By Tracy Dietlin

Michael Keeth is one of the hardest working musicians in the Coachella Valley.

On any given week, Keeth performs regularly at several local hotspots from one end of the valley to the other. Along with out of town regular gigs and local upscale private parties and events, that consistently   adds up to 6 shows a week minimum and sometimes as many as 9. Not many musicians can acquire a fan base that broad and dedicated to want to see them perform that often.  Keeth has also garnered many accolades including, “Best Male Vocalist” at the 2015 CV Music Awards, as well as “Best Duo” with Martin Barrera. He also won “Best Male Vocalist” in 2014.

And with his smooth, sultry, passionate, and impressive vocal range, he in my opinion has earned the title of the “the voice”.


Keeth recently released his second CD titled, Get Back Up. There is a common thread that runs throughout the CD that has Keeth both reflective about past adventures and mistakes, as well as overcoming them, and being grateful for his current seat in the life that he seems to love.

While there isn’t a bad song in the bunch, there are a several standout tracks, many of which are radio ready, top ten hit-worthy songs. It starts out strong with the title track, which is the anthem for pulling yourself together after rough times with the lyrics: Upside down Cuz you lost your love/Inside out I’ll be the one to help you get back up/Don’t let it change you/Don’t let it win.

“Don’t Even Have to Try” is a song for any couple that has weathered the storm and are still standing strong with lyrics like: And you’re beautiful can’t you see/ You’re the only one I want next to me/It’s been a long hard road/And you’re still worth the fight/And no matter what comes our way/I’ll be standing by your side/Cuz baby we don’t even have to try/We can talk all night or we can laugh until we cry.

This track is sure to make every woman’s heart melt.

“People Change” is riveting with simple words that cut right through like: People change/But I still stay the same/Just a faceless man/Begging to buy a name/ People change/But I still stay the same/Just a folded card/Begging to stay in the game.

Musically and vocally, “Midnight” is reminiscent of “Her Diamonds” by Rob Thomas. To compare Keeth to Thomas as a songwriter and vocalist is truly a compliment considering Thomas’ achievements in music, yet to pigeon-hole him as just that would be an injustice.  He does, however, conjure up that raw passion that Thomas had on early songs as well as the refined vocal control he has shown more recently. But keep in mind that Keeth has transitioned from a man who used to front a very successful local hard rock band reminiscent of Tool back in the early 2000s, into the master singer-songwriter he is today.

If you’re looking for heartfelt, melodic rock songs, written by a master lyricist, performed by “the voice” then I highly recommend you check out the CD, Get Back Up, and make sure to come out for Michael Keeth’s CD release party at The Riviera in Palm Springs this Saturday, March 19, from 7-10pm.

Keeth was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for CV Weekly.

CVW: This is your second full-length CD, with the last one being Shed the Skin?

Michael Keeth:  “Yes. Shed the Skin was all acoustic. This is a full band recording.”

CVW: I know the title of Shed the Skin has a significant meaning. What is behind the title of Get Back Up?

MK: “Shed the Skin was really coming out of a period of external strife, and trying to move past those experiences with open eyes.  Get Back Up is an album made up of some older songs that I never recorded the way I had envisioned, and new songs about times of growth and change for me internally, and also of what I hold most important now.  We all fall at times. That’s alright as long as you learn from it, and come back stronger.”

CVW: How long did it take to record the album?

MK: “This has been about 4 years of recording, re-recording, trying new techniques, trial and error to get the sound I really wanted.”

CVW: I notice you recorded at Keeth Media Studios. It has great sound for being mixed, mastered and recorded by yourself. Is that a home studio?

MK: “Thank you so much.  Yes, it was done at home.  I use protools.  I have a v kit for the drums, lots of mics, instruments, as well as really cool synths for layers.  And an awesome wife and kids who like music in the house.” (smiling)

 CVW: There’s also a song on the CD co-written with Eli Becken. Can you tell us a little about that? Was it done when he was out here?

MK:  “The song “Who Says” was written a long time ago about a friend expecting their first child; experiencing all the fear and excitement that goes with it.  Eli gave me the first chords and I took them and ran.”

CVW: How do you feel your songwriting has changed/evolved over the years?

MK: “I feel like the main evolution has come in the form of just being more comfortable in my skin as a writer and performer.  I’m heavily influenced and inspired by other musicians, but I’m content singing and playing my own way.”

CVW: What are your main influences or inspirations when writing songs?

MK: “Mainly personal experiences, but I also like writing from other people’s point of view.  To see family or friends go through experiences and empathize with them. One of the greatest effects of music is how it allows us be part of the bigger picture.  When you can relate to a lyric or feeling, you don’t feel alone.”

CVW: What song are you the most proud of?

MK: “I love them all.  I’ve had some for a long time.  And the new additions are close to my heart too.”

CVW: You are one of a select group of musicians that actually makes a good living at being a “working musician” here in the valley. What are your thoughts on that?

MK: “I’m very lucky and thankful for that. I just keep working to be better, show up and stay proactive.  I believe that the road will rise up to meet you, but only if you’re working to progress.  I’ll never be done learning or trying to improve what I do, and working to expand my audience.”

CVW: What is your formula for keeping it fresh when you play 6-8 gigs a week, every week? Do you change things up?

MK:  “I constantly change up my sets.  I like writing on the fly.  Sometimes I’ll just jam out ideas on the middle of the set.  I love trying new songs, and using alternate tunings.”

CVW: Is your lineup still Martin and Josh? Or does that change with different shows?

MK: “I play solo quite a bit. But yes, Joshua Fimbres of Thr3 Strykes is an awesome percussionist/ drummer.  And Martin Barrera plays lead guitar.  And now Charlie Ellis of Mighty Jack is playing bass (very well, by the way).”

CVW: What do you feel has been the most defining moment of your career?

MK: “I don’t have a specific moment. I’m thankful every day that I get to do what I love for a living.”

CVW: Who were your influences in the past? And who are they now?

MK: “I’ve always been a huge U2 fan. But I love a lot of different kinds of music. Sometimes I’ll just buy random CDs and see if I like them.”

CVW: Who do you most respect in the music business today and why?

MK: “Anyone who plays because they love it.”

CVW: Where do you want to be in 5 years?

MK: “Spending time with my family, playing shows and writing music.”

CVW: What do you like to do when you’re not performing?

MK: “Hanging out with my wife and kids. I love taking car trips and seeing new places.”

CVW: Tell us something nobody knows about Michael?

MK: “I’m an open book.” (flashes that famous grin)

CVW: What can fans expect at the CD release party?

MK: “A lot of fun!  We’re gonna do an open jam with our desert musicians friends for the first couple of hours, drink specials, and my full band will perform the album from 9-10pm.  Then a DJ plays from 10 to close!”

For more info including a complete schedule of live shows, music, lyrics and videos, please visit