Annie Keating 'For Keeps' - Self Release

This is this New York singer songwriter’s fifth album and as such highlights a veteran to the game who has honed her talents. Keating co-produced the album with Jason Mercer, who also plays bass on the album along with a cast of fourteen other credited players. The music runs across several areas which utilise the assembled ensemble to good effect. The opening song Storm Warning is an up-tempo rocking song with harmonica to the fore. Right by You employs some subtle pedal steel from Jon Graboff on a country-tinged slow ballad. The overall feel is roots and robust, delivering a well-arranged set of diverse songs.


Keating is the sole writer of eleven of the twelve songs, the outside track being a stark version of Neil Young's Cowgirl In The Sand. Between that final track and the opening couple the songs show that Keating's versatile voice is one that at times recalls others, but never in a way that detracts from the own delivery. She hits all the right notes with a song that rejects a unwanted lover - All Gone, which again has pedal steel to underline the sense of heartbreak -  sung in a, somewhat vulnerable voice that has more than a hint of regret in it's tone and the song builds tension until its end. 

The next song rings the changes and shows the scope of the album with wah-wah guitar, funky horns and a rap style vocal. Let It Come is another side of Keating's approach to getting her songs across in the best musical setting. The slow pace of River Clyde is a nice contrast and is about being in a strange place and assessing which way the wind blows in that particular town, city or mind-space. For Keeps is an assured album that will reaffirm her talent with those who have been previously acquainted with Keatings previous albums or live shows. For those new to Annie Keating ,this album celebrates a talented performer who is in this for keeps.