The Ron Keel Band’s new album, South x South Dakota, pays tribute to the frontman’s Southern rock roots. Among its offerings is a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s 2003 single “Red White & Blue.”
You can watch the video’s premiere below.
“I went on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd for a couple of weeks on the  Edge of Forever tour, not as the opening act, but as part of the merch crew,” Keel tells UCR. “That’s how big a fan I am. To me, Skynyrd personifies tenacity and perseverance, as they’ve been able to stick to their guns while dealing with such adversity and still evolve musically. I hope that if they hear our version of ‘Red White & Blue’ and they will approve and understand that it’s my way of saluting one of my favorite bands of all time.”
South x South Dakota, which was released on April 24, also features classics by the Allman Brothers Band (“Ramblin’ Man”), Molly Hatchet (“Flirtin’ With Disaster”) and a live medley of songs originally performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Although he’s best remembered as the singer in the metal band Keel, Keel notes in the press material for the new record that his roots in country and Southern rock first led him to Nashville in 1979, where he was dismissed by one label executive as “Twang Petty.”
The genesis of South x South Dakota stems from a track recorded in 2015, when Henry Paul of the Outlaws produced the Ron Keel Band’s take on Johnny Cash‘s “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and the Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “Homesick.” As the band was working on last year’s Fight Like a Band, the members would occasionally pass the time by playing other covers. Unknown to the band, producer Mike Dresch was recording.
“Upon hearing some of the tracks, it was obvious we had the makings of something special,” Keel says.
Ron Keel Band, ‘South X South Dakota’ Track Listing
1. “Train Train”
2. “Rockin’ Into the Night”
3. “Don’t Misunderstand Me”
4. “Red White & Blue”
5. “Flirtin’ With Disaster”
6. “Ramblin’ Man”
7. “Fire on the Mountain”
8. “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”
10. “Ghost Riders in the Sky”
11. “Creedence Medley Live”