"I miss Danny O'Keefe. O'Keefe, along with a cadre of other early/mid 70s artists, forged individual catalogs of quiet - and sometimes raucous - masterpieces that never seemed to get enough air time or publicity. Their FM radio air play was sporatic, if any, and albums or bodies of work, such as O'Keefe's were best ferreted out at the local music store in the (illegally sold) Promo bin where for a few bucks one could take a chance on a nice album cover, interesting song titles, or a good selection of musicians. That doesn't happen today with CDs.With "Breezy Stories" - and later "So Long Harry Truman" - O'Keefe put together unforgettable album sides that hold up today, shifting from dark rock and roll to country rock on each album. I played my "Breezy Stories" album just last month, and marveled at the intensity of the arrangements of Side One, the poetic and often dark lyrics by O'Keefe. "Angel Spread Your Wings" opens with O'Keefe's guitar work that says "this is different - have I been here before?" - and you are drawn into a joyful sexuality that was unlike anything else a band in 1973 put together. You move effortlessly on to "Magdelena", my all-time O'Keefe favorite, and savor the Hugh McCraken slide guitar and the Donny Hathaway backing vocals - and perhaps, the mysterious energy of Magdelena herself.Side One finishes up with "Drive on, Driver," a literal driving, endless dirge of rock and roll. Indeed, all of Side One is untypical rock and roll for the time - or for any other. Which is perhaps why O'Keefe never "caught on" with the mainstream.Side Two is O'Keefe's country rock side, as good as anything coming out of Nashville today. O'Keefe perhaps suffered from a country stigma in the early 70s, when country was "uncool" and few would admit to listening to it. His only hit, Good Time Charlie, was country-oriented, and I would guess potential fans were scared away from O'Keefe due ! to this.O'Keefe was also a thinker, a rock and roll Leonard Cohen with a hard edge guitar. A unique and staunchly independent rock and roller."Breezy Stories" is one of my all-time favorite albums, and O'Keefe's work needs to be resurrected, but as with the early 70s, I'm not exactly sure who would give him air time. Such a shame, but do buy "Breezy Stories" - and try to hunt down "So Long Harry Truman" while you're at it."
O'Keefe's raw talent pierces "Breezy Stories'" gloss
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I purchased "Breezy Stories" in 1973, I confess to purchasing it on the lure of its cover graphics. In fact, on close inspection, the Danny served up aurally on this album fits the record sleeve graphics to a T. The session photos (tiny, but crisply printed) show Atlantic Records' best musicians of the day (Hugh McDonald, Airto Moreira, Donny Hathaway, Dr. John, among others) having a good old time making a new kind of cerebral country-folk music. Producer Arif Mardin recognized O'Keefe's unique musical idioms, but the handful of albums that would follow showed that Mardin and the producers that tried their hand later struggled with how to package O'Keefe. I have found respectable "covers" of Magdalena and Angel Spread Your Wings, as well as Good Time Charlie Sings The Blues, and this speaks to the esteem in which serious fellow musicians hold Danny. After Breezy Stories, I followed him, picking up So Long Harry Truman, American Roulette and The Global Blues (this last one released in 1979). They all deserve listening, as they capture one man's poignant musical journey through the onrushing cultural wasteland of the 70s. O'Keefe matured musically as the meter at Atlantic and Warner Bros. was running out. If you like Breezy Stories, seek out these other titles AS WELL AS his earlier, less polished (and purer?) works from 1970, "Danny O'Keefe" (Cotillion Records) and 1972, "O'Keefe" (Signpost Records.) I confess I don't know what ever happened to Danny. I miss him, too, having seen him last at Folk City in NYC early in the 80s, playing solo with a rhythm box accomp. He seemed really weary, but gave us a very intimate performance that ranks with my best experiences of my lifetime."
TRULY A GENUINE MASTERPIECE!
Joseph A. Kengor | Youngstown, OH USA | 09/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A friend of mine from Arizona visited me a few years ago carrying
this disc under his arm. "you've GOT to hear this!" he exclaimed
breathlessly. We listened. I was stunned by the complex, insightful, heartfelt, yet slightly twisted and ironic lyrics,
matched with the tight musical arrangements of every song. Session musicians do not usually play with such passion and
ferocity, either. I'll bet my last nickel that some transcendental experience occured while they were recording these
brilliant songs, the whole creative process meshed and rose up
to an artistic level higher than just rock, or singer-songwriter
folk/rock. This is simply a treasure,a desert island keeper.
Folks, Danny hit a grand slam with this one, not everybody is that good, or that lucky. Enjoy it."
Why can't I find other Danny O'Keefe music on CD
Joseph A. Kengor | 08/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Suffice to say that he's brilliant, melancholy and part of the music collection I've listened to for almost 30 years. My albums are in bad shape and I would love to get them on CD, but have only been able to find Breezy Stories - my American Roulette is so worn I hardly play it any more! Please put more O'Keefe on CD!"
F.P. | Tulsa, OK USA | 05/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am totally enthralled with this CD. From the quality lyrics to the smooth vocals; from the sweet acoustic guitar to the gentle piano; from the inviting picture of Danny sitting comfortably waiting to see what you think and even the intriguing picture on the front of the CD. Danny Okeefe takes you in and out of these beautiful ballads and bluesy tracks like a cool breeze on a warm summer night. It is refreshing and clearly one of my favorites! It is a "must-have.""