JAMES KEEN is a London-based singer/songwriter who takes a broad musical approach to create a fresh and compelling sound. His dynamic vocals and adept lyricism are equally striking and distinctive.
While James Keen has his own sound, it is in the same vein as a number of leading contemporary artists such as Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Ben Harper, James Blunt, David Gray, and Dave Matthews. More classic influences would include Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Sting and Elton John. James has performed in the UK, the United States and South Africa.
What makes James Keen a relevant artist today, and one who has the ability to stay fresh for many years? Whilst having a defined, consistent and distinctive style, and always commercial, James takes his audience on a journey. Similarly his words address a whole range of themes.
James's recent partnership with veteran session drummer, musical director and producer Brian McCook has led to a perfect harmony of musical aspiration. Complementing each other from different musical backgrounds and perspectives, they have created a highly commercial and contemporary, groove-based sound. James and Brian should prove as powerful and successful a combination, both in the studio and live, as some of the best, similar partnerships in the business. Brian (aka "Cookie") has worked with a range of international artists, both in Europe and the US.
In order to create the sound and encapsulate the vision, James and Brian set up their own label – Jackaroo Records – through which to record their debut album. All 12 songs were written by James and produced by Brian. The album also features James’s younger brother, Jason Keen, a versatile lead guitarist and a longstanding part of his outfit. Other session musicians on the album cover bass guitar, percussion, brass, strings as well as backing singers. In concert, however, James is comfortable performing solo, in a trio/quartet or with a multiple person backing band.
More recently, James and co have returned to the studio to record a new EP; tracks are exclusively available to hear first here on Sonicbids
James Keen - Vocals, Guitar
Jason Keen - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Alex Ho - Piano
Tim Gyton - Bass Guitar
Brian McCook - Drums
Kofi Karikari - Percussion
James Keen - No Coincidence
Come In David Gray, Your Time Is Up
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More polished than a Royal Marine’s favourite boots and more sophisticated than a poodle with a ciga...More polished than a Royal Marine’s favourite boots and more sophisticated than a poodle with a cigarette holder, James Keen has put together an album of carefully crafted, slickly produced mature pop music. A host of highly accomplished musicians have rallied round the London-based singer songwriter on ‘No Coincidence’ to produce 12 tracks that effortlessly draw on blues, soul, folk, country and rock to breathe life into more than a few canny melodies. It’s just one new idea after another and there’s more variety than the pick ‘n’ mix counter at Woolies. What unites it all, though, is the strength of the melodies. An incredibly well rounded and surprising collection. Genres, who needs them? Come in David Gray, your time is up.
Stunning In Every Aspect. 10/10
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A sparkling example of contemporary music, No Coincidence isn't just a good album - it's bloody bril...A sparkling example of contemporary music, No Coincidence isn't just a good album - it's bloody brilliant!! With music that crosses and blurs musical genre, James Keen offers something for everyone. Superb songs, stunning musicianship and a beautifully rounded and well proportioned voice that can adapt to any rhythmic and/or genre nuance you could imagine. Comparisons are difficult but I can hear James Taylor and Tim Buckley in his delivery; a massively impressive voice and quite clearly a lyricist and composer of the highest order. This is an album I'll be listening to for ages and I don't see myself ever getting tired of it. Stunning in every aspect, it's an absolute gem of an album and fully deserves massive success. 10/10
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A good pop record will draw inspiration from a plethora of sources, so No Coincidence is built on so...A good pop record will draw inspiration from a plethora of sources, so No Coincidence is built on solid foundations with an entire spectrum of styles and artists supplying the influences. The sound takes on jazzy-pop and country-soul pathways with plenty of the generically labelled (but certainly not generic-sounding) pop. If you are a fan of any of these influences, you'll certainly enjoy James Keen. An all-round winner.
James' Songwriting Is Outstanding
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No Coincidence is a well produced and performed adult singer-songwriter CD with a good mix of tracks...No Coincidence is a well produced and performed adult singer-songwriter CD with a good mix of tracks. The variety of themes and styles gives life and energy to the CD. James' songwriting is outstanding, with memorable chord progressions and meaningful lyrics that build to powerful choruses. “Painting a Picture” has a nice rhythmic groove behind James' excellent guitar work and provides lyrics that are expressive and nicely tell a story. “The Dawn” is a wonderful example of the variety that shines in this CD. "Something to be Said" has a country music influence, and provides a beautiful, soft ending to the CD. If you enjoy singer-songwriters such as Tracy Chapman or Jason Mraz, you will enjoy this CD.
Great & Varied
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An incredibly slick and well-packaged album, with all the professionalism of a fully-signed artist, ...An incredibly slick and well-packaged album, with all the professionalism of a fully-signed artist, No Coincidence is a complete melting pot of James’s influences. The myriad of musicians on this record leads to a truly eclectic sound, helping to keep the album sound fresh with each listen. The highlight is the simple but highly infectious “Nevertheless” which will be stuck in my head for days to come. Overall, a great and varied debut.
His Major-League Potential Is Undeniable
Accomplished & Very Pleasing Listen
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"An accomplished singer/songwriter, James Keen's album 'No Coincidence' is a classy piece of work wi..."An accomplished singer/songwriter, James Keen's album 'No Coincidence' is a classy piece of work with 12 strong tracks and a very full and accomplished musical backdrop. Most of them have a funky / bluesy feel, with intriguing, and not obvious, lyrics. James has a good, strong voice with a pleasing tremolo which strongly reminds me of a cross between Tracy Chapman and Chris Issacs. All in all, a very pleasing listen"
A 30 mins set would include 6 songs and usually from the following:
Our Last Stand
It's All Good
Inside The Bubble
Senorita, I See You
There are no upcoming dates at this time.