The University of Memphis TIGUrs Garden invited singer Keith Paluso from “The Voice” to perform at the Autumns Evening show Thursday night behind the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
The new lead singer of the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, Keith Paluso, talked about how he got involved with music before quitting.
“I grew up creating and performing music in Memphis,” Paluso said. “When I went to college, I majored in biology and became a park ranger, and when I became a ranger, I quit playing music. I lived in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn’t really play shows. I was a reckless workaholic, and I only made time for work until I found out I had a son on the way. That changed everything. It made me realize I was wasting my life even though I love serving my community.”
Paluso also mentioned how the people in his family inspired him to become an artist. While being on maternity leave after his son was born, his wife convinced him to drive to Nashville to do shows. Six months later, Paluso was featured on “The Voice” and was picked up by country singer Blake Shelton.
“My wife told me I needed a hobby and to stop working for a bit,” Paluso said. “So, after two weeks of not working, she suggested that I go to Nashville and do some shows. Soon after, I went on ‘The Voice.’ After I left the show, I got picked up by the band Blood, Sweat & Tears.”
After leaving The Voice, Paluso quit his job as a park ranger and got a new job in Germantown, Tennessee, which lead him to move back to Memphis. Paluso and his band started touring across the country to reach a wider audience.
“I been on tour with the band since the beginning of summer, but it’s not like the typical artist experience. It’s more laid back,” Paluso said. “Most of the time we’re gone for like four of five days at a time. The band has been on tour for 53 years, and so the wildest thing we may do is get a snack and head in. I wouldn’t have taken the gig if it was for months because I have wife and kid. That’s my No. 1 priority. The whole reason I do stuff is to be a better dad. In fact, if being a great dad requires me to dig ditches and cut grass, I would do it. I love music, but my family comes first.”
Paluso said he felt welcome at the UofM. He said the staff and students were super friendly and embraced him with open arms.
“If I had to sum up my experience tonight with one word, that word would be ‘inviting,’” Paluso said. “It seems like I have known them forever. In fact, I felt so welcome I’m going to start coming here to work in the garden and hang out. Any time you can get people outside and involved in their community, it’s great. I think that’s what the world needs.”
Memphis alumni Rodney Love has never heard of Keith Paluso but said he was a good singer.
“I’m not really into country, but he’s a really great singer.” Love said. “If I heard him while sitting, I’d stay and listen to it.”