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Moods: Type: Acoustic Folk: Folk-Rock Rock: Southern Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar Blues: Acoustic Blues

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KC Kelly

An outstanding songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and performer, KC Kelly has numerous albums and performances to his credit. After many years playing mostly electric guitar in various musical styles, in the mid 1990s Kelly began playing acoustic guitar again, in open E tuning with brass bottleneck slide. Back to Robert Johnson style Delta blues at first, and mostly influenced by those around him (Ken Hamm, Gerry Barnum, Bill Johnson), he began writing his own blues. After releasing a solo recording of twelve original songs, “White & Black & Blue” (on cassette only), he redeveloped his fingerpicking style and built up an instrumental repertoire as well. Moving back to the Salt Spring/Victoria area in 1998, with his new steel guitar the sound really started to take shape with the release of “What to do”, also on cassette only.
Beginning to travel again, Kelly spent a winter in Santa Barbara, California, (Cold Spring Tavern, Palace Grill, KTYD) and made the first of many appearances at Seattle’s Northwest Folklife Festival. Performing on Victoria’s inner harbour was his summer vocation for many years, selling his cassettes and CDs to people from all over the world. He also began doing feature concerts at folk clubs on Vancouver Island (Victoria, Nanaimo, Cowichan, Sooke, Gabriola).
Moving back to Salt Spring Island in 2001, he recorded “KC Kelly”, a collection of original songs played solo with voice and steel guitar. After a trip to Thailand for a gig at a five star resort, and a brief return visit to Japan, he came back to Canada and released “KC Kelly” as his first CD on April 1, 2003.
After a summer performing in the Victoria area, Kelly traveled first to Toronto, next South Carolina, then went to live in New Orleans. Playing regularly on Royal street and the banks of the Mississippi, he also did a radio show for WWOZ, and gigs at Neutral Ground, Turtle Bay, and his own show at Tricou House on Bourbon street (starting at 2 am on Friday and Saturday!). Many of the songs on his next CD were written then.
Kelly spent the next two years between Victoria for the summer and Santa Barbara for the winter. On Salt Spring in early 2007 he recorded his second CD “Kingdom Come”, a trip through the streets of New Orleans. Backed by an acoustic trio and vocal harmonies this time out, his sliding steel guitar still the focus of his sound, it was released on July 25, 2008. His third CD “Wild Card” is a full band production, also recorded on Salt Spring and released on August 21, 2009.
In 2008 Kelly went online with CD Baby and now has three CDs available. In 2010 he launched his website to showcase his CDs as well as his songwriting catalog and artwork. His last release, Long & Tall Tales (2011), is a concept album of historical songs, all of them long and some of them tall.

“Wild Card’s a winning CD for KC Kelly...a great album that will put a smile on your face.”

“his voice and guitar are a pair of instruments that ring and slide together...a fine performer...a great slide guitarist”

“his guitar playing is prominent and worth a listen”

“Kelly is a talented songwriter and also knows how to interpret a good melody and spin it out his own way”

“a fabulous blues musician...a highlight and definitely a crowd favorite”

“a consummate songwriter as well as instrumentalist.”