KAM Cover1400x1400Full disclosure: I am not writing about Keith Alan Mitchell because he hails from my native Ohio, even though I love giving a fellow Ohioan some ink.

In fact, Mitchell has moved on from my homeland. He now resides in San Francisco, which, let’s be honest, is probably a more logical place to hone his singer/songwriter chops. His nomadic attitude, both figuratively and literally, is the inspiration behind his new full-length album, entitled The Clumsy World.

“All the songs have to do with breaking free in some way; escaping, moving on, even disappearing,” he says. “That can be a good thing, like breaking out of old patterns or old disagreements, but it can also mean people moving away from each other, being adrift and not grounded.”

Tackling loaded issues, like bandmate disagreements and dissolution (“The Feud”) and union rights (the bouncy, ear-wormy “The Low Way”), Mitchell crafts a sound that hearkens back to 1970s sounds one moment, and modern folk/rock the next. The Eagles meet The Head and The Heart, if you will. But all of his songs don’t stem from such serious subject matter: the delicious “Swaying” extols the virtues of watching the world go by. It’s the undeniable quality of the songwriting that ties the album together, and the stories that Mitchell has to tell. And boy, has he got stories.

Stick Keith Alan Mitchell on your “Artists to Watch” list. And, if you’re lucky, you might actually get to watch him live — he’s on tour right now to support his new release. In a few years, you might just be bragging to friends you saw him on the way up.

(Photo by Whitney Legge.)