For a lot of professional musicians, their careers all started with the same thing: a leap of faith. That’s certainly the case for singer-songwriter, Raleigh Keegan, who sold his house in order to make his first record.
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“That moment was scary,” Keegan said on a recent episode of American Songwriter’s Twitch show, Off The Record Live. “I quit my job, and my wife and I sold our house to pay for my first record and our move [to Nashville]. It was a moment of panic—we were like, ‘What are we gonna do?’ We just made a huge leap. I was booking myself constantly, emailing people eight hours a day, trying to get shows and stuff. It worked out, but it was wild.”
Indeed, it is working out for Keegan, who now has a devoted following and expanded catalog. Just this past October, he put out a stellar new record, Clocks Roll Forward, which shares the saga of his life through 13 tracks clad with classic arrangements, inventive melodies, and candid storytelling.
Still, Keegan wasn’t afraid to talk about just how hard those early days were. “I remember sitting in my house in Lexington before we left, just crying, thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ I’m leaving the comfort of this life here?’ All of our friends were there, we had a great community of people there… we left it all for this. But I wouldn’t change it.”
To that end, the magic factor in Keegan’s trajectory that’s kept the engine running all these years is his undying love for music itself. Listening to his songs, the authenticity is palpable—with that as his inspiration, grinding through the early years to get to where he is now was made possible.
Beyond that element of his story, Keegan also spoke about the impact of his biological mother (who birthed him while incarcerated, only to give him up for adoption a few days later), the shaping of his new record, his favorite smoothie order, and more.
Watch the full episode below: