Sean Keel is not your ordinary outsider. Nearly 60, the long-time University of Texas professor, is well-known in the world of research mathematics. But this record will be his first blip on the pop-culture radar. He has written a sword and sorcery novel, lots of short stories and poetry.
A Dry Scary Blue introduces a distinctive, wholly individual singer-songwriter who, despite living in a legendary roots-music mecca, has honed his craft far from the public eye. Keel’s raw, evocative compositions invoke a long and honored tradition of iconoclastic, emotionally complex Texas songwriters, while never sounding remotely like anyone else. A Dry Scary Blue is a series of story songs set in the bent-down beauty of Keel’s beloved Texas hill country, or the Minnesota farmland of his youth, and suffused throughout by the slow ache of beautiful things fading away. They’re matched by spare, rough-edged arrangements that drive his lyrics home. Keel’s words have genuine power. In this business exaggeration is the norm. It is difficult to overstate the beauty of these songs.