Memphis-based roots rocker John Paul Keith has been on quite a tear lately. On the same day he turned in a full length with his band Motel Mirrors, he also released another 12-track solo record. And neither album seems to have taken a backseat to the other.
On “Heart Shaped Shadow,” Keith’s fourth outing on his own, he delivers a brilliant mix of Honky Tonk piano, R&B and alt country/roots rock. Whether he’s singing about heartbreak and lost opportunities (“901 Number,” “Someday Somebody’s Gonna Love Me”) or hoping for love (“A Little Bit of Loving,”) … hell, who am I kidding, this entire record is about love – either falling in or falling out of. But so was about 90% of Chuck Barry’s music.
Keith comes off like a modern-day Roy Orbison on this LP, thanks to his Telecaster twang, vulnerable lyrics and earnest delivery, turning in a devastatingly beautiful album of heartache and hope.
John Paul Keith – Heart Shaped Shadow/12 tracks/Last Chance Records/2018