Rita’s Rendezvous: Behind The Scenes With Best In Texas Magazine And Brian Keane
I have been writing a column for Best In Texas magazine for a few years and I call it "Rita's Rendezvous". Basically, I take a Texas/Red Dirt music artist on a "field trip" to some place fun or different for the afternoon and base my interview on some silly and off the wall questions. Last month while I was in Nashville, I spent the day with Texas singer/songwriter Brian Keane for the Spring 2013 issue and I wanted to share that interview...with a little "behind the scenes" on some of the questions!
While in Nashville for the 2013 Country Radio Seminar, Rita was able to sneak away from the festivities just long enough to spend an afternoon touring the Country Music Hall of Fame with singer/songwriter Brian Keane.
You are the smiliest person I have ever met. Are you always this happy?
No, no. I am not always happy. I have a fun job and you always see me on it. There are frustrating parts to the job, but I am usually just happy and relieved to be playing.
You just released your new single, “Easy To Say Goodbye” to Texas radio and it is doing great on the charts. When can we expect the new Brian Keane album? Does it have a title?
There isn’t an official title yet, but it should be out around October. We are heading back into the studio in April to finish it.
True or False, your wife is producing your new album.
That is very true. She produced the single, but I was pretty sure I was not going to use her to make my record because it seemed like a really bad idea. I changed my mind when we went into the studio because she was the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve worked with a lot of producers. She was so great that it over ruled any reservations I had.
For those that might not know, your wife, Rachel Loy is not only a producer, she is also a very accomplished artist, songwriter and sought after studio musician in Nashville. Do you ever get called Mr. Loy?
Not much any more. Actually, I used to call myself Mr. Loy...especially in Nashville, but now I think I think I have my own reputation.
At your merch table, you sell “Keep Nashville Lame” tee shirts. Do you really think that Nashville is Lame or is that just a clever marketing scheme to sell tee shirts in Texas?
I really do feel that way. I think the standards for artists are very low in Nashville and it is frustrating to try and do any artist oriented things here. If you write with people they expect you not to be able to contribute much because you are an artist. I feel things like that are really lame. But, there is a whole scene of side men players in Nashville that are very focused and do really cool things with the crap songs they are given. I love that part of Nashville. I also love the discipline of the songwriters that live here.
You toured and played keyboards off and on with the Randy Rogers Band for almost two years. In the new RRB song “Trouble Knows My Name” are you the band member that got arrested and taken to the Pokey before a show?
No, it wasn’t me but I do know the story and trust me, it is GOOD one.
Tell me, tell me!
Sorry Rita, you’ll get nothing out of me. I have been sworn to secrecy one this one.
(Randy telling the infamous story!)
Well, damn! Ok, since you seem to be in the Texas Music Scene’s “Circle of Trust”...tell me the truth about Ryan Beaver. Is he really an undercover ninja or a serial killer or are those just rumors?
Rita, you have it all wrong. Beaver is a crime fighting superhero. What you don’t know is whenever the mayor of New Braunfels senses trouble in the city, he lights up the Beaver Signal to get his help. Sometimes if you look up into the sky late at night, you can see it. It looks just like the Buc-ee’s symbol.
Other than Trophy Husband, did you ever have a Plan B, just in case things in the music business didn’t work?
I worked as a mechanic while I was working on my first record. I also used to flip cars a lot. I’d find old cars, fix them up and sell them. It was actually really fun until the economy crashed.
Having those skills, does that make you everyone’s best friend as soon as their vehicles breaks down?
I have a 6-pack policy with our group of friends here. As long as they bring me beer, I will help them with their cars.
You co-write with several other artist on the Texas Music scene. What do you enjoy more, writing with someone or writing alone?
When I write with someone else I feel like I am writing for their record. Instead of trying to make a song that is me, I try to help them write a song that is them...as quickly and as good as possible. I really enjoy both, but they feel like very different skills.
Speaking of co-writing, you wrote the infamous “Rita Ballou” name dropping song “Glass Houses” with Cory Morrow. Can you write more songs with my fake name in them?
Cory actually came up with that line, but I can try.
I personally think that is the best song in the history of music. You can tell me the truth, Cory doesn’t really hate me, does he?
I have a feeling if you two met and talked, it would be fine.
(Here is THE "Rita Ballou" song:)