The Ron Keel Band Releases Fight Like A Band


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EMP Label Group has released the new Ron Keel Band album FIGHT LIKE A BAND, which hit stores 3/1 via their EMP Outlaw imprint, launched in 2017 to reissue Keel’s solo debut Metal Cowboy. Featuring a full album’s worth of brand-new tracks by Keel and his Sioux Falls based conspirators, as well as Southern tinged re-imaginings of Keel classics. In addition to a lyric video for the lead track “Road Ready,” released in January, the band is preparing the release of the several singles to Rock radio EMP including “Girls Like Me,” which according to Keel is the “most fun song on the record.” The new single/video will hit airwaves in March. “Road Ready” - Says EMP head of A&R/Operations Thom Hazaert, “Ron Keel is one of the greatest Rock vocalists of our time, and a true Heavy Metal visionary. He defines the ‘Gentleman Outlaw’ in the truest sense, and we’re so proud to have him in the EMP family.” On Saturday, February 23rd, Ron Keel Band celebrated the release at Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa with a free concert and VIP pre-show party. The band is filling the calendar with shows from coast to coast, including KEELFest in Columbus, Ohio May 10th, featuring not only Ron Keel Band, but, the classic KEEL lineup (Marc Ferrari, Bryan Jay, Dwain Miller) and a tribute to Steeler that includes bassist Rik Fox and guitar hero Mitch Perry. Ron Keel’s 35-year odyssey as an entertainer has taken him from the concrete jungle of arena rock to the dirt roads of country and Southern Rock, and back again. Keel’s legendary major label debut The Right To Rock was produced by KISS’ Gene Simmons, and the band went on to notch three albums on Billboard’s Hot 100. After selling millions of albums and touring the world as both a metal screamer (Keel, Steeler, and a brief encounter with Black Sabbath) and an outlaw country artist, he has combined those elements into a powerful brand as the Metal Cowboy. In addition to Keel himself, Ron Keel Band features lead guitarist Dave “DC” Cothern, bassist El Diablo (aka Geno Arce, also a longtime member of Keel and other Ron Keel projects), Jeff “The Rev” Koller on drums and keyboardist Dakota Scott Schmitt (the latter two are both members of the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame). They have been together for four years – starting out as the House Band for Sioux Falls entertainment complex Badlands Pawn. During that era, they toured heavily on their own and with Midwest legends Hairball, and backed up other singers like Paul Stanley, Jack Blades, Kip Winger, Mark Slaughter, Don Dokken, and Stephen Pearcy – and for a 2016 Sioux Falls performance they did a set of covers mixed with Megadeth hits with EMP founder David Ellefson. Says Ellefson, “I’ve known Ron Keel for many years, obviously there’s deep connections all the way back to the earliest days of Steeler and Megadeth and consider him a great friend. We reconnected a few years back through BADLANDS, even have had the chance to perform together a few times, and what he was doing was a really natural fit for EMP. Before you knew it, we had created EMP Outlaw, and a wonderful new alliance was formed. Ron is truly one of the greats, and it’s such an honor to partner with him to release not only RKB, but his solo Ron Keel material as well.” Those experiences tightened the band into a well-oiled musical machine and cemented their bond as friends. So, when Badlands Pawn went out of business, they chose to stick together and “fight like a band,” hence the inspiration behind the title track of the new album. “We’ve been to hell and back together,” Keel confesses. “Everyone in the band sacrificed a lot, leaving their homes, gigs, families and friends to be a part of that. When it folded, this group was too strong to stop, so we renamed it Ron Keel Band and kept doing what we do – kicking ass.” Ron also credits the band and their music with helping him stay strong as his wife Renée battled breast cancer last year. “This album is a monument to our fans and the tough guys in this band…and it’s the most personal musical statement I’ve ever made.”

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