Don’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case, its name – although Krystal Keith is justifiably quite proud of hers.
Krystal Keith, Show Dog-Universal Music recording artist and the daughter of country megastar Toby Keith, releases her self-titled EP on April 16, 2013 a little ahead of the scheduled release of her upcoming debut album Whiskey & Lace. The early release comes after a surprise “Daddy Dance With Me” song co-written by Krystal in secret and played at her wedding to dance with her famous father spawned a reaction causing the label to advance an EP to make the song available for Father’s Day and summer weddings.
“It was a complete surprise,” Krystal says of the song she wrote with Mica Roberts and Sonya Rutledge for her own wedding. “I wanted a song that honored my dad and was something special on my wedding day. So I wrote and recorded it behind his back. The idea was to have a song that no bride and father had ever danced to before; it was my gift to him.”
Well, after hearing “Daddy Dance With Me”, all I can say is, no wonder Toby talked through the whole thing. It was probably the only way he could hold back the floodgates. Dang! the Big Dog Daddy has a sweet spot.
And that sweet spot has sass, songwriting skills and a set of pipes you can’t help but take big notice of.
Krystal’s Journey to the Mic . . .
Krystal grew up loving music and the industry. But she grew up right, with the right to follow her dreams and respect for what the road ahead will teach her. If you’re thinking Krystal was simply handed a record deal, think again.
“I started writing music when I was nine because I was taught that not everyone can perform and make it as a singer,” she says. “I started singing in competitions when I was 13 and did a lot of local and regional competitions. And I recorded my first demo when I was 17, just to get used to being in the studio, working with studio musicians and working in a vocal booth.”
Krystal made her national television debut in prime time as a teenager, singing “Mockingbird” with her father on the 2004 CMA Awards show. Despite widespread acclaim for her vocal abilities, she delayed the artist career she’d been working toward her whole life.
“My parents really wanted me to graduate college, and my dad said he’d help me get started at that point,” she explains. “So I went to the University of Oklahoma and got a degree in Communications with a Business emphasis. After graduation, I went full-time into working on my album.”
Krystal’s comfortable with a wide range of material which comes from an appreciation of the classics.
“I grew up on Patsy Cline, Skeeter Davis, KT Oslin and Willie Nelson,” she says.”I’m not sure I heard much current music until I got old enough to have my own car and radio.We had a vinyl player and every day I listened to the Big Bopper’s ‘Chantilly Lace’ probably seven times. I listened to every Patsy Cline song at least every other day. I spent a ton of time at my grandmother’s house listening to her old 8-track player long after those were a thing.”
Well, Krystal’s Whiskey & Lace album is still in the making but her Krystal Keith EP is here and I tell ya, Krystal Keith has arrived…and she’s a hottie !!!
She’s a Hottie . . .
Krystal is definitely a hottie. But I mean that in every professional sense of the word. There’s a good dose of lyrical and vocal female sass in country music right now (Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies, Kacey Musgraves) and Krystal Keith’s definitely one to watch in that category but in a different way.
With rock-solid, unshakable pipes, she can belch out a note and carry it. She’s got a playfulness and a punch in her delivery that simply makes her likeable.
Four Tracks to Simply Leave on REPEAT . . .
The highly anticipated “Daddy Dance With Me”, the only ballad on the EP, is going to leave a big ol’ lump in your throat. When Krystal hit the chorus I was covered in chills. And when she delivers the second verse, you will break down. The lyric is a different perspective on giving your daughter’s hand to another man. It’s quite unique and vocally almost operatic.
The remainder of this debut continues with a powerhouse of great lyric, infectious hooks, foot-stomping melodies and a real feel-good-vibe.
Krystal worked with producers Mark Wright (Gary Allan, Lee Ann Womack) and her father on her debut project and feels doing so may have actually advanced her individuality.
“As a new artist, I might have been intimidated by another producer,” she says. “It might have kept me from being as vocal about what I wanted. But my dad gave me the creative freedom to see my vision through. We actually had similar views on what we wanted to do. And I love working with Mark Wright. He brings another perspective, and he and my dad work hand-in-hand. They bring the best out in each other, which in turn brings the best out in me.”
Ya, I’d say the combo of everything here has brought forward the best in Krystal, a damn good start anyway.
The EP explodes out of the starting gate with “Doin’ It”. Krystal struts her vocal strength, range, wind span and sinful side upfront and you’re gonna be more than happy to join her as she teases:
“it’s been around since the dawn of time // if you don’t wanna get left behind // you’d better find a way to get into it // everybody’s doin’ it”
And it’s “what” everyone’s doing that’s gonna make you smile. Are you doin’ “it”? This song is intoxicatingly infectious. It sang in my head for two days – right through the dream time! Now, that’s a song. Hope to hear “Doin It” on radio.
“Can’t Buy You Money” is a snappy tune playin’ on words and life. It’s got sort of a twangy, blues feel to the track and Krystal’s not at all shy to showcase her rich, creamy, gutsy vocals.
By the first bar of “What Did You Think I’d Do” you’re addicted. Another killer track and uptempo that’s gonna have the ladies laughin’, the boys blushin’ and the mamas and the daddies keeping this lady behind locked doors. You’ll definitely find yourself somewhere in this song. A delight.
The Encore . . .
All told, both Krystal Keith and her EP are an awesome addition to country music. This one’s got vocal soul and definitely “one to watch”!
“I know there are going to be people who only see me as Toby’s daughter, and I’m prepared for those criticisms because I’m really confident that the album and my work ethic will speak louder,” she says. “Obviously I have an amazing opportunity to be on a great label and work with amazing people. I don’t take that for granted or apologize for it, but I also hope people will be open-minded enough to listen and base their judgments on the music. I have faith that most people will be pleasantly surprised.”
You’re definitely going to be pleasantly surprised and country radio is going to be pleasantly endowed. Be sure to pick up your copy of “Krystal Keith EP” and catch this firecracker on tour. Neither is going to disappoint!
Welcome Krystal Keith! definitely no need to apologize.