Scene & Heard - CD Review
Review Taken From Issue 237 - March 2017

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C D Review

Mark Keeley: The King And I
By Patrick O'Connor, Coventry

14 Tracks:
1. Make The World Go Away, 2. Fairytale, 3. Almost, 4. Girls! Girls! Girls! 5. Love Me Tonight, 6. Where Do You Come From, 7. Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello, 8. I'll Never Know, 9. Treat Me Nice, 10. No More, 11. Something Blue, 12. Just Pretend, 13. Make Me Know It, 14. I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here.

Getting this album out has been a journey of fear, courage and uncertainty for the ever popular performer Mark Keeley. In December 2014 he was taken into hospital to have a polyp removed from his vocal cord. This was a really tough time in his life and nobody quite knew what the outcome would be. By the end of January 2015 Mark was singing again, but lacked his old flair and confidence. It took until May that year before he felt he was back to being his old self and knew that the operation had been a major success.

Mark has been a lifelong fan of Elvis Presley and in producing this album, The King And I is his way of paying tribute to his hero. This is the first of what will be a trilogy of solo albums from him. As far as I can ascertain, everything on this album has been done by him apart from the excellent artwork and sleeve which was done by Good Rocking Tonight guitarist and vocalist John O'Malley. In Mark's own words, "Make The World Go Away is one of my favourite Elvis tracks and I remember hearing it once and thinking to myself - I would love to sing that song on stage one day. Not only have I done that, but here it is on my album. I hope you like it".

During his career Elvis Presley recorded 784 songs and Mark tells me in doing this and future albums, his aim is to bring as many little known Elvis songs as he can to the fore. On this album Mark is singing as Mark Keeley and demonstrates what a tremendous range he possesses. I personally have seen Mark Keeley's solo shows many times over the years and also with his band, Good Rocking Tonight countless times. There were no Mark Keeley solo albums in my collection until I received this one to review but I have quite a few of the band's CDs. In my view this album is a must for all Mark Keeley fans out there and I personally was hooked and pleasantly surprised from the very first track.

I can visualise myself spending many a relaxed evening with a glass of red wine (nothing new there) and listening to Mark's album The King And I in the future. In producing this album Mark has shown what a true professional and master technician he has become. I contacted him to ask who the backing singers and musicians were for the credits. Mark says he played the piano himself, and the album was made by using backing tracks. Mark added piano, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals where needed. In Mark's own words again; "to sing this album and others, is still and always will be a privilege and I will do so as long as I can.

I can only finish by saying thank you so much Elvis". My own conclusion is that it's a delight to have this album in my collection. I'm not going to pick out individual tracks for review here because it's not a real flat out rocking album. There are some upbeat tracks which are really good, but the majority are superbly sung ballads and that will do for me, I need to relax sometimes too. I can only say top geezer!

Information: The album was mixed and engineered by Mark Keeley. For bookings and information contact Mark on 07980 608687 or e-mail: mk@markkeeley.com.

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