Arizona to Texas and back. At 20, he had his first regional radio hit in
Nashville with his first hard rock band, Lust; a year later he was in Los
Angeles rocketing to the top of the early 80’s metal revolution with his
band Steeler. The Steeler album is a cornerstone of that genre and
generation; among the biggest selling independent albums of all time, it is
also (according to Metal Edge Magazine) one of the Most Underrated Heavy
Metal Albums Of All Time.
success afforded him the opportunity to develop his vision of the ultimate
hard rock band, called KEEL, of course, and with the help of producer Gene
Simmons and the muscle of a major label recording contract, that band became
the vehicle by which Ron Keel would gain the stature and profile in the
music business that he maintains to this day.
three albums in BillBoard’s Hot 100 and five hit videos on MTV, Keel the
man and KEEL the band called it a day, and Ron moved on to become the first
rock frontman with an all-female backing band in Fair Game, his next
project. Though the music and image were a package primed for success, and
RK was just hitting his stride as a vocalist and songwriter, Fair Game was
caught in the shifting tastes of the times. Refusing to change and follow
the trends in music of the early 90’s, Ron Keel instead followed his heart
and found sanctuary in country music as Ronnie Lee Keel.
stripped of the trappings of a Rock Star allowed Ron to reinvent himself and
build a new sound and persona based on his voice, his lyrics, his songs, and
his experiences. For the better part of the decade, he wrote, recorded, and
performed country music as Ronnie Lee Keel in venues across the Southwest
and across Europe. This period of his life, now affectionately referred to
as ‘The Country Years’, was in many ways as successful as his chart runs
and arena tours: he played more shows during this time than any other era of
his career, many years doing as many as 300 gigs, and his country songs and
recordings were featured in a myriad of television shows and movies.
the stereotypes of country music became as constricting as those he had
experienced in heavy metal, and Keel felt the only way to satisfy his
creative hunger was to combine the two styles in a way that had never been
done before. For six years, he fronted the hard-edged musically androgynous
animal called IronHorse, which blended the sound of screaming guitars and
thunderous drums with mandolin, banjo, and harmonica, melded the sweat and
leather of arena rock with the sensitivity and sensibility of country music
and classic southern rock. IronHorse released two CD’s and performed 600
shows since the turn of the century, from coast to coast, as opening act for
ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, 38 Special, The Outlaws and as a headliner for
events such as San Diego’s Freedom Festival, welcoming troops home from
the Middle East, and major motorcycle events like the LoneStar Biker Bash at
Texas Motor Speedway. Ron’s last album with IronHorse,
“Bring It On”, is two fistfuls of energy and emotion that come
straight from the heart – one hits you in the gut, the other right between
the eyes, while taking you on a musical and lyrical journey straight through
the life of the man singing the songs to you: Ronnie Keel.
In recent years RK has expanded his musical and business horizons even further. Ron has performed an increasing number of solo acoustic shows to critical acclaim and a great response from fans and media, touring in 2006 with heavyweights such as Quiet Riot, Tesla, Y&T and more.
2005 RK landed the role of Country superstar Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn)
in the show "Country Music USA" playing in
Laughlin Nevada. This has now led to Ronnie producing his own show and
continuing to perform in that role in Las Vegas' ONLY Country Music Tribute
show - the "Country Superstars Tribute", playing at The Fitz every
Thursday through Monday begnning June 21 2007. In addition to Brooks & Dunn, this show features incredible tributes to
Toby Keith, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, & Shania Twain - http://countrysuperstarstribute.com
the release of his Anthology CD “Ron Keel: The Ultimate Collection Double
CD” in 2007, Ron came full
circle. This disc contains all the favorites and classics from throughout his
career finally collected on one release
If rock and roll is about rebellion, then Ron Keel is rock and roll to the core, because he’s rebelled against everyone and everything that ever tried to put a fence around him or his music.
If being an outlaw means breaking all the rules and living to tell about it, that’s a hat RK is proud to wear. Ron Keel is here to stay and is still coming on strong with both barrels blazing.