Danny O'Keefe
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Danny O'Keefe


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"The Writer as a Cosmic Voyager"

Amoung the West Coast singer-songwriters of the Jackson Browne ilk who came to prominence in the early 1970's, Danny O'Keefe has enjoyed the least commercial success relative to his talent. Mr. O'Keefe, who appeared at Folk City on Saturday, is a first-rate craftsman of the contemporary folk ballad. The signature style of many of his songs is a chromatic guitar line that gives his reflective, sometimes darkly humorous lyrics, an extra dash of plaintiveness.

Mr. O'Keefe has a voice to match his songs - a pungent, nasal folk delivery that reflects in equal measure the influences of Jimmie Rodgers and Tim Buckley. And Saturday, he offered expertly phrased, quiveringly intense renditions of more than a dozen songs that portrayed the writer as a cosmic voyager with an acute eye for detail. The gem of his set was ''The Road,'' an early song that Jackson Browne has covered and which evokes the itinerant musician's life with a devastating poignancy.

Stephen Holden, NY Times - New York Times


1971 - Danny O'Keefe Cotillion Records
Produced by Ahmet Ertegun

1972 - O'Keefe Signpost/Atlantic
Produced by Arif Mardin
Contains the top-ten hit "Goodtime Charlie's Got the Blues"

1973 - Breezy Stories Atlantic Records
Produced by Arif Mardin
Contains the single "Angel Spread Your Wings"

1975 - So Long Harry Truman Atlantic Records
Produced by John Boylan
Contained the single "Quits"

1977 - American Roulette Warner Bros. Records
Produced by John Court and Kenny Vance

1979 - The Global Blues Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Jay Lewis and Danny O'Keefe

1984 - The Day To Day Coldwater Records
Produced by Mathew McCauley and Tony Peluso
Contained the singles "Along for the Ride" and "Someday"
Both singles charted in the "20's" in AC charts

1989 - Redux Beachwood/Chameleon Records
(this is a re-release of The Day To Day with a new title and two new songs)
Contained the singles "Along for the Ride" and "Someday"
Both singles charted on AOR charts in the 20's
VH1 played the video of "Along for the Ride"

2000 - Runnin' From the Devil Miramar
January 25th, 2000

2003 - "Don't Ask" w/Bill Braun
Produced by Bill Braun
All songs written and performed by Danny O'Keefe and Bill Braun



How many singer/songwriters can say that Elvis Presley recorded one of their songs and has a co-write with Bob Dylan?

In 1972, the legendary Ahmet Ertegun signed Danny O’Keefe to Atlantic Records, then teamed him with the incomparable producer Arif Mardin, resulting in his top-five Billboard hit "Goodtime Charlie's Got the Blues.” This was followed by the classic album Breezy Stories in 1973. Besides Elvis, many other artists including Jerry Lee Lewis; Willie Nelson; Chet Atkins; Waylon Jennings; Leon Russell; Charlie Rich; and Mel Torme went on to record this classic composition.

This tandem combined for three other D O’K classics during that decade: "Angel Spread Your Wings" also recorded by Judy Collins; "The Road" also recorded by Jackson Browne; and "Magdalena" also recorded by Donny Hathaway and Leo Sayer. These songs garnered heavy AM and FM airplay for Danny and were the building blocks for his distinguished performing and songwriting career.

Now, regarding the co-write with Bob Dylan: besides Danny’s version, “Well, Well, Well" has been recorded by Mavis Staples; David Lindley; Maria Muldaur; The Blind Boys of Alabama with Ben Harper and by Bonnie Raitt on her VH1 special.

Other notable co-writes and covers of Danny’s compositions include: “Quits," sung originally as a duet with Linda Ronstadt (Andy Williams; Chris Hillman and Gary Stewart); "Along for the Ride" (John Denver); "Souvenirs" (Jimmy Buffet); "Next To You" (Sheena Easton); "Never Got Off the Ground" (co-written with David Mallett and recorded by Alison Krauss and Molly O'Brien); "Into the West" (Tim O'Brien); "When You Come Back Down" (Nickel Creek and Tim O’Brien); and most recently, "Anywhere On Earth You Are" (Allan Jackson on his 2006 CD "Like Red On A Rose.")

Danny believes that music is a powerful means for sharing concern and motivating change on critical issues such as the preservation of "song" in the world. After becoming increasingly concerned with the decimation of songbirds and their habitat, Danny started The Songbird Foundation (www.songbird.org) which works with musical artists to publicize the issue of songbird species decline due to devastation of their habitat. Using his music to publicize and popularize the issue, Danny successfully encouraged other musicians to do the same. Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Jimmy Buffet, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nickel Creek, Jackson Browne and many others have responded by contributing public service announcements, perform benefit concerts and do their part to make audiences aware that to create a truly sustainable world requires changed patterns of consumption, especially with concern to aggressive sun-grown coffee in the rain forests of Latin America.

Danny’s voice is a superb mixture blues and Americana; his songwriting speaks for itself.