For many years Keith was one of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois’ most well-known musicians. Keith performed at concerts, clubs, festivals, live radio shows, recording studios, and private parties, and opened for legendary performers including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Bobby Blue Bland, Dr. John, Delbert McClinton, Mighty Joe Young, Big Daddy Kinsey, and many others... Primarily a guitarist-singer, Keith plays other instruments, including dobro, harmonica, little bit of blues mandolin, and occasionally writes on piano.
As a solo performer, Keith was known for his renditions of vintage blues and folksy material, originals, and unique versions of classic cover tunes. Keith has performed with a wide variety of duo partners, sometimes as an accompanist and back in the day played with his electric power-trio blues band The Keith Harden Band, featuring Andy Burnett and Billy Galt.
Keith has twice won the C.V. Lloyd Music "Unsung Heroes Songwriting Contest" and is a prolific songwriter, though he hasn't yet released the vast majority of his material. He recorded and produced two studio CDs of his own music, "Cousins Of The Blues" © 1993, and "The Early Years" © 1998, with the Keith Harden Band and also released a “KHB live at the Blind Pig” CD.
Next Keith released the CD "there goes another day" © 2000, These songs and the sound came from the exploration of alternate guitar tunings and harmonics. There is a personal and introspective touch to the lyrics and an all around more 'open' feeling as Keith reinvents his sound with percussionist Rocky Maffit.
Keith's first CD after his move east was "Precious Stone" © 2001. It has 10 singer-songwriter original tunes and reflected the influences of his new home in upstate New York. After that he came out with a folky-country singer-songwriter CD of originals “the song goes on” © 2004.
In between the singer-songwriter CDs Keith recorded and released four raw acoustic blues recordings. “Acoustic Blues” © 2001, “Illinois Blues” © 2002, “Mostly Mississippi” © 2003 and “The Bad Dog Blues Sessions” [recorded live on WITR 89.7 in Rochester, NY] in © 2005
In September of 2007 Keith moved to Nashville,TN and here’s what he says about going between the songwriter world and the blues universe “When I feel like I’m running low on inspiration as a songwriter I pick up my guitar and play a blues tune or an old Mississippi John Hurt fingerpickin’ tune and it’s like sitting down in a comfortable chair after walking all day ……so I just play the blues until original songs start coming back into my life.
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