Season 13

Hear more from American Idol’s Keith Sanders

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We only saw a snippet of Keith Sanders’ audition during the American Idol episode from Salt Lake City.

So we didn’t find out how natural his interest in music is.

Keith Sanders earned a ticket to Hollywood at the American Idol auditions in Salt Lake City. (FOX Photo)

Keith Sanders earned a ticket to Hollywood at the American Idol auditions in Salt Lake City. (FOX Photo)

His father is Dr. Alphonso Sanders, a longtime blues and jazz performer and music educator who has served as chairman of fine arts at Mississippi Valley State University and director of the B.B. King Recording Studio there.

In a bio video on YouTube, Keith says his father is one of his musical inspirations.

There were always instruments around the house as he was growing up, Keith says. He picked up the trumpet at age 6 and moved on to a number of others. Each time, he says his dad would see him trying out an instrument, then help teach him how to play it.

“It’s kind of hard living under the shadow of a musician greater than you, but it always keeps you driving to be better,” Keith says.

During his Idol audition, Keith sounded great singing Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” And we saw him get a mild scolding from Harry Connick Jr. for thinking he might not be good enough for Idol.

In his Road to Hollywood video, Keith says Withers is another of his musical influences; he particularly admires the way he writes songs.

And while he played the guitar for his audition, that was actually one of the last instruments he learned, picking it up about six years ago and teaching himself how to play.

In terms of his musical future, Keith expresses a rather modest goal in that YouTube video.

“I don’t have to be too famous,” says the guy Idol identified as a 26-year-old bartender. “Just enough for people to know me and respect my songs.”

If you’d like to follow Keith, here’s a link to his Twitter account (@kalricksanders)

Now, here are some examples of Keith’s talent. The guy he’s performing with is Shane King, his roommate in Oxford, Mississippi.

For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.

“Use Me” (Bill Withers cover)

“Runnin’ Scared”

“Atlantic City”

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