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In Time

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Album Review

Although he is best known for his 1972 Top Ten hit "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues," Danny O'Keefe has made a career out of being a songwriter who makes occasional albums; his royalties come largely from having his songs covered by others. His 2008 album In Time, which is his first solo effort since 2000's Runnin' from the Devil (2003's Don't Ask was a duo album with Bill Braun), will increase those royalties; in fact, its songs already have. O'Keefe is a member of the Nashville songwriting community, his co-writers here including Fred Koller ("The First Time"), Tim O'Brien ("When You Come Back Down"), and Beth Nielsen Chapman ("Back in Time"). With them, he has created an album's worth of craftsmanlike material that explores issues of love and aging with touches of folksy philosophy. It's no surprise that, by the time this album had been released, "When You Come Back Down" had been recorded by Nickel Creek, while Alan Jackson had cut "Sleep (Anywhere on Earth You Are)" (co-written by Tim Krekel). O'Keefe himself usually chooses to sing his songs over attractive folk-rock arrangements in a high tenor bordering on falsetto, rather than his lower tenor register, which can make the music more expressive, but sometimes renders the lyrics more difficult to make out. The collection has a benevolently elegiac tone, and O'Keefe's vocals contribute to that, as if he is having trouble getting his feelings out, given their autumnal mood.


Born: 1943 in Spokane, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

Most closely associated with his 1972 Top Ten entry "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues," singer/songwriter Danny O'Keefe was born and raised in Spokane, WA, beginning his performing career on the Minnesota coffeehouse circuit of the mid-'60s. Through Buffalo Springfield manager Charles Greene, he landed a telephone audition with Atlantic Records honcho Ahmet Ertegun, signing with the label's Cotillion imprint to issue his self-titled 1971 debut LP. The follow-up, 1972's O'Keefe, yielded his lone...
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In Time, Danny O'Keefe
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