Ron Keel Band
Ron Keel Band

Ron Keel – Lead Vocals/Guitar | Dave “DC” Cothern – Lead Guitar/Vocals | Geno “El Diablo” Arce – Bass/Vocals | Jeff “The Rev” Koller – Drums/Vocals | Dakota Scott Schmitt – Keyboards/Vocals

Ron Keel band is celebrating their debut release on EMP Outlaw Records: FIGHT LIKE A BAND, 11 new original compositions plus a new medley of historic Keel songs. “Ron is one of the most talented rock vocalists of our generation,” asserts EMP label chief Thom Hazaert. “A true gentleman outlaw, and we are honored to have him as part of the EMP family.”

Tour dates are rapidly being added to the calendar, including the highly-publicized “KEELFest 2019” in Columbus, Ohio, May 10th – the lineup features the classic Keel lineup, a full set from Ron Keel Band, and a tribute to Ron’s legendary 80’s Hollywood band Steeler. Steeler alumni who played basson the historic Steeler album, will join Ron Keel and renowned guitar hero Mitch Perry, who took Yngwie Malmsteen’s place in the band in 1983.

Ron Keel’s 35-year odyssey as an entertainer has taken him from the concrete jungle of arena rock to the dirt roads of country music and back again. Keel’s legendary major label debut “The Right To Rock” was produced by KISS’ Gene Simmons – they went on to notch three albums on Billboard’s Hot 100.

After selling millions of albums and touring the world as both a metal screamer (Keel, Steeler, and a brief encounter with Black Sabbath) and an outlaw country artist, he has combined those elements into a powerful brand as the Metal Cowboy.

In addition to Ron, RKB features lead guitarist Dave “DC” Cothern, bassist El Diablo (aka Geno Arce, also a longtime member of Keel and other Ron Keel projects), Jeff “The Rev” Koller on drums and keyboardist Dakota Scott Schmitt (the latter two are both members of the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame). They have been together for four years – starting out as the House Band for a Sioux Falls entertainment complex called Badlands Pawn. During that era, they toured heavily on their own and with Midwest legends Hairball, and backed up other singers like Paul Stanley, Jack Blades, Kip Winger, Mark Slaughter, Don Dokken, and Stephen Pearcy – and for a 2016 Sioux Falls performance they did a set of covers mixed with Megadeth hits with EMP founder David Ellefson.

Those experiences tightened the band into a well-oiled musical machine and cemented their bond as friends. So, when Badlands Pawn went out of business, they chose to stick together and “fight like a band,” hence the inspiration behind the title track of the new album.

“We’ve been to hell and back together,” Keel confesses. “Everyone in the band sacrificed a lot, leaving their homes, gigs, families and friends to be a part of that. When it folded, this group was too strong to stop, so we renamed it Ron Keel Band and kept doing what we do – kicking ass.” Ron also credits the band and their music with helping him stay strong as his wife Renée battled cancer last year.

“I treat every album as if it were my first, and last, recording project. I won’t step into the studio if I don’t believe I can go in there and create my best work ever, and we’ve really set the bar high with this new record.”