by Kelly Richey
“Shakedown Soul” is Kelly Richey’s 16th album in her 35 year career as a Master guitar slinger. The album is an unprecedented mix of urban/indie in-your-face, raucous rock n roll, blues, funky bass grooves, and synthesized electronica— complete with DJ scratching and drum loops; with added elements like horns, strings, and synth sequencing that combine to make “Shakedown Soul” a one-of-kind, phenomenal sonic wall of sound that will have you foot stomping and head banging one minute and completely mesmerized the next. Richey’s husky alto vocals and raw, ultra personal songwriting will leave you introspective, speechless and wanting more. Her guitar work on this album is truly exceptional— the songs retain her signature Strat sound, but Richey steps out of the box to incorporate new melodies and synthesized guitar sounds that sit perfectly within the concept of the album.
“Shakedown Soul” is a studio album superbly mixed and mastered by producer, Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue and features a group of extraordinary musicians and back scene talent all collaborating to make the finest piece of work that Richey has done to date. All the songs are original, and feature Richey on guitar and vocals, Rikk Manning on bass, and Tobe Donohoe on drums, scratching and synths. In "You Wanna Rock” and “Love” you can hear some of Richey’s early influences from bands like Led Zeppelin, Free, and Bad Company. The song “Lies” is influenced by Sheryl Crow’s self titled album, and the tracks “Afraid To Die” and “The Artist In Me” are haunting tunes that reflect the influence producer Daniel Lanois and artist Emmy Lou Harris’s “Wrecking Ball” album had on her. Add to that list "Just like A River” and you have three songs taken from Richey’s poetry and reflect her influence for artist Patti Smith— while musically being influenced from bands like the Smithereens and early Chrissy Hinds of the Pretenders. “I Want To Run” draws on straight forward power chords and powerful riffs that pull from influences like Lenny Kravitz. “Only Going Up” and “I Want To Run” is where you’ll find a classic example of where rock and roll and electronica meet face to face! Richey approached the writing and recording from a strip-downed perspective, writing the majority of this material to both rock and hip-hop drum loops. Heavily influenced by the work of early Black Keys, Jack White and Led Zeppelin, Richey handed her songs to Tobe to “do his thing”. Richey said to Tobe and Rikk, “You make me cool and you make me relevant and I’ll make you rock!” Indeed she did! Tobe brings his unique bend of heavy funk, electronica, D.J. production to each song, and Rikk manning completes the groove with his spectacular bass playing.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Richey has crafted her finest album to date, featuring ten stellar songs that are guaranteed to blow you away whether you are an old fan or new. Be prepared for an astonishing, intense sonic experience that will leave you with your jaw on the ground!