Ethan Keller

Ethan Keller

 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

Americana. R&B. Rock. Jazz. Blues. Funk. Folk. James Taylor meets James Brown.

Biography

Ethan Keller is a singer-songwriter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was voted Best Solo Artist in the 2011 Milwaukee Music Awards, and Best Pop Artist in the 2011 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Awards.

The founder and former front-man of Wisconsin's eclectic funk-rock outfit, The Green Scene (named "America's Best Unsigned Band" in Jim Beam's 2001 National Rock Band Search), Ethan still produces many blends of original music, and tours coast to coast. Keller has been performing and promoting since 1993, has appeared at prestigious venues and music festivals in over 30 states, and has sold over 10,000 albums.

Over the years, Ethan has supported a myriad of artists: Rusted Root, Umphreys McGee, Milky Chance, Grupo Fantasma, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood, James McCartney, Kandace Springs, Glenn Tillbrook, Willy Porter, Erin McKeown, Fareed Haque, Danny and The Juniors, Hanson, Bif Naked, The Exies, Crown City Rockers, Citizen King, Better Than Ezra, Lucky Boys Confusion, Night Ranger, Third Eye Blind, The Lost Trailers, and NEEDTOBREATHE.

Keller’s 2010 EP Profit, was co-produced by Grammy-winner Ted Greenberg ("Standing in the Shadows of Motown"), and has aired on over 300 radio stations across the U.S. Keller's full-length album Goin Down in History, Goin Down in Flames, was released in 2013 on Driftless Records. Ethan’s recordings are currently in rotation at WYMS 88.9 Radio Milwaukee

Lyrics

Midwest Folk

Written By: Ethan Keller

Midwest Folk

When you’re on the odyssey do you miss your family?
Distracted by fake characters, like cartoons on TV
Daily push your propaganda to oblivious birds
Graffiti on the billboard sign Satan’s dying words

Wanna take a trip to the west coast
with my friends out east
Midwest folk I love em the most

Dogmatic Eskimos are few & far between
Grappling with malamutes & huskies is routine
Go on strap on snowshoes trek across the tundra
Meet audacious Aussies in the land down under

Wanna take a trip to the west coast
with my friends out east
Midwest folk I love em the most

I’m alive while dreaming & sleeping while I’m awake
Wading through salty tears, wailing
Help me escape from the slaughter --lead me to freshwater
For heavens sake

Wanna take a trip to the west coast
with my friends out east
Midwest folk I love em the most

Papa, please write me a sermon

Written By: Ethan Keller

i'm just a relayer of a message
started back in ancient times with riddles and rhymes
can't you tell that i learned it well?
to meet with destiny is divine

-papa please write me a sermon every Sunday
oh yes i will son
lord knows i can't preach to everyone
-papa please write me a sermon every Sunday
i won't let the seed fall on the rocks dad
you words won't fall on deaf ears

and i want to get to heaven
but i was born in hell right from the start
you and i have seen the darkest of places
some together, but mostly apart

-papa please write me a sermon every Sunday
oh yes i will son
church says i can't preach to everyone
-papa please write me a sermon every Sunday
i won't let the seed fall on the rocks dad
you words won't fall on deaf ears

i think i hurt you more than mom did
cuz know one loves you like i do
but i don't know if you are broken
please God tell me it's not true

and i'm trying to be humble
but i fear I wasn’t made that way
i need you to profess
i do confess... i want the test

-papa please write me a sermon every Sunday
oh yes i will son
Lord knows i can't preach to everyone
-papa please write me a sermon every Sunday
i won't let the seed fall on the rocks dad
you words won't fall on deaf ears

Ambrosia

Written By: Ethan Keller

The trap snaps shut upon my neck with a ripe sobriety
One cold rock against my face as a meek man calms the sea
Gorgeous death awaits with grace; where I go you cannot come
Meet me on the other side where we will become one

(chorus)
I don't wanna die
Feast on the bread of life
Evil manifests in the kitchen
No small prayer before your last meal
Kiss of death is ambrosia on my tongue

Fill my dreams with lust and fear & hate to damn my soul
Who’s that in the shadows? (You don't even want to know)
Light the pyre and I am martyred; please retrieve my bones
Relive old betrayals so the Lord can hear my groans
The Lord repays my loans

(chorus)

The trap snaps shut and I am caught stealin fruit from the tree
One cold noose around my neck and the dark embraces me
See the serpent time temptation while my will is weak
Mark of the beast upon my head kiss of death upon my cheek
Kiss of death upon my cheek...(

One Way

Written By: Ethan Keller

One way

Ain’t too hard its like child’s play
And you don’t even have to pay
Not greedy got to feed the needy
And there’s nothing left to say cuz there’s only one way
Some days, you know you just got to get away
Mondays get mundane & lax trade Tuesday slacks
For Friday pants & fancy shoes
And dance the blues away
Sunday, go out to the country
Wade in the healin river, make you shiver
Wait up I’m goin straight up to shine on
Like the sun’s rays and there’s only one way

One-way... this sign you’ve got to know
One-way... you can’t go against the traffic flow

I used to rhyme “Get on the bus with us,” now I sing
“Let my people go” on the exodus,
out of the wilderness I hear the pilgrims say:
“One Way or BUST”
my ambition on collision course with the television
and the radio DJ is in a dubious position
the truth in newspapers tapers off
even though the front page says its all the rage
while the mainstream seats a regime with a supreme scheme
I mean to take it to the other extreme
Someday stylin on a tropical island
that’s where I’ll stay cuz the ticket’s one way

One-way... this sign you’ve got to know
One-way... you can’t go against the traffic flow

Some people follow their own two feet
Some wind up walkin the wrong way down a one-way street
Some ain’t got enough food to eat
Some starve for something much more sweet
When the traffic light turns green, its gonna be a
Wonderful scene on the freeway of life
Break the gridlock with the Solid Rock
Hit the cruise control & coast all the way…

Laura (What's the Deal?)

Written By: Ethan Keller

Laura (What’s the deal?)

I know you wanna tell me what’s on your mind
You know I wanna help you to unwind
Don’t bury your secrets deep inside
Try, try to let them flow from your sweet lips to the sky
My love,
Do you say your prayers at night?
Do you fear that things won’t be alright?
Ooh babe when we’re together
All I can do is think about forever, and ever
Say something
Say something
Say something clever

Laura,
Give it to me straight, girl
Baby, be real
Break it down
What’s the deal?

You say you love to dance, but you never wanna dance with me
Well I like to get down, and I’m about to cut a rug indeed
Honey you know that I’m patient, but it’s not polite to keep a man waitin
Drivin me crazy every day, speak to me softly and don’t delay

Laura,
Give it to me straight, girl
Baby, be real
Break it down
What’s the deal?

Rock and Roll will Save your Soul

Written By: Ethan Keller

rock and roll will save your soul

the green back suffered a setback today
Lord knows there’s gonna be the devil to pay
bailouts layoffs and foreclosed homes
Bankrupt on welfare & all alone
Slick politicians pitchin a platform
Huddle into the pollbooth during the storm
Its so hard not to sing the blues
every choice you make you got something to lose

But rock and roll will save your soul

White church steeples reach to the sky
You pray every but don’t know why
Show up late to the epiphany
People never remember history
Facts often smack you upside the head
The truth is for some they’d be better off dead
You might be the first to go
and they’re stokin the fire down below

but rock and roll will save your soul

Fallen Idol

Written By: Ethan Keller

Fallen Idol

Young girl approaches the mic but don't know what
it means
small boy strums some guitar but he can't feel
the strings
mom outsourced her family, dad subsidized
His dreams
While the pop star’s dancin around on the TV screen

and there's more to come, more to come...
get back to where you came from

reach high
though you know you’ll fall below
never give up
never let the dream die
gotta get to the top
don’t’ stop till you
hit sky
a fallen idol told me so
a fallen idol told me so

old maid moans on the mic, her voice is
rich and poor
Old man holds his guitar and leaps from
the 21st floor
All eyes on the judges who tabulate
the score
Rock star exits stage right cuz he can’t dance
no more

there’s no more to come, no more to come
go back where you came from?

reach high
though you know you’ll fall below
never give up
never let the dream die
gotta get to the top
don’t’ stop till you
hit sky
a fallen idol told me so
a fallen idol told me so

Come to Pass

Written By: Ethan Keller

Come to pass

The intents of my heart have been discerned
At the turn of the tide I learned I got nothing to hide
Bless me I chose the lesser of two goods and lives were lost
But look away from the holocaust
Stop weeping by the Wailing Wall you’re sleeping through the wake-up call
I forgive the fascists cause they take the fall
Back up your bias you got no reason to try us for treason...
Nor one man for heresy like the Pharisees
I hear the insincerity it's a conspiracy
Hold my head high with thoughts lofty through this tyranny
You can analyze my prophecy spoken lowly
I’m setting your soul free slowly
You see, the wicked carry within the seed of self-destruction
The influx of seduction is the crux
Some covet the kingdom but can’t carry the cross
Some cry for freedom but can’t foot the cost
Some wanna gamble but won’t roll the dice
Some wanna profit but won’t pay the price
Some live in the past but won’t live past tonight
Some can see the future but can’t see the light

this too shall come to pass

On the hot streets of Milwaukee the devil stalks me
While L.A. cold calls, but won’t talk to me
Boston to Austin people gawked
NYC is free like a bird and watches me like a hawk
I’m fixin to get back to Missouri
And the green mountains of Vermont but I’m in no hurry
I’m through throwin flurries at imaginary targets
The Truth has its own market... my Lord
Time is a wick and I’m the spark lit
Eternity’s a still photo & sin a dark pit
I submit my soul, and into thy hands commit
This legit forecast shall come to pass if you permit

this too shall come to pass

Last Day

Written By: Ethan Keller

Last Day

(Chorus)
Be a sinner, this day
Be forgiven, get saved
Deep within, depraved
Lord willin, deliver me
Love livin, on stage
Be there, or be slain
Bright colors, display
Come back on the last day

Listen children
I’ve got a story
Tears and tragedy
End in glory
Time’s comin, be brave
I won’t say behave
But you can’t delay
When flesh pass away (Psalm 78:39)

(Chorus)

Your treasure abounds
You grow older
Full measure pressed down (Luke 6:38)
Flowing over
Don’t be deceived
Give and receive
You can’t take it with you anyway
When death comes to steal it all away

(Chorus)

Brother, run away
Father, refrain
Mother, take blame
Sister, know your name
My friend, what do you say?
My people, can you hear me?
My God, can you see me pray?
Remember me on the last day

Goin Down in History, Goin Down in Flames

Written By: Ethan Keller

Mama always told me I was goin places
I never listened to what she said
Teacher said “you’re clever but why not motivated?”
Maybe it ain’t how I was bred

Im goin down in history…
goin down in flames!

The city she’s an empty shell robbed of her pearl?
There ain't enough of a scene to cause a scene?
You're either under a rock or king of the mountain?
I am somewhere in between

goin down in history…
goin down in flames!

I’ll make it to paradise even if I gotta drive all night
But I might go through the inferno just to see what it’s like

This is the best and worst day of my life
This is why I don’t deal in black and white
One part crusader, one part hired gun
Pardon me while I’m on the run

Im goin down in history…
goin down in flames!

Discography

NEW SINGLE "Goin Down in History, Goin Down in Flames" - release date Feb 12, 2013

"Profit" (Apr 2010)
"One Way" (july 2008)
"Face Light " (sept 2006)

(Greenscene)
"The Scenic Route EP" (2003)
"Random Acts" (2000)
"Don't 4 get 2 get d0wn" (1998)

Set List

Originals:

Rock and Roll will save your Soul
Keep on Lovin
Last Day
Fallen Idol
Come to Pass
Prophet
One Way
Laura
Lets Go for a Ride
Serafina
Stranger
Something Deadly
Christopher's Sister
Move on to Better Things
Divine Intervention
Midwest Folk
The Ave
Stuart (the Stockbroker)
Muktown
Papa, please write me a sermon
Affection Addict
Dance Forever
State of my Life
Ambrosia
Camouflage
The News
Shades of Blue
Crime of the Century
Aficionado

covers:

Bob Dylan
The Fixx
Toto
Louis Armstrong
Mel Tormet
Little Richard
Lou Reed
Beck
Paul Simon
Elton John
Jerry Garcia
Beastie Boys
Warren G
Dj Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince
Subime
Blind Melon
Pearl jam
Stone Temple Pilots
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bobby McFerrin
Erin McKeown
Tennessee (Arrested Development)
Burnin Down the house (Talking Heads)
I Wish (Skee Low)
Lazy Fo Acre - (Mofro)
Use me (Bill Withers)
Umi Says (Mos Def)
Any Major Dude (Steely Dan)
Green Earrings (Steely Dan)
Uncle Re