Keeley Valentino
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Keeley Valentino

San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
27
Keeley Valentino @ City Winery Napa

Napa, California, United States

Napa, California, United States

Sep
18
Keeley Valentino @ The Stone Fox

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Sep
12
Keeley Valentino @ The Hotel Cafe

LOS ANGELES, California, United States

LOS ANGELES, California, United States

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

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After a challenging dry spell, California singer-songwriter Keeley Valentino finally had a creative breakthrough behind the wheel. That’s how “Little Things” came to be.

“One night, I was driving home from a long day up in Sonoma, the sun was setting and I just started singing to myself,” she recalls. “I tend to come up with a lot of ideas when I’m driving, and I think it works because it just comes to you organically. You’re not sitting at a desk or a table pulling your hair out trying to find a line. You’re just there in the moment, and it’s almost subconscious.”

Cruising down the highway, she composed some verses and a chorus in her head, then jotted down everything when she got home — and the rest of the song wasn’t far behind.

“Those are always the best songs, the ones that just come right out. But I’ve also learned that you have to work for those moments, you have to wrestle and practice and get frustrated 50 times to get to that one time where it just flows spontaneously,” she says.

“I wrote ‘Little Things’ about those chapters in life when you feel uncertain or stuck or lost and you just want to know whether you are on the right path and doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” she adds. “It’s a sentiment that still rings true for me and feels emotional every time I play it.”

Valentino grew up in Novato, California, listening to artists like Emmylou Harris and the Dixie Chicks. She took a songwriting course while enrolled at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and released her debut album, The Mechanics of Leaving, in 2006. Although she’s based in San Francisco now, she continues to travel to Music City to pursue her songwriting.

Matt Mangano of the Zac Brown Band produced and mixed her self-titled EP which was recently released. Plus she’s been getting some independent radio airplay with “Little Things” after it was spotlighted at the Songlines listening panel at the Americana Music Festival in September.

Listen to Keeley Valentino’s lovely “Little Things.” - CMT Edge


Keeley Valentino will release her self-titled EP on Sept. 16, but she’s giving readers of The Boot access to an exclusive stream of the disc right now.

The six-song project “has been several years in the making,” Valentino says. She went into the studio in February to begin working on the disc, armed with about 22 songs, chosen out of all the music she’d written since her last record in 2009. But all of the tunes that made the EP were written in the last year.

“By the time we went in to record, I really felt like I had worked some stuff out, as a person, as a writer and as an artist,” Valentino tells The Boot. “It felt like I had something new to say, a new perspective, and like I had given myself the time I needed to write organically and let the stories come to me.”

‘Keeley Valentino’ begins on a peppy note with ‘Everything in Between’ before becoming more introspective on ‘Little Things,’ the EP’s first single.

“I had been playing that song live already and just knew it belonged on a project,” the Americana singer-songwriter says of the song. “When I moved back to the Bay Area, I went through a creative drought of sorts. ‘Little Things’ broke me out of that period and brought me back to a freshly inspired place.”

‘Love Will Come Around’ feels very simple and pure — almost like a late-’90s Jewel song — but Valentino says the sound changed a lot during production.

“I had written it as a much softer tune with a syncopated rhythm. But when [producer] Matt [Mangano] heard it, he got excited and said he had an idea for a different approach. It went from a sadder-sounding song to one that feels really empowering. And I love that! Because I wanted to send a hopeful message.”

The entire EP was recorded straight to tape, “which makes everything sound even more alive,” Valentino says. It was also partially funded by friends, family and other entrepreneurs.

“We could have obviously used crowd-funding sites like PledgeMusic or Kickstarter. But I felt confident enough in the music and the art to offer equity to folks who had enough belief in me to fund the project,” Valentino says. “It really has been a labor of love for so many. I’m so moved and humbled that I have people in my corner who are willing to take this journey with me.”

And after all that work, Valentino says she’s eager to get the EP out to the public.

“I just feel all the good kind of feelings about it — excited, proud, lucky and most of all, thankful,” she says. “When you can free a part of yourself in making your art and it ends up touching someone else, you just feel like you’re plugged right into the power source.”

‘Keeley Valentino’ is available for pre-order through iTunes. - The Boot


Keeley Valentino may hail from San Francisco, but she more than most has a handle on that elusive sound somewhere between soulful pop and Americana/roots, captured in her self-titled EP, out today. The six tracks were produced and mixed by Zac Brown Band’s bassist Matt Mangano and engineered by Brandon Bell (Linda Ronstadt, Alison Krauss, Zac Brown Band), making for further influences that effortlessly mix country with rock, blues, folk, indie and more. This complex tapestry of styles often produces a road-beaten, American-born sound with catchy hooks, deftly crafted turns of phrase and a fresh approach to what can be seen as alternative pop music as much as it can roots/Americana. This is seen especially in tracks like summery opener ‘Everything In Between’, perfect for driving into the wilderness and nodding your head to, as well as in the more serene, mood-inducing masterpiece ‘Love Will Come Around Again’, whose lyrics are some of the best on the whole record.

Not only are Keeley’s sounds carefully chosen and compiled, but the songs themselves stand up as perfectly nuanced, poetic snapshots of life, and we imagine her penning them with a confident swish and perhaps a tear in her eye. She has style in everything she attempts, and that comes all the way down to simply the incredibly soulful manner in which she approaches the vocal delivery of lead single ‘Little Things’, the multiple notes and layers subtly audible in her voice adding that incomprehensible something that makes people into stars. The “X Factor”, if you will. It doesn’t matter that the harmonies beautifully support her, or that each instrument is very deliberately mixed and molded so that nothing can be separated or pulled apart, but rather it all moves as one. These all add to the experience, but at the root of it Keeley and a guitar would make the song brilliant, and that is the sign of a great singer and songwriter.

The same can be said for ‘Burned’, whose guitar harmonics and ear-piercingly high piano vibrate through the speakers, just peaking to create this throbbing atmosphere and brooding sound that builds as the story progresses. That’s of course where this song shines, a third person tale of two people as they try to pick up their lives following a break-up, never quite the same afterwards. It’s heart-breaking, it’s breath-taking and at times epic, but never over-done or announcing itself in massive proportions. And that’s the beauty in Keeley’s work. All the pop sensibilities are there, but she’s talented enough not to have to go and shout about it, just let the music do the talking and let listeners gently peel back the layers in curiosity and wonder.

It is indeed a sense of flawed wonder with which she takes us through this record. A sense of innocence taken but still getting on with life, a little bereft but still youthful. ‘Signs For Bakersfield’ is more identifiably country, placed against a backdrop of wandering Americana with tinges of rock, regret, fear and history guiding us. These songs are laden with emotion and thoughtfulness, an insight into a frame of mind as well as summations, conclusions on the world, such as closer ‘Underneath’. There are not enough descriptions or superlative adjectives to label her with, just that she writes great songs that are matched with great music and a great voice. What’s not to love about that? Sometimes you don’t need words to communicate a record. Sometimes you just need to listen and let it wash over you and touch your soul.

“Show yourself, who you are underneath”. - For The Country Record


AMBITIONS: To write good, honest and meaningful songs for a living

TURN-OFFS: A lack of humility

TURN-ONS: My cute husband!

DREAM GIG: To be on a bill with Lori McKenna or Patty Griffin. Or to play at The Ryman.

FAVORITE LYRIC: ‘And the heavens were rolling like a wheel on a rack. And our skies were unfolding and they’ll never fold back.’-Jackson Browne, Sky Blue and black

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: Probably my brother Taylor; he runs 100 mile races! But he is also one of the coolest people I know, so it all evens out.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: Any song off of Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles. I listened to that record over and over for months and only loved it more.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Oh, this is just hard. Hmm… besides the peeps I mentioned above, I’ll say: Mary Gauthier, Bruce Hornsby, Dolly Parton,Bill Bryson and The Dixie Chicks (can they count as 1?hehe).

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: When I lived in Nashville, my friend and I had the opportunity to go to a secret show of Emmylou Harris. It was announced last minute, and it was put together so that she and her band could have a run through for their upcoming European tour She had it at a pretty intimate venue and we stood right in front. She was so ridiculously good, and i felt like we were all just in her living room. It remains one of my top experiences of music at its finest.

I WROTE THIS SONG: When I was driving home from a day of babysitting. It was a long and beautiful drive on a country stretch, and it just kind of came to me. I sang the first verse and the chorus over and over to myself in my car. When I got home, I worked out what I had in my head and finished it up. It felt like I had finally found the words to something I had wanted to say for a while. those kinds of songs always feel the best. - American Songwriter


Keeley Valentino takes her time with musical releases. That’s not a complaint, but a fact. Her first album was released in 2005 and her second in 2009. And now, here in the fall of 2014, we have her third release of music with a self-titled EP. Keeley told The Boot that she was confident in her work to fund the project herself instead of reaching out to fans through crowd funding sites like Kickstarter. The result of that soaring confidence is a carefully crafted, well-produced six-song project steeped with a great performance from this skilled singer-songwriter. Comparing this EP to her first two albums, Keeley Valentino is delivering music at the next level thanks to the production quality that producer Matt Mangano brings to the table. A producer and now bassist for the Zac Brown Band, Mangano’s musical prowess is nothing but a valuable addition to team Valentino.

The EP opens with the fun, upbeat love song “Everything In Between”. Story-wise, the song is about falling in love and the development of that love. The love Keeley sings about is strong and full of hope. This song is undeniably pop and friendly to the ear, but Keeley makes the simple song structure work. She’s a gifted songwriter and sells the story of this young love. The EP’s lead single, “Little Things,” comes next and is one of the strongest tracks on this project. The instrumentation starts off with a simple acoustic guitar and builds with each stanza, coming to a roaring conclusion along side a gospel chorus harmonizing behind Keeley’s vocals. A song about dreaming big without losing sight of the present, Keeley delivers this message with strength and authentic passion. The most country song of the six is “Signs for Bakersfield.” Featuring mandolins and steel guitars, this song is about Keeley fearing a return to California. She details how this is place where dreams are nothing but dust and bad memories, and how the signs for Bakersfield are the triggers for those memories. This song features some great writing and descriptions of California (“Far away from any beach, even out of the Angels’ reach, goodbyes get swallowed up in this Valley”).

In the second half of the EP, Keeley steps away from first person story telling beginning with “Love Will Come Around Again.” The keys of the piano and organ drive this track about getting over a break up. Keeley relates her own experiences to a girl who’s just been broken-hearted, advising her to not be distraught because love will return. “Burned” is, in my opinion, the best track on this EP. Firstly, the production of the song stands out because it begins with echoing notes and a distant drum beat that move together with subtle guitars and pianos. On the surface, maybe at a first listen, the production appears simple and stripped back, but it’s complex, perfectly layered and haunting. Lyrically, the song is a look at a relationship that fell apart and how the couple attempts to move on their own. The relationship was strong enough and its end was terrible enough to leave them both forever burned and scarred. Keeley Valentino writes some powerfully heart-breaking lyrics like “Starting over is as hard as it seems, we’re always haunted by broken dreams”; and “she still checks for monsters all alone in the dark, now just to be safe she checks under her heart.” Perhaps the most impressive part of the whole song is the fact that Keeley hits such a high note in the choruses. Her high-notes combined with the echoing instrumentation create a sort of haunting emptiness that captures the emotions of the song’s characters. I applaud Keeley, Matt and the entire crew credited on this track for an excellent song in “Burned.” The EP rounds out with “Underneath;” another song where Keeley motivates others to move on from a past that didn’t work. She inspires us to face our demons and find out who we are underneath and inside. Another song that builds as it progresses, “Underneath” is a strong conclusion with a passionate performance from Keeley.

My only complaint is that this isn’t an album of 10 or 12 songs. However, delivering a completely solid EP without filler tracks is better than an LP with a filler song or two. These six songs are nothing short of great, and certainly worth the wait that Keeley Valentino fans undoubtedly had for her next project. I stated in my first post for Country Perspective that Keeley Valentino had the potential to be a female leader in country music. I still stand by that statement after this EP release, whether you call her pop, folk, Americana, or country. Great country music, in my opinion, features great songwriting and honest storytelling. In spite of the pop elements infused in some of these songs, Keeley’s ability to tie lines together with a great rhyme and describe situations with perfect visualization prove her worthiness alongside country’s best songwriters. Sonically, this EP brings a pure, fresh sound under Matt Mangano and (as if I haven’t mentioned it enough yet), Keeley Valentino is a hell of a singer. - Country Perspective


There were quite a bit of music releases this month, so for me to narrow this down to ten wasn’t as easy as I thought. In my opinion, the best song released this month was Keeley Valentino’s “Burned.” I said quite a bit about the song in my review of her EP, here’s a snippet: “Perhaps the most impressive part of the whole song is the fact that Keeley hits such a high note in the choruses. Her high-notes combined with the echoing instrumentation create a sort of haunting emptiness that captures the emotions of the song’s characters.” Without a doubt that was the song that stood out to me the most this month. Number two is Lee Ann Womack’s “Same Kind of Different” which was easily her best song on The Way I’m Livin’. I’m not surprised that women hit the top two marks on my top ten. Female country singers have been releasing a number of quality albums over the past few years, and I hope to see that trend continue. The Phillip Fox Band gets a spot at number three with the impressive Country Fried Rock N’ Roll western tune “Nothin’ Worse Than Weak.” Number four is The Roy’s heartbreaking, yet well-written Alzheimer’s song called “Sometimes.” Rounding out the top five, I have my favorite song from Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town: his duet with Catherine Dunn called “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools.”

The Phillip Fox Band appears again at number six with “Ava Lee”, the upbeat love song about a couple living life in the fast lane, and the man debates if he should settle down and have a future with her. Josh Turner’s new single, “Lay Low” comes in at number seven. Lee Ann Womack shows up again at number eight with “Prelude: Fly.” I was captivated by this track during my first listen and it features some great vocal work from Womack. Keeley Valentino makes another appearance on the list with “Love Will Come Around Again” at number nine. It’s a great song about getting over a break up and preparing yourself for when the next person comes to capture your heart. Finally, concluding the top ten is Wade Bowen with “When I Woke Up Today.” This fun song is about finding joy in life and remaining positive while the trials of a life on the road take form. It’s a great lead off single for his new self-titled album due out late next month.

Honorable Mentions:

“Your Daddy’s Boots” by Dustin Lynch – I really wanted this song in my top ten. It’s easily the best song on Where It’s At and possibly Lynch’s best of his young career.
“Sick of Me” by Tim McGraw – Another standout track from Sundown Heaven Town. Great song writing and a good, mid-tempo traditional/modern blend of country music.
“Writin’ a New Damn Book” by Phillip Fox Band. A great up-beat southern rock song about marking your own path through life.
“Heaven Needed Her More” by The Roys. A beautiful song about getting over a death of a loved one and remaining positive through the heartbreak.

October has a ton of albums due out. Next month’s top ten list might be even harder! - Country Perspective


Fans of California singer-songwriter Keeley Valentino got to do more than stand in as extras in her new music video. They got to serve as the video's stars and directors.

A web app developed in Nashville using the Instagram Application Programming Interface (API) lets Valentino's fans submit short videos on the social networking site to create a crowd sourced real-time evolving music video. By adding the hashtag #keeleyvideo, their submissions automatically flow into a master video for Valentino's new single "Little Things." The app was built with the help of ShepMedia.

For Valentino, the Instagram music video app is one component of a progressive marketing and management strategy directed by Nashville firm Outside the Box Music, which was founded by Charles Alexander.

In addition to the creative approach for the video app, Outside the Box used Rabbl.com to help book shows for Valentino. Rabbl.com allows artists to use crowdsourcing to book a concert in a specific market, sometimes before a venue is lined up. By showing a potential venue the number of presale tickets, an artist can secure a booking and a guaranteed payout.

Outside the Box helped Valentino raise funds for her new album in a unique way as well. Crowfunding through websites like Kickstarter.com to finance an album has been increasing in popularity in recent years. In exchange for offering money, artists frequently give back to fans with music or concerts in return.

But Outside the Box and Valentino went a step further and used a model more common for a Silicon Valley startup by offering investors a percentage stake in future revenue she generates on her new project.

Alexander said the goal is to use technology to build meaningful connections to fans that go beyond static social media pages. Alexander's strategy is built on fan engagement, and not merely an online following.

"Events like Bonnaroo have proven that the future of the music business is going to depend heavily on the fan experience," Alexander said. "One of the things we wanted to do with this evolving Instagram music video was to create an interactive, meaningful and collaborative musical experience with and for Keeley's fans."

Valentino is a California native who graduated from Vanderbilt and then returned to her home state. She still frequently records and performs in Nashville, including a recent songwriting round at the Bluebird Café. Her new self-titled EP was produced by Matt Mangano from Zac Brown Band.

She said navigating the business aspect of her music career had felt frustrating at times. But she gravitated to Alexander's approach of leveraging social media and unique technology to develop connections.

"I think Charles' approach works really well for me because it's important for it to feel organic and natural as possible," Valentino said. - The Tennessean


These days, as an artist builds her team and finds people to work with, she should be sure to find someone whose skillset includes the ability to recognize appropriate web and mobile tools and platforms that fit the artist and support connecting directly with fans. Keeley Valentino seems to have found that match with Charles Alexander and Outside the Box Music who handle Valentino's management and marketing. Together they've explored creative uses of Instagram for music videos, concert crowdfunding through Rabbl and even direct investment in her work.

Charles Alexander of Outside The Box Music wrote about Keeley Valentino's first Instagram video project last year after Instagram introduced video. The results can be seen below:

Keeley Valentino - Don't Forget Me Tennessee

This year Alexander and Valentino are back with a more participatory Instagram music video app for the song "Little Things."

As Nate Rau at The Tennessean explains:

"Valentino's fans submit short videos on the social networking site to create a crowd sourced real-time evolving music video. By adding the hashtag #keeleyvideo, their submissions automatically flow into a master video for Valentino's new single 'Little Things.' The app was built with the help of ShepMedia."

Rau also notes Valentino's use of Rabbl to test demand for a concert and then continue in presales mode.

In addition he mentions what is probably the most radical move, depending on your thinking:

"Outside the Box and Valentino went a step further and used a model more common for a Silicon Valley startup by offering investors a percentage stake in future revenue she generates on her new project."

Though Rau doesn't go into more detail this element is the least developed of the options Valentino's pursuing. How such deals are structured and how they ultimately do over time are worth closer examination.

Keeley Valentino and Charles Alexander seem to have found a good working relationship. Alexander emphasizes connecting Keeley with her fans through projects like the participatory Instagram video.

And Valentino seems satisified with his approach stating that it "works really well for me because it's important for it to feel organic and natural as possible."

Of course, good working relationships, though precious, can be found everywhere. Perhaps more important in this case is to recognize that technology can be used in ways that "feel organic and natural" when direct connections between artist and fan are emphasized. - Hypebot


Hi Keeley, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you so much for having me! I have been fantastic! The time between when you finish recording a project and when it actually comes out feels like an eternity, so the fact that the single is being released and the discs are now in hand makes me one very happy gal.

Can you talk to us more about the background story behind your latest single “Little Things”?

I wrote this song in my head when I was driving home at the end of a long day. I have a distinct memory of making a left turn on Highway 112 up in Sonoma, CA and singing the first couple lines to myself. The sentiment was one that I had been trying to wrestle into a song for a while – a feeling of restlessness, anticipation, and frustration. I was just wondering if I was headed in the right direction and if I was doing what I was meant to be doing with my life. I’d been writing around those themes for months but every time before then I felt like I had missed the mark. That night driving home it just kind of came to me and it felt like I had gotten it right.


Let’s talk about your upcoming Self-titled EP. Can you talk to us more about the recording and writing process? I understand you took few years, why was that?

My last album was released in 2009. I think I just had a lot to learn about life and about the music business, and most importantly, what kind of artist and writer I wanted to be. One huge thing that happened was that I fell in love and got married. It might sound trite but that does a doozy on a creative person. I met my husband when I moved to LA to get a music degree and I kind of fell off the face of the earth for a few weeks when we started dating. I remember coming to school one morning and seeing a friend from a songwriting class and he made a joke about how it was nice to see me. I began to feel apologetic. But before I could even defend myself he said that this kind of stuff is what life is all about and I needed to just live it and enjoy it to even be able to have stories to tell. I try to keep that little nugget of wisdom with me in each new chapter.

All the songs on this new EP are about relationships – to a lover or to a place or to yourself- and my perspective continues to evolve as I get older. In addition to all the lovey stuff, I moved back up to my hometown in the Bay Area and began taking regular trips to Nashville to work on my writing. I had lived in Nashville for almost 8 years before I moved to LA and I still feel a very strong kinship to it. I made a goal to get myself there as often as possible and to write with whoever would write with me and to keep myself in the musical loop.

Three years into those trips, my manager and I sat down and decided it was time to do a new project. By that time I had a lot of songs to choose from and felt more settled into myself as an artist and it just felt like I was ready. I knew right away I wanted to work with Matt Mangano again (he has produced all 3 previously released projects of mine) so it was just a matter of timing and getting the technicalities worked out. We went into the studio for three days back in February with Matt, Clay Cook, Jano Rix and myself and recorded these 6 tunes. Those guys are so ridiculous, we would do a pass and then they would all pick up a new instrument and do another pass. We recorded straight to tape which makes it sound even more alive. It’s always so amazing and wondrous to me to see that the little guitar/vocal I wrote in my living room or in my car or at my dining room table can go into the hands of geniuses and become this huge song. It’s actually pretty emotional. It makes you feel like anything is possible.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics? I read you were going through some rough times spiritually and individually.

I wasn’t necessarily going through a rough time, just a really contemplative and pensive time. I think a big theme in most of the songs I wrote for this project has been around letting go. I’m always questioning if I’m doing the right things and making the right choices. More importantly, if I’m doing something meaningful, and that’s kind of where “Little Things” came from. It’s hard to let go of the outcome and trust that if you do the work, the rest happens the way that it should. We’re all just doing the best we can. But sometimes it feels like, gee wouldn’t it be great if everything was easy. If you could know for sure that there would be a happy ending.

As I mentioned before, in the last few years I got married to this amazing man. So on the one hand, I have been learning all these new things about myself and about love and partnership but then on the other, so many dear ones around me have had very hard struggles in their relationships and have gotten their hearts broken. For me, that was such a weird juxtaposition. I sat in that place for a long time trying to sort out why is it that life works like that. The last song I wrote for this project is called ‘Signs for Bakersfield’ and I wrote it after my husband and I drove home from LA at Christmas-time. I lived in Bakersfield for a few years as a young girl and have so many nostalgic feelings about that time in my life and so it was kind of an ode to reconciling with the past. So yeah, just a lot of growing pains, good and hard ones, went into this project writing wise.


What was like to work with Matt Mangano and how that relationship developed?

Matt Mangano is pure magic. He and I have been friends for 12 odd years now. I was a junior in college and was just beginning to perform my own songs and talk about wanting to pursue music after I graduated. At that time, I was playing with my good friend Stan Sonu and Matt kind of took us under his wing. He recorded all our early stuff, played with us whenever he could, helped us with arrangements and was just a mentor really. I recorded an EP with him in 2004 and shortly after that we got started on my first record, The Mechanics of Leaving. From the start, it just felt like Matt understood me. I always say that he produced all the songs to sound exactly like I felt when I was writing them. He always challenges me to push myself but creates a safe place for it. I just feel so incredibly lucky to know him and to have had him be a part of my career.

Will you be hitting the road this year?

Yes, we’re booking shows at the moment. We’re trying to tour smart. We’re partnering with a touring web site/app called RABBL. More below. But we have shows coming up at the Hotel Café in LA and during the Americana Festival in Nashville in September.

You are also working on some cool tech relationships and content, would you mind telling us more about that?

I have a very cool manager and publicist who think way outside the box.

First of all we adopted the Silicon Valley start up model and went to friends and family and other entrepreneurs to raise a “seed round” to get this project off the ground. We could have obviously used crowd-funding sites like PledgeMusic or Kickstarter. But I felt confident enough in the music and the art to offer equity to folks who had enough belief in me to fund the project. It really has been a labor of love for so many. I’m so moved and humbled that I have people in my corner who are willing to take this journey with me.

Next, we wanted to tour efficiently. We wanted to book shows where we knew folks would show up. Besides booking high profile shows in San Francisco, Nashville and LA and opening for some artists I really admire, we partnered with a live show crowdfunding web startup called RABBL.

RABBL lets you sell advance reservations to shows. You specify how many tickets need to be sold in advance for a show to be booked and confirmed. You determine the price point and book the venue. It works for traditional venues, house concerts and non-traditional venues. We’re hosting a show in Sonoma at a winery. They’re totally awesome!

Finally, since I love Instagram so much, my manager came up with this idea to crowd source the music video for the first single with Instagram videos from our fans. It constantly evolves in real time. Sigur Ros did it for their song, ’Stormur’ and Bruno Mars created something similar for ‘Treasure.’ But I believe this is the first time an independent/DIY artist has launched an app like this. It certainly is the first ever in the Roots/Americana/Country genre.

It really is ground breaking…and FUN! Go try it over at http://www.keeleyvalentinovideo.com.

What else is happening next in Keeley Valentino´s world?

This is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I hope everyone who gets a chance to listen these songs thoroughly enjoys the EP. I’m really proud of this work. Plus it was made with love with my genius friends.

I also hope this project helps me meet new fans. I want to take my career to the next level. I‘d like to establish new partnerships in music and other areas that will raise our visibility and access to music lovers who otherwise might not have had the chance to listen to my music.

I also want to get better at what I do. So to that end I’ll be spending even more time in Nashville and LA to write better songs and to create more opportunities for myself and the work.

It’s all very exciting. I hope we get to meet at a venue near you. Or even online. - VENTS Magazine


When acoustic rock, country, and pop come together with the style, elegance, and grace of Keeley Valentino; Three Cities is born. Recorded live in studio, Valentino differentiates herself from other female singer/songwriters with her magically sincere vocals and sorrowfully uplifting melodies. Where some artists fall short either on stage or in the studio, Keeley Valentino rises above the rest as a natural musician performing overwhelming well in both settings.
Three Cities is a culmination of journeys and changes in Keeley Valentino’s life that play out so well on record. From track to track her vocal styling and control never ceases to suit the music effortlessly. In songs like “Willing to Pay” and “Closer”, she glides through the melodies with toe-taping tenacity while pacing herself perfectly for slower ballads like “Don’t Forget Me Tennessee” and “Hosea”.
Whether you’re sipping a glass of wine while entertaining guests or out enjoying the nightlife; Three Cities fits the bill. Sung beautifully and performed flawlessly, Keeley Valentino’s sophomore record has caught the attention of a broad and growing fan bass. - All Access Magazine (Adam Pompili)


Keeley Valentino was a little tougher to find. I found an album on Amazon, and I’m so glad Chris pointed me in her direction. She’s got an acoustic-y, guitar vibe and she falls into that singer-songwriter category that I love so much. She’s got a pure voice and I was immediately drawn to her song “Mirror”. Her album The Mechanics of Leaving can also be found on Amazon.
- Blissfully Domestic


It's a story so commonly told it's almost not worth noting: young female singer/songwriter likes country, also likes pop, decides to make a Nashvillian record combining dual interests singing about life, relationships, and how both can be tough sometimes. But where lesser talents rely on vocal acrobatics and slick production, Keeley Valentino's Three Cities draws from simpler wells and ultimately succeeds where so many others fail.

Drawing from more than the go-to mechanisms of pop and country, Valentino and producer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Mangano never hesitate to look outside the genre safety zone when needed, but are also smart enough to know that, at times, acoustic, pedal steel, and baritone guitars are really all you need; witness the opening playful funk-lite of "Closer" followed by the tender, sparse "So Easily Afraid," in turn yielding to "Willing to Pay"'s Americana rock and its defiant refrain. "This is the last song I will ever write about you," Valentino warns. "If you don't see me now, I know you never will."

At their core, Valentino's songs present a refreshingly lean distillation of country's ideas, and having settled on the what leaves room for she and Mangano to play with the how to consistently excellent results. Arrangements expand and shrink as needed, all the while guided by Valentino's just-countrified-enough vocals, all delivered with the kind of confident vibrato that separates the real thing from the countless pretenders on country radio: sweet without being twee, endearing without pandering, her talent used as a weapon rather than as a crutch. And this comes in handy time and again on Three Cities, as the title refers literally to the three cities that shaped her youth (Nashville, San Francisco, Los Angeles) but points metaphorically at the country, folk, and pop that ultimately shape her music.

Given the generally disposable nature of most modern pop-informed country (and country-informed pop), Keeley Valentino would seem to have taken on an impossible task: make a work of undeniable musical art using the tools of the easily dismissed, and all the while have the hooks and I-IV-V songcraft work in her favor. In lesser hands, such an ambition could have easily degenerated into a laughable ball of Hallmark-worthy cheese; Valentino went in the opposite direction, delivering a case study in the good of such things. - Made Loud (Andrew Reilly)


When I hear Keeley Valentino's "Three Cities," I immediately thought she was a more grown-up, less commercial Taylor Swift. While this is not necessarily that far off, it really isn't fair to her talent. True, she borrows from country and pop to make a uniquely American sound, but her songs and musicianship maintains such an organic feel that is absent in the commercially viable Swift.

She is regarded as acoustic, and this is accurate since that earthy sound can be heard in virtually every song. There was very little electric guitar, though it was a nice change of pace in songs like "Can't Lose You." The harmonizing in "So Easily Afraid" is surprisingly graceful, as is the whole album.

Many of the tracks on this sophomore album are about love: losing it, excited about it, wanting more of it. Her voice maintains that country sound, while the overall music is more rock with a hint of blues. The mandolin appears but is very background and I didn't really notice it until the second half of the album. This second half seems to take a more commercial turn, although the very last song is the most acoustic and simplistic song on the album, and all the more pleasant.

This is a young artist, embarking on what will probably be a long career, which is evident in songs like her homage "Don't Forget Me Tennessee," in which the piano is subtle and beautiful.

I am usually averse to peripheral country music. But this is an album you have to appreciate for its simple beauty and grace. - The Celebrity Cafe (Natalie Gregory)


After Sarah’s review of Keeley in May, I was excited to get Keeley Valentino’s new CD Three Cities. The album is a musical topography of lessons lived and learned in the places where she developed her style. Her roots in cities like San Francisco, LA, and Nashville gave her life experiences that translate well into her songs. Her soft folksy sound is wonderful to listen to and she brings a distinctive tone. You’ll chill to the bluesy sound of songs like Never Felt So Good and the Country sound of Don’t Forget Me Tennessee. Enjoy her sweet melodies and simple sounds. - Blissfully Domestic


Discography

The Mechanics of Leaving (2006) produced by Matt Mangano
"Conductor"- Local Lightning Spotlight on Lightning 100 in Nashville, TN

Three Cities (2009) produced by Matt Mangano
Featuring performances by Casey Driessen, Matt Wertz and Gabe Dixon

Song Placements:
"Honestly" on Venice
"So Easily Afraid" on Venice

Photos

Bio

What do you do when your music doesn't fit into one neatly defined box or genre? If you're Keeley Valentino, you just stand up and sing and let the songs speak for themselves.

"I've heard that my entire musical career," reflects the Bay Area based artist.

"I've been told that I'm too country for pop and that I'm too pop for country. When I lived in Nashville, I was told I should move to LA to pursue my career - and when I got to LA, I was told to get on the next plane to Nashville." says a bemused Valentino.

But she is encouraged, "It's okay, I kind of like being outside the box. "
Keeley Valentino's music is a soulful blend of the melodic infectiousness of Sara Bareilles and the lyrical poetry of Patty Griffin. Yet she still manages to infuse her sound with a perspective that is uniquely her own.

She is a product of her varied and diverse musical influences. She blasted all kinds of music out of the stereo of her '93 Mustang when she was growing up in Novato, California. But there was a special place in her heart for artists such as Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks and at Christmas time - Amy Grant.

That distinguished list now includes artists such as Griffin, Lori McKenna and Mary Gauthier.

After high school she was off to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. It was there that she enrolled in a songwriting class and met Stan Sonu. Together they wrote and recorded her debut CD "The Mechanics of Leaving" which included fan favorite "Won't Wait Around."  The song has been covered by other indie artists.

The album was produced under the guidance of Matt Mangano. A couple of years later, Sonu went off to medical school and Keeley released her next album with the help of her musical mentor, Mangano. "Three Cities" was a catalog of songs that reflected her life experiences in San Francisco, Nashville and Los Angeles.

Her latest self titled EP is a soul driven Roots/Americana effort also produced & mixed by Matt Mangano and engineered by Brandon Bell (Linda Ronstadt, Alison Krauss, Zac Brown Band). Some of the musicians who contributed to the project include Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) & Jano Rix (The Wood Brothers).

Along the way she has gained the attention of the stellar songwriting community in Nashville. Her song "Hosea" was written with hit singer/songwriter Radney Foster (Keith Urban, Foster & Lloyd). She frequently commutes to Music City to write, perform and record.

She also has gained famous fans. Chris Mann of TV's The Voice fame says of Keeley's music, "Keeley Valentino is one of the most prolific singer/songwriters I've come across.  Her lyrics and the sound of her voice make me smile and rip my heart out every time."

Valentino has had her music placed in shows such as the Emmy-nominated,"Venice: The Series" and was voted "Artist of The Year" two years in succession while she attended Musician's Institute in LA.

She recently released what was the first ever music video filmed entirely in Instagram for her song, "Don't Forget Me Tennessee."

She was a regional finalist in the NewSong Music Competition and is proud to have had opportunities to perform in iconic venues across the country such as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Sweetwater Music Hall in San Francisco and Room 5 & Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles.

The entrepreneurial Valentino adopted the Silicon Valley startup model by offering equity in her project to investors in exchange for funding her latest recording.

In conjunction with her management she released an Instagram driven fan fueled evolving music video web app for her first single "Little Things."  The site can be viewed here:  www.keeleyvalentinovideo.com

The new EP was released Tuesday, September 16th on 101 North Music. It is available on iTunes now.