I am extremely proud to announce that Ronnie Lee Keel has been selected as one of Country Music's Sponsored Ambassadors of the Pro Bull Rider's Association
Now available: "Ronnie Lee Keel - The Country Years" CD compilation
includes the entire "Western Country" & "The Rat'lers - Thick As Thieves" albums in their entirety plus previously unreleased bonus track "Because We Love"
To order the CD click on the cover
I had it all. My childhood dream of being a rock star had come true; my band
KEEL had released several high-charting albums, our videos were all over TV, our
songs on the radio, our tours spanned the globe and we all believed the party
would never endů
all things must. In a heartbeat everything changed, and gone were the big record
deals and world tours. Royalty checks had been replaced by bills I couldn't pay.
Simultaneously my personal life was devastated by a tragedy from within my
family and my dreams were shot down in flames.
When I picked up the pieces, moved on with my life, and rebuilt myself, the superficial veneer of the rock star was gone. In his place stood a man driven to sing about the pain and pleasure of real life, about true love and heartache, to play music that was warm, friendly, and fun. I spent a lot of time in the Arizona desert, singing to the fire and the wind, and Country Music poured out of me, providing me with an outlet for my emotions and a means to do what I love best: sing, write songs, and entertain people.
I love the fact that Country Music is built around the things I love best: the voice, the lyrics, and the melody - and that you can paint with so many different colors: steel guitar, fiddle, dobro, piano, harmonica as well as all kinds of guitar tones.
I had been born in the South and raised on my father's
collection of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. I always enjoyed
the freedom of just picking up an acoustic guitar and singing a song, whether
around a campfire or in a honky tonk bar.
I spent most of the 1990s singing Country with my own band and then The Rat'lers, opening for artists like Jo Dee Messina, Mark Wills, Chris LeDoux and more. I released two Country CDs ("Western Country" and "The Rat'lers: Thick As Thieves") and played thousands of gigs in honky tonks throughout America and Europe. Many of my Country songs have appeared in major films and TV shows, and I'm very proud of this music and that aspect of my career.
Regardless of my periodic return to Metal (Saber Tiger, etc) and my fusion of Country to Metal (IronHorse), the entity and identity of Ronnie Lee Keel has remained prominent in my life and career. I have continued to write and record music which is featured on CMT and current hit TV shows like "Desperate Housewives" & "King Of The Hill", and as Ronnie Lee Keel I have recently become a sponsored ambassador of the Pro Bull Rider's Association.
A compilation of my music from 1995-1998 is now available: entitled "The Country Years", it contains the "Western Country" and Rat'lers albums in their entirety plus previously unreleased bonus track "Because We Love". Ordering information is at the top of this page. Several new unreleased Ronnie Lee Keel songs are now available for download on the TUNES page of this web site.
No matter where I go and what I do, Ron Keel will also always be Ronnie Lee Keel. Someday, somewhere, you just might walk through the swinging doors of some roadhouse honky tonk and hear a guy singing about life, love, drinking and dancing - and don't be surprised if it's me. For Ronnie Lee Keel shows in the near future, check the SHOWS page.
recordings by Ronnie Lee Keel:
"Western Country", "New Country", "Thick As Thieves", "The Country Years"