Russ Kelley | In Plain Sight

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Folk: Alternative Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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In Plain Sight

by Russ Kelley

The ten songs on In Plain Sight all have a personal meaning to me and are drawn from the acoustic roots,blues, and pop styles that I play - for more go to
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hit the Road
4:15 $0.99
2. It Must Be Love
3:48 $0.99
3. My Name Is John
3:09 $0.99
4. We're Falling
4:12 $0.99
5. That's Just Who We Are
2:08 $0.99
6. No Looking Back
3:21 $0.99
7. Think Before You Jump
4:45 $0.99
8. Memory (The Caregiver's Song)
3:46 $0.99
9. Whiskey Stone Blues
4:01 $0.99
10. I Keep Talking
3:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In Plain Sight - Credits

Produced by Dave Draves & Russ Kelley
All songs recorded by Dave Draves, Little Bullhorn Productions, Ottawa
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, Montreal

All Songs written by Russ Kelley
All Songs (c) Ark Road Music Publishing (SOCAN)

Art design and layout by Meredith Luce, Kemptville,

Photography by Ben Wellend, Ottawa,

My heartfelt thanks to all the musicians and production folks who made this CD sound, look and feel the way it does. Special thanks to Rufus Stewart who restored my beautiful Guild D50 acoustic guitar to its full power in time for this recording. Finally, thank you to my beautiful partner, Bea, for her loving support and enthusiasm throughout the writing and recording of this CD.

Please visit for song lyrics and backgrounders


Russ Kelley (vocals, acoustic guitar)
Dave Draves (keyboards and percussion)
Olivier Fairfield (drums)
Keith Snider (violins)
Jerusha Lewis (backup vocals)
Christine Mathenge (backup vocals)

1. Hit the Road - vocals, guitar, violin, drums
2. It Must Be Love - vocal, guitar, violins, synth bass
3. My Name Is John - vocals, guitar, violin, drums
4. We're Falling - vocal, guitar, mellotron sample strings
5. That's Just Who We Are - vocal, guitar, wurlitzer piano
6. No Looking Back - vocal, guitar, piano, mellotron sample strings, percussion
7. Think Before You Jump - vocals, guitar, casio keyboards, drums, percussion
8. Memory (The Caregiver's Song) - vocal, guitar, piano
9. Whiskey Stone Blues - vocals, guitar,
10. I Keep Talking - vocal, guitar, casio keyboards, organ, percussion

Backgrounder - Russ Kelley

After reclaiming his physical voice for his debut solo album Crazy Shades of Blue, ex Canada Council music section chief Russ Kelley finds his artistic voice with the rawer, In Plain Sight. An accomplished performer and songwriter in the 60s and 70s, who had a #1 hit in 1972 when Renée Martel’s “Partir Au Soleil” (a French version of his “Elaine”) went to the top of the charts in Quebec, Russ shifted his focus into arts administration after vocal cord surgery in the late 80s robbed him of his singing voice. In 2013, with those vocal cords now functioning again, Russ returned to music, this time as a song-craftsmen who performs with hushed intensity and a smoky blues style.

Now, with In Plain Sight, Russ finds himself building on that sound with a collection of songs that could be described as a meditation on getting older. The songs talk about the ending of relationships (“Just Keep Talking”), new beginnings (“No Looking Back” and “It Must Be Love”), and the struggles that continue as we age. Russ speaks to adult bullying in “Think Before You Jump”, while the heart-wrenching “Memory” is a song for caregivers that derives from Russ’ personal experience while his mother battled Alzheimer’s.

And then there’s “We’re Falling,” a first foray into political song-writing for the long-time civil servant, who was accustomed to keeping his politics to himself. Finally free to speak his mind, Russ adds to the political folk song cannon with a lament about the erosion of Canadian democracy.

Though a veteran musician, whose 60s band Rings and Things was courted by major labels and booking agents – only to break up after deciding global stardom wasn’t for them – Russ has reinvented himself in a way he never thought would be possible at 67 years young. Having taken the first steps toward a new solo career with Crazy…, he’s touring, writing and singing more than ever before - and finding his sound. “Friends told me Crazy Shades of Blue had a ‘pretty, elegant’ sound. The first album was a flood from a pent up storytelling urge - which just hasn’t stopped,” he says.

“In Plain Sight is more raw, more passionate, and pushes boundaries of what I’ve done before,” he adds. “I’m finding the balance between finding the voice I want to have and getting older at the same time. There are stories I never could tell before, and stories from my past that I understand more than ever.” An example of the latter is “Whiskey Stone Blues” a song Russ wrote in his youth but interprets now with new layers of wisdom. Russ is a storyteller, who has honed these songs in intimate settings such as the Home Routes house concert circuit, where he mixes stories sung and told. “I am irresistibly drawn to song-writing - I can’t help it,” he says. “My voice mentors taught me singing is about service to the story, to creating understanding with the words and music.” So with a new voice, comes new experiences, new stories to communicate.



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