“Music on its own is almost like a palate cleanser,” Keeley says. “Whatever emotional state you’re in, it can help. It centers you, sets you back to zero. Music is a way to help people via this really fun thing.”
For Brandon Keeley, these are words to live by. For as long as he can remember, he has used music to get through things in life. Whether it was getting through his parents’ divorce at a young age, the angst of teenage love, daily stresses or getting through his own divorce with his first love, music has always been there, as a tool to guide him through life challenges.
Keeley bounced around California and Texas as a kid, but was always around music growing up. With a father who was a musician and classic guitar collector, Keeley grew up around guitars. He moved to Sammamish, Wash. in second grade, picked up his first guitar at age 10 and started his first band at age 11. Keeley’s uncle was also a musician, and founded the band Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods, which had a number one hit in the ‘70s, “Billy Don’t Be a Hero.” At age 15, he was invited up on stage to play a guitar solo during one of his uncle’s shows. After his first live performance, he was hooked.
Heavily influenced by classic rock artists such as Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, Keeley honed his singing, guitar and songwriting skills until he joined his second band, Boulevard, in 2000. As the songwriter and lead singer, he and his group performed around Puget Sound until they split up in 2004.
After a brief hiatus from the music scene, Keeley has returned with his new album, Cycles. The title is inspired from his love of freeride mountain biking, but also represents the different phases of his life, which can be found in the song content. After years of trial and error and countless hours researching how to get the best sound out of inexpensive gear, he recorded Cycles in its entirety in his home recording studio. Finally happy with the sound, he released the album in January 2012. The passion in his voice and lyrics shines through not only on the album, but also in his live performances.
If you like artists such as Matt Nathanson, Mat Kearney, Damien Rice or Rob Thomas, you will enjoy the music of Brandon Keeley.