‘Keyed Up’, the new studio album from renowned keyboard maestro Don Airey will be released viaMascot Label Group/Music Theories Recordings/Warner Music Finland on 14 February 2014. This is Don’s fourth studio set, and his third to be released through the label. The album features many of Don’s friends and peers and, sadly, represents one of the very last times that Gary Moore recorded a guitar part. He - a long-time associate of Don - features on ‘Adagio’ and also on ‘Mini Suite’, which is dedicated to his memory.
Don said, “I loved having the responsibility of pulling together the sessions at Chapel Studios. The album was basically laid down live, no overdubs, no redoing – we don’t do file sharing. There are wonderful musicians on this record, I call them ‘the band that never was’, as it’s a true pleasure to work together but opportunities are so limited. Being in a band like Deep Purple, especially with the success we’ve had this year, should be enough; but I need another outlet. Some of the music is straight ahead rock, a tribute to where I’ve come from, but there’s variety – ‘Blue Rondo A La Turk’ was the piece I played on my first radio performance aged 14. There are plenty of weird sounds too, most from the Hammond; a lot of it wasn’t planned, I just got carried away with the moment!” The band on this record was Don Airey on Keyboards, Darrin Mooney [Primal Scream] on drums, Laurence Cottle on Bass, Rob Harris [Jamiroquai] on guitar and Carl Sentance [Vocals]. Guest performers include the aforementioned Gary Moore, Graham Bonnet, Simon MacBride, Alex Meadows and Tim Goodyer. The engineer was the amazing Ewan Davies.
The track listing of the album draws from throughout Don’s career and also takes in some of his influences, with twists upon familiar themes. Don has performed with a host of the most important bands in the rock canon, from Cozy Powell to Colosseum II to Black Sabbath to Rainbow to Ozzy Osbourne and of course, ultimately to Deep Purple, via sessions for innumerable peers and this experience and panache illuminates ‘Keyed Up’. This is an album that wears its virtuosity easily and never loses sight of its sense of fun, ‘Claire D’Loon’ anyone? ‘Difficult To Cure 2013’ is a version of The Rainbow favourite re-arranged to include Beethoven’s double fugue, whilst the ‘Godbox’ referenced in the seventh track was Fats Wallers’ nickname for the Hammond organ.