The Commonwealth Room
Sat Apr 27, 2024

Talia Keys & The Love

with Shecock With a Vengeance


Talia Keys & The Love

Lessons is the latest album from Talia Keys & the Love, and unveils the kaleidoscopic vision of a motivated, inspired artist. A born-leader and dynamic rocker who aims higher, digs deeper and circles the wagons to manifest the most ambitious work of her career. The guitar-shredding firebrand has fine-tuned her scintillating stew of high-octane blues and soulful R&B grooves, with the squad in tow to show and prove. Lessons finds Ms. Keys leaning into the intestinal strength and resilience inherent in her voice, with more clarity, consciousness, and swagger than ever. Coming out of the creative cocoon of the global pandemic, Keys steps into her power, sharing a selection of her strongest songs to date with a palpable urgency and a veteran band’s streamlined delivery.

Talia is an activist-musician who has laid a loyal local foundation in Salt Lake City clubs for over a decade, and later made her name on national tours and jam festivals from coast to coast. Keys’ vintage ethos, as well as her trademark fire and brimstone stage presence, are an amalgam of her journey, identity, influences; a new twist on the rock n’ roll troubadour singing songs of struggle and ultimately, triumph. Lessons is a robust sound document that reflects a determined songwriter, principled artist and electrifying frontperson. In various band iterations over the years, Keys has supported an eclectic array of cultural stalwarts across multiple generations, including the Indigo Girls, Lukas Nelson and The Promise of The Real, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Michael Franti, and Thievery Corporation, among others.

Keys has been determined in developing a well-oiled band to back her onstage, employing the sturdy sounds of The Love for over five years. The contingent includes jamband veteran Dave Brogan (ALO) on drums, Ryan Conger (Joe McQueen Quartet) on keys, Josh Olsen on bass and Lisa Giacoletto on backing vocals. On 2018’s We’re Here, the crew galvanized while exploring Keys activated tracks. On Lessons, The Love incorporates the Omega Horns on several cuts, giving the compositions some proper pizazz. In 2022, Talia Keys & the Love have coalesced into a collaborative chemistry that propels the compositions further, both in the live setting and the studio alike.

Like so many soul and blues heroines who’ve paved the roads before her, Keys writes and sings of the tensions that continue to plague our cultural climate, assertively taking a principled, personal stance in song after rebel song. The bandleader boldly captures the conversations we’re currently having as a society. Simultaneously, Talia sees making music as her offering of peace and positivity, intended to redirect our energy away from the constant chaos that seems to surround us daily.

First single “Ain’t Got Time For This” blasted back with a tenacity as potent as it is funky. An uptempo romp that calls out to Motown and Stax with its throwback vibes and assertive groove. Yet lyrically, the tune lives here-in-the-now frontier, addressing the distressing state of our fractured society with her trademark unrepentant attitude and style.

“Existence is a resistance! Be proud of who you are, you are already making a difference. Persistence is resilience. Be bold. Say no and fight back for your presence” Keys sings on “Each One Teach One”, a rallying cry of perseverance and rage that demonstrates Lessons’ attitude and awareness. The scorching stomp defiantly marches along, a fat-bottom baritone sax bassline strutting all the way to the center of town. With typically-provocative lyrics dotting the entire album, Keys’ biting barbs address in her own space and place as a queer woman in today’s divided America.

Talia continues to sing for the dignity and spirit of others as well, marginalized people of all kinds, in all places. “Head Up” is a feisty number that gallops with an undeniably uplifting message, emboldened by her spirited vocals, and charged with her patented gritty electricity. Keys wrote this song early in the pandemic, as the skies grew dark and foreboding. Yet instead of delivering more gloom and doom, she reverses course - and the curse - with a bright, punchy, danceable jam rich in brass, bluesy guitar licks, and funky basslines.

Talia says that “Come Back Down”, with a Brody Izm directed video, is a very personal tune to her. The track was inspired by observing so many friends and peers endlessly grind for an uncertain future, without taking any time to smell the roses and enjoy the present moment.

“Too many times religions tell you to live a certain way so you can get into heaven. People are living for something unknown, and they forget to actually live, love and exist in the now.”

The stunning “Born in The Light" features a breathtaking music video filmed in the desert land of ancestral Puebloan and Ute Tribes. The treatment incorporates the Love and the Omega Horns, and was directed by Melahn Atkinson.

Written and produced by Keys herself, the compositions on Lessons were conceived and recorded just prior to the global pandemic, foreshadowing an extremely contentious time in our lives. The subject matter is brimming with ruminations on the politics of our country, patriarchy in the music industry, LGBTQ rights, and recognizing institutionalized racism. Critics might assert that she’s a social justice warrior, but Keys “Ain’t Got Time For That.” It’s a badge of honor that Talia wears with pride, and infuses into her art.

Because some things are just worth fighting for, and when it comes to Talia Keys & the Love, music is the weapon. 


638 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111



195 West 2100 South
South Salt Lake, Utah 84115




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