Danny O’Keefe has been making music for more than 50 years. On his upcoming album, the two-disc set Circular Turns, his first for Sunset Blvd. Records. The album features 17 tracks that he recorded from 1999-2017, plus a live album, and will arrive on November 10th, 2023 from Sunset Blvd. Records.
The studio disc on Circular Turns includes new arrangements of several of O’Keefe’s best-known songs, including “The Road,” “Angel, Spread Your Wings,” “Magdelena” and “Well, Well, Well,” as well as songs inspired by paintings (“Runnin’ from the Devil”), Bill Monroe (“When You Come Back Down”), photos in someone’s house (“We’re All Strangers Here”) and the classic children’s bear Corduroy (“Alone in the Dark”).
It was Len Fico (president of Sunset Blvd. Records) who wanted to do this. The albums that all those songs were on were largely unavailable. Really, not very many people have heard them, and I like them a lot. So it’s great that Len was interested in putting these together so people could hear what I’d been doing from 1999 on.
The live album was recorded in 2016 at a house concert in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in a friendly setting that O’Keefe often plays.
O’Keefe’s self-titled debut album, featured “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues,” a song subsequently recorded by Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cab Calloway and many others. O’Keefe recorded four albums for Atlantic Records, followed by two for Warner Brothers Records and toured with acts as varied as Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffett, Linda Ronstadt, Loggins and Messina, Maria Muldaur, and The Hollies.
His songs have been covered by numerous musicians, including Miranda Lambert (“Covered Wagon), Alan Jackson (“Sleep”), The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Maria Muldaur (with Mavis Staples) (“Well, Well, Well”), Glen Campbell and Gary Stewart (“Quits”), John Denver (“Along for The Ride”) and many more.
His favorite covers of his songs are Waylon Jennings’s version of “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues,” Alison Krauss’s “Never Got Off the Ground,” Jackson’s Browne’s “The Road,” Judy Collins’s “Angel, Spread Your Wings,” and the versions of “Magdalena” by Leo Sayer and Donny Hathaway.
Circular Turns is O’Keefe’s first album since 2020’s Looking Glass and the Dreamers, which featured songs about, and inspired by, the Nez Perce Indians who live in the Pacific Northwest, where O’Keefe also lives.
I just want people to enjoy my music. That’s the greatest compliment that you can have as a writer and performer – that people like what you do and want to listen to it. I hope they do. I hope it’s a successful record.