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Keo & Them is for Keo & everybody

Courtesy photos

Keo and Them performs at Riverfest's Kennedy Plaza Stage on Wednesday night.

Keo & Them will perform at Wichita's Riverfest on Wednesday night on the Kennedy Plaza Stage, ahead of Mr. Sipp and Gov't Mule.

The band's leader, Keo, recently spoke with KMUW about the group's history and future.

Interview Highlights

Tell me about having this body of songs that people have really come to appreciate. It's got to feel good when you write something, and people come back to shows and they have something that they want to hear.

It feels like a kind of family situation. Like something I'm creating is shared with people.

Especially "Don't Say." I love when the crowd sings the ending, that, "Don't say my name" part. It just feels really good.

Tell me about the band now. Who are the "And Them" these days?

Goodness, it has changed a lot. We have been a band for… I want to say it's in October, it'll be five years. I'm gonna say that. I might be miscalculating that, but it'll be five years.

And it's changed so much. So I like to say who "Them" is -- if that's proper -- it just changes a lot. I've been trying to do a thing where it's OK for it to be interchangeable and like whoever wants to be a part of it can, so I don't know.

So one of those cases where the name is absolutely appropriate because it's Keo and "them."

Yeah. It's Keo & Everybody. Whoever wants to be a part of it.

In the song "Fire," there's a lot of emotion behind that tune. I wonder if when you have to put it down in the studio if it can be hard trying to recapture the moment that inspired it. If it's difficult to harness that initial energy.

"Money Grooves" is a very happy song about being broke. The rest of the songs … I want to say they … all actually come from an emotion. I usually can't write a song unless it's saying exactly what the emotion is saying. It is hard to get it out in the studio, whic