Today in our search for a great DFW musician we had to travel all the way to Dublin, TX. See Keegan McInroe isn’t your average musician. Even though he considers Fort Worth his musical home, his love of family and the world take him not only across this great state but in fact all the way to Europe each year. As we talked with Keegan about music an his influences he spoke of troubadours of the past like Bob Dylan, American Rock artist Jerry Garcia from The Grateful Dead, and then with great affection he also spoke of listening to his grandmother’s favorite country singer Marty Robbins, whose song ”El Paso” won the first Grammy Award for best country and western song in 1960.
This cross section of Americana, American Rock, and Country really explains where Keegan’s music comes from. McInroe’s latest effort “Uncouth Pilgrims” reflects all of these influences.
Uncouth Pilgrims is a term McInroe instantly identified with after reading Mark Twain’s book, The Innocents Abroad, which essentially is a journal of a 6 month trip through Europe and the Holy Land that Mark Twain took. While on this trip when the caravan would stop at spots of interest with historical objects. The other tourists would get their knives and chisels and carve out souvenirs from these venerated sights, slowly destroying them. Twain referred to this lot as “uncouth pilgrims.” Keegan pointed out that his album, isn’t about historical or important people, it’s about the romantic pilgrim. The one who venerates the lover or idea of the lover, only to, at times, end up treating the object of affection as Twain’s religious uncouth pilgrims handled the relics and sacred places they visited. Comparing it to how Tommy Boy destroys his beloved roll.
If you want to catch up with Keegan soon, you don’t want to hesitate as this year he is deemphasizing doing live shows in favor of recording. You can catch him at the Magnolia Motor Lounge on the 29th of January; then there will be a few in February and an April 20th show at Lola’s. Keep an eye on his website for updates.
Get To Know Keegan McInroe
WHEN DO YOUR IDEAS COME TO YOU?
A variety of ways; they come from significant pain and stress. When emotional pain comes, and I need self-therapy. Sometimes when I wake up they come to me or as simple as driving down the road.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A SONGWRITER?
I didn’t really decide to become a songwriter, it just happened. As a child I used to play football. Football was my passion and outlet. Then at 17 I got a guitar and decided that I did not want to play football in college. It was then that music became my outlet. In my sophomore year enough drunk people told me I should play in a bar and the owner of Schooners said he would pay me $50 and all the whiskey I could drink. That was enough temptation to make me stick with it. However, it wasn’t until I was on my first trip to London that I realized there was real potential. I got involved in an open mic, and people were very enthusiastic about my music … I took that a lot more seriously since these weren’t my friends. Then in 2006 I started doing it for a living.
WHICH SONG YOU HAVE WRITTEN IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
For sentimental reasons, there’s a title track of Mozelle on my first solo album. I’d been playing for Catfish Whiskey for several years and got a call that my grandmother had died. Between my arrival in Levelland and the funeral I wrote this song from my grandfather’s perspective about their lives and his loss. My grandmother’s song was recorded by the church p.a. Days after the funeral service, the preacher gave me a copy of the audio. Hearing that, I decided I’d like to make a more professional version of it and began my first solo album.
In the middle of February, we are going back into the studio to finish a project started at the Abbey Road Institute. It is a protest album called – A Good Old Fashioned Protest.
It’s going to be different with stripped down guitar and a strong message against all the division and hate, against divisions with some social commentary and political commentary. Not fire and brimstone, but light-hearted but with a serious message.
Make sure you take the opportunity to follow Keegan and his music. You don’t have to be an Uncouth Fan.. he wants you to take it all in.