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Keegan McEnroe Takes Us Away With ‘Dusty Passports and Empty Beds’

As we currently move forward to the next crisis, many have forgotten about the death knell delivered to the music industry by the Covid pandemic. In particular, the musicians who made their living touring and playing live. That opportunity was ripped away suddenly with these artists trying to figure out how to survive. Many did not. 

Trying to look at the bright side; the musicians that stuck with their passion were able to focus on songwriting and use the newfound free time and chaos to pen songs of true pain and triumph. One such talent is Keegan McInroe.

The songwriter, musician, and international touring artist is based out of Fort Worth, Texas. For over two decades, Keegan McInroe has traveled throughout America and Europe living the life of the troubadour. And loving every minute of it. These travels allowed him to absorb experiences and influences along the way  that have shaped his unique storytelling American Roots sound. 

Last month Keegan McInroe gifted us with his latest album Dusty Passports and Empty Beds. The 9-track record came as the result of the forced stop in touring of 2020. Retreating to his mother’s home in Dublin, Texas after being in constant motion for a decade was quite jarring. But perhaps just what Keegan needed. This form of self-therapy-through-creation worked itself out in the writing of the eight original songs for the new album. Help from an assortment of talented Texas musicians including Clint Kirby (drums), Aden Bubeck (bass), Patrick Smith (bass), Matt Tedder (guitar), Gary Grammer (harmonica), Chris Watson (piano, organ, keys), Jeff Dazey (saxophone), Dirt Stinnett (fiddle, mandolin, gut string) fill the album with that full sound.

Opening up with “Big Year” sets the stage with a slow strummed acoustic guitar quickly building into an all out party of instruments and sounds. Keegan McInroe shares the story of big plans coming to a halt. There is hope though as the song’s energy leads to the positives that can come about. 

Hear the title track ‘Dusty Passports and Empty Beds’

The title track “Dusty Passports and Empty Beds” continues the good vibes through the struggles with his smooth positive spin on life. The vocals of Keegan McInroe sound like they are coming from an old friend sharing his stories after a long absence. Relatable and comforting. The interesting beat and mesh of sounds keeps the track fresh, demanding multiple listens to take it all in. 

Some sonic variety is shown on “Thanksgiving Night” with a lean into a more country-tinged sound. A slower beat chugs along putting us on the wagon trail along with the band. We get to hear an even more soulful lyric delivery from Keegan McInroe. Still telling stories but in a slightly different way. He also allows plenty of space for the musicians to show off their wares. With a title like “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry” I expected a more fast paced song but it is another excellent soulful touch that fits well here.

Keegan McInroe makes sure to throw some shine to one of his songwriting idols John Prine on “John’s Songs.” Here he tells the story of Prine’s passing with a folksy style but adds his own energetic touch not to wallow in the sadness but to praise the music that the legend left us with. 

Overall Dusty Passports and Empty Beds is a perfect album to soak up some stories with a touch of soul. Keegan McInroe has mastered the art of storytelling songwriting and gets some helpful flair from top notch musicians filling your ears with hope and joy.

Follow more stories of Keegan McInroe on his WEBSITE.

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