Kirk Keeler

Kirk Keeler


I'm a Northern California songwriter who combines elements of roots folk-rock, intricate acoustic lap-slide, with thoughtful, sometimes socially-conscious, lyrics. I'm a story teller/poet with respect for folk tradition while firmly standing in fresh folk-rock waters.


Kirk Keeler is grabbing hold of audiences with his unique blend of singing and guitar. Whether playing acoustic lap slide or guitar and harmonica, his mix of intricate instrumentation, passionate songwriting, and captivating vocals is enjoyed by a variety of music lovers. This Northern California native sings stories about yesterday’s heroes and today’s anti-heroes, in addition to songs that praise Nature and the courage of the human heart. At times, Kirk’s songs bring a critical eye to current social issues such as diminishing fossil fuel or the destruction of salmon habitat.

Kirk’s first album, From The Underground, is a collection of songs with various topics: grief from loss, consequences of not living on one’s path, hopefulness of the Earth’s repair through salmon runs, punk-like ranting of current petroleum issues, singing with little birds, seeing the world through Woody Guthrie’s life, and much more! The instrumentation blurs the lines of acoustic folk, rock, blues and Americana.

Kirk’s music was born out of a childhood of listening to 45-rpm records about Davy Crockett and learning the piano at age 8. Classic Rock and Metal would rule his tape collection during adolescence until, at 16, he was turned onto James Taylor’s Greatest Hits. This “acoustic” album effectively altered his course in music and led him down the path of the Singer/Songwriter. It was around that same time that Kirk learned to play guitar and within a few years had his first songs.

“I’ve walked down many different roads to find my own musical path”, says Kirk on his influences. “I was learning harmonica rifts to old blues albums and listening to Nirvana an hour later. I like the classics – in Folk that is! I’ve studied the roots singer/songwriters like Woody Guthrie and Blind Willie Johnson. I love their storytelling and spiritual lyrics.”

“My hero’s are also contemporary artists, like fiction lyricist Richard Shindell and slide guitar extraordinaire Kelly Joe Phelps. Absorbing their music has greatly increased my knowledge of songwriting and intricate guitar work. Bruce Cockburn has rounded out my education with his poetic muse and dedication to political attention through verse.”

Not all of Kirk’s songs are political, but he firmly believes in music as an avenue for raising awareness to social issues. His college degree focused on how music affects social change. His first CD, From The Underground (also his senior project), came from a desire to write original music and pay tribute to the folk musicians of the 20th Century in America who paved the way for modern singer/songwriters.


From The Underground
Radio airplay: Track 2 (Tyee), Track 3 (Toolbox), Track 4 (Little Birdie), Track 11 (Freedom)

Set List

A typical set list consists of orginals salted with covers. I usually do one long set, or 2 45 - 55 min sets, depending on the needs of the venue.