Donovan Keith

Donovan Keith: “Heartbreak Soliloquy”

When he founded Austin retro-R&B-soul septet Soul Track Mind in 2008, there’s no way fronting singer Donovan Keith could predict how much his favorite genre would grow over the next fifteen years. In that decade and a half, the efforts of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Mayer Hawthorne, and these Texas trendsetters evolved into an international movement, the mainstream resurgence of classic (or, depending on who you’re talking to, “original”) ’60s-and-’70s-style R&B-soul. To suddenly have an abundance of pertinent material after accepting the inherently temporal and finite limits of digging through crates of oldies was nothing short of exhilarating.

Well in 2016, the same year that Sharon Jones passed away, Soul Track Mind’s rolled out their final release to date, the Generations EP. Reluctant to disembark from the vintage R&B-soul bandwagon as such a seasoned singer, Donovan Keith made his solo debut with the standalone “Last Chance For Love” in the summer of 2019. Marking a whole year since he unfurled his first full-length, Hot off the Wire, today Keith commemorates the occasion with a real stud of a single.

Impressively penned in absence of any instrumental accompaniment, Donovan Keith’s debonair vocal delivery steals the whole arrangement on “Heartbreak Soliloquy”, even paired against Emily Keeley. By tossing Americana, pop, and folk into the usual heritage mix, this soft, sunny charmer is ideal for an afternoon affair. So why not catch Donovan Keith 5:30PM this Friday at Central Market North Lamar or 2PM this Sunday and each Sunday in May at Banger’s?

Donovan Keith: “Cruel Fools Eye”

The mainstream success of Black Pumas has made Austin a destination for lovers of retro R&B-soul. But of course, that style’s not strictly property of the Pumas, and certainly not the only act in town to flaunt the sound. Take for example, Donovan Keith, who moved down here from the midwest in 2009 and began unleashing some serious dance skills and killer pipes. Choreography aside, Keith and his project Soul Track Mind couldn’t stop captivating local dive bar crowds and eventually graduated to opening spots for Erykah Badu, Fastball, Tower of Power, Snarky Puppy, Enrique Iglesias and even the late, legendary Charles Bradley.

More recently though, Donovan Keith has doubled down on an eponymous solo adventure, which received a Black Fret nomination in 2018 and has continued to capture the vintage magic of mid-to-third-quarter-century funk-soul-R&B. In the next couple days, Donovan Keith drops his debut solo album Hot Off The Wire and celebrates with a release show 8PM Thursday night at Antone’s alongside Aaron Stephens and Emily Keeley. So for this cloudy week, invite Keith’s sunny vocals, call-and-response chorus singers, and warm horn riffs into your home with Hot Off The Wire‘s final lead single “Cruel Fools Eye”.