MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Greg Keyes (electric guitar); Mikey B. Hill (bass); Matt Lucich (drums); Roger Malinowski (keyboards); Marianne Keith (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano).
Jewel, Sarah McLachlan and even some Susanna Hoffs can be found in her voice, too.
Cathartic (Unison Music, 2010)
By Waleed Rashidi
Here’s one to file under “prolific”: While some artists struggle to pen a dozen songs for an upcoming full-length, Redlands-based singer/songwriter Marianne Keith cranked out over a hundred songs for her most recent album, Cathartic. Yeah, doesn’t really look like there’s a case of writer’s block here. In fact, Keith says she found herself struggling just to cut her song roster down to a manageable (and typical) album size of 15 songs, enlisting the aid of album producers Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn, of whom she speaks rather highly.
“They have really helped developed me and help me find my sound while allowing me to stay true to myself,” she says. “And career-wise, they are largely responsible [for] many of my opportunities.”
The opportunities have been quite impressive for the singer who swapped the clarinet she played in elementary and middle school for a guitar. She started teaching herself to play, getting serious with the instrument in her later teenaged years, and eventually picked up the piano at 19.
“No one in my family is musical so they didn’t really know what to do with me,” she recalls, “so though they were always very supportive, I had to kind of stumble around and find my way.”
Keith actually found her way, performing her smooth-voiced, folky-pop material at two local venues, Market Night in Redlands and Coffee Depot in Riverside. “They were really great platforms for me to get started and get out there and be heard,” she says.
She’s also found her way outside the Inland Empire, hitting the road touring with well-known names, including blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, with whom she played with at B.B. King’s in Times Square.
“He asked to talk to me before the show,” Keith says. “When I went in his dressing room, he gave me a very helpful pep talk [and] advice about crowds in New York City. They are a loud crowd by nature, but a fun one. It is always great when the bigger acts kind of mentor the up-and-coming artists. I have been fortunate to have many artists I have worked with be that way.”
Marianne Keith at the Fender Museum of Music and the Arts, 365 N. Main St., Corona, (951) 735-2440; www.fendermuseum.com. Fri, 8PM.