The Kelly Richey Band LIVE at The Blue Wisp captures the electrifying experience of the noted blues guitarist Kelly Richey with her current music partners, Freekbass and Ken “Big Bamn” Smith, both of whom have worked extensively with funk legend Booty Collins. The trio deliver high-octane blues rock 'n roll heavily infused with thumpin’ and bumpin’ old-school funk, expertly recorded live at the popular Cincinnati venue The Blue Wisp.
The Kelly Richey Band LIVE at The Blue Wisp was recorded, mixed and mastered by Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue, who also performs on the album, lending his DJ scratching on “Sister’s Got a Problem,” “Risin’ Sun,” and “Everybody Needs a Change.” A longtime producer and performer with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and modern music for years, Donohue has been head engineer and producer for the last 15 years for Bootsy Collins' Bootzilla Productions.
Donohoe masterfully bottles the Kelly Richey Band’s live intensity, giving equal weight sonically to Richey, Freekbass and Big Bamn--no small feat given the individual strength and presence of each.
Sweet Spirit rocks and rolls across blues, funk, hip hop and straight up, in-your-face rock. Kelly picks up the tempo on this album, taking inspiration from the Black Keys, R.L. Burnside, and The White Stripes, exploding with a raw yet well-honed calculation. Dishing up epic grooves and dirty, crunchy guitar riffs, the 10-track album is a concise set of original songs throbbing with brutish blues guitar and gritty swagger for foot-stomping rockers. Pure vintage guitar tone, monster bass lines, and John Bonham-style drumming are augmented with Kelly's gravel-studded vocals. Kelly sings with an authority that matches her down-and-dirty guitar grumble. Duane Lundy, who specializes in organic, stripped-down styles, produced and engineered the album. Featuring Freekbass on bass guitar, Robby Cosenza on drums, and Bernie Worrell lending a shot of tasty keys, Sweet Spirit packs a knock-out punch.
Kelly Richey is well known for her dynamic, jaw-dropping live performances. Her take-no-prisoners approach to playing guitar has won her awards, critical acclaim, and loyal fans worldwide. Richey shines when she plays live, exuding electric confidence and well-honed musicality. This album brings together her strongest live performances over a 30-year career. It kicks off with a brand new, never released version of "Hey Joe," recorded at the Redmoor, a landmark art deco theater in Cincinnati, in 2011. The album also pulls the very best tracks from Kelly's four previously released live CDs, the first three of which are out of print: The Kelly Richey Band Live, Live At Tommy's On Main, Kelly Richey...Live as It Should Be and Live at the Thirsty Ear. This new CD includes original songs from Kelly Richey at her best--outstanding vocals, sensational riffs and the “fret-burning” licks she is famous for.
While Kentucky native Kelly Richey is well known for her virtuosity on the electric guitar, her softer, more intimate side is beautifully reflected on Finding My Way Back Home. The 12-track album of all original, solo acoustic material blends her roots in blues, folk, rock and Americana. Honest, personal lyrics, spot-on acoustic guitar work, engaging melodies and rich, nuanced vocals combine for a powerful yet tender album. The songs embody the wisdom and hard-won enlightenment after 20 years of touring, recording, and evolving as an artist and a human being.
Carry the Light shows Kelly Richey's evolution towards socially conscious lyrics in the blues-based rock genre. She weaves influences such as David Gilmour in the track “When All Is Said and Done” and John Mayer in the captivating “What in the World” while paying homage to her hero Jimi Hendrix in the title track and on “Time for a Change.” “Leave the Blues Behind” features a driving Motown-type groove that incorporates a guitar rhythm influenced by the rock band INXS. Carry The Light is a stinging, in-your-face, guitar-led manifesto that shows that music is more than mere entertainment.
Recorded in 2008 while Kelly Richey was on tour in support of her 2006 CD “Speechless," Live at the Thirsty Ear is packed with powerful tracks that capture Richey at her best: live on stage. From hard-hitting blues/rock to soul-driven blues, the album includes audience favorites such as “Hey Joe,” “Nobody's Fault but Mine” and “Tears Like Rain." Kelly pays tribute to guitarist Roy Buchanan in a brilliant performance of "Is There Any Reason." The CD contains two original instrumentals from Speechless and the funky original ”I Don’t Feel So Good” from Kelly's first album, Sister’s Got a Problem. “Red House," “Hey Joe” and “Crossroads” are songs that influenced Richey early on in her career, and her live renditions underscore how she has made them entirely her own. Her of cover Nina Simone’s “Nobody’s Fault" takes the listener on a journey through gospel into blues. Although the Thirsty Ear, a beloved venue in Columbus, Ohio, no longer exists, this album remains a testament to the electrifying experiences shared by many there.
There are no vocals on the all-instrumental Speechless, so Kelly takes the opportunity to speak here to describe the CD's genesis. "I brought a selection of chords with loosely formed rhythmic ideas to a relatively new rhythm section, and we worked out arrangements and parts as David Clawson (on drums) and Jimmy V. (on bass) formed a new iteration the Kelly Richey Band. I wanted to add fresh, new material to the show, and I wanted to build on the promising relationship that was developing with this new rhythm section. We recorded the tracks in the basement of my home with the help of Rick Andress, an engineer and recording mentor. Rick had been tutoring me on using my new computer software for recording. He helped run the sessions, and also did the final mixes. I had always wanted to do a version of 'You’re Not Alone,' an instrumental by my favorite guitarist, Roy Buchanan. That led me to think about an album that was completely free of vocals. I thought it would force me to use just my guitar to express all of the emotions." Well said!
A double CD jam-packed with the artist's most-requested live songs, Kelly Richey Live...as It Should Be was recorded in the summer of 2002. You can feel the temperature rise and the sweat start to fly as Kelly gives incendiary performaces of the songs that bring her fans to their feet. From gritty blues-rock to soul-driven blues, ...as It Should Be is a greatest hits of Kelly's original material and the covers she uniquely reinterprets. Her seasoned rhythm section is perfectly in sync, thanks especially to to Billy Armstrong, Kelly's very first drummer, back with the band. Duane Lundy, a trusted colleague of Kelly's, once again crafts the optimal listening experience in the mixes he perfected in his Shangri-La Productions studio in Lexington, KY.
Kelly Richey pairs up with Grammy award-winning producer John Snyder to create a fresh take on the heart of American rock 'n roll. The album is an 11-song anthem that marks Richey’s best guitar and vocal work to date. Richey’s strong blues background is evident on songs like "Lifetime Guarantee" and Nina Simone’s intense "Nobody's Fault But Mine." Her gritty rock 'n roll leanings bust out on the tough-girl "Angel from Heaven" and the plaintive "Sending Me Angels." Richey's textural alto voice perfectly complements her brawny guitar work, and the sonic package was masterfully captured by John Snyder, whose previous albums, including Etta James' “Mystery Lady,” have won a total of five Grammy Awards. Snyder brought on musicians that could match Kelly's explosive prowess on the guitar: Jack Holder (who has worked with Tracy Chapman and Johnny Lang), Ernest Williamson (BB King and Albert Collins), Steve Potts (Wynnona Judd and Al Green), and Dave Smith (Everything But the Girl and Coco Montoya.) Songwriters for the album include Jerry Lynn Williams, who penned five of the songs on Eric Clapton's multiple Grammy-winning “Journeyman” album; Delbert McClinton, who wrote hits for Tanya Tucker and Emmylou Harris; and Craig Fuller, of Pure Prairie League, who has written for Vince Gill and Waylon Jennings. Richey composed four originals for the album, including a collaboration with Gary "Mudbone" Cooper (P-Funk; Bootsy's Rubber Band) on the magical “Angel From Heaven.”
Harkening back to Kelly's folk-rock days, Dig a Little Deeper was produced by Kiya Heartwood, of the '90s band Stealin' Horses, which was on the Arista label. Kelly played with Stealin' Horses for several years, touring and performing at Farm Aid. Engineered by Les Campbell, Dig a Little Deeper features songs written on acoustic guitar and recorded with a heavy rock influence, blending Richey’s electric and acoustic guitars. Nine of the 11 tracks were written by Kelly. Poignant but never self-pitying, they highlight Kelly at her most vulnerable. Terry Williamson delivers solid bass lines throughout, and Eric Maylaben rounds out the band with robust drumming that perfectly punctuates the tone and emotional feel of Richey’s songs. “It's Raining in My Head” depicts a relationship that loses its trust to lies. “You Can’t Stop Me from Cryin'” conveys the painful choice to express heartache rather than hide the pain. “Ripped and Torn” is about the inescapable longing for things to be different. Pensive and wistful, Dig A Little Deeper captures a lesser-known aspect of Richey’s roots, but also broadens her sound with the Americana-esque songs "Is Anybody Listening?" and "Cracked & Bent." This effort moves Richey forward musically while maintaining the integrity of her powerful vocals and guitar playing.
A quick study in the recording studio, Kelly Richey took the producing reins for the first time on this album. Duane Adams, who excels at capturing the best that the artist has to give, engineered and mixed. This album was recorded while Kelly was touring nationally in support of her 1997 release, Eyes of a Woman. The Kelly Richey Band Live puts the trailblazing blues master right in your earbuds--front row and center for some of the most explosive guitar performances ever. Kelly rips up the fret board on her Strat, combining both electric and acoustic guitar on original compositions. Her unique takes on "Crossroads" and "All Along The Watchtower" illustrate why crowds go absolutely nuts when Kelly plays them. With Terry Williamson on bass and Eric Maylaben on drums, the trio puts body and soul into an experience magically captured here.
Recorded in 1997 in Louisville, Kentucky, Eyes of a Woman features yet another compelling colaboration between Kelly and a noted songwriter. The title track and and two other songs, “My Baby’s Gone Crazy” and "Talk's All Over Town” were co-written by Jay Goldenberg, I AM NOT SEEING ANYTHING ON GOOGLE ABOUT HIM--WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT HIS CAREER? Eyes Of A Woman is musically textured with horns and keyboards, though the focus remains on Kelly's vocals and guitar playing. This CD sheds light on the artist's more vulnerable side, with the darkly beautiful ballad "Good Days, Bad Days" contributed by the hitmaking songwriter Gary Nicholson. Scott Mullins, an experienced radio program director and air personality, produced.
Kelly's third CD is the first to feature her in the core of her artistry--playing live to an audience. Recorded in a now defunct Cincinnati venue, the album bursts with pure, raw energy. Duane Adams, by now a "veteran" of Kelly's studio work, recorded and mixed Live At Tommy’s on Main with the focus on the aural experience of a listener in the front row. The tracks, including Janis Joplin’s "Piece of My Heart," have been top-requested songs at Kelly's concerts. With Terry Williamson on bass guitar and Dave Williams on drums--who would both become longtime musical colleagues of Kelly's--Live at Tommy's on Main illustrates the alchemy that Kelly conjures in a power trio format.
Named for Kelly's first original blues composition, The Blues Don't Lie is the artist's second studio CD, and it underscores the power and technical prowess of her playing. The release grew out of a songwriting project between Kelly and Sam “Shake” Anderson, who has worked with BB King, Earth, Wind & Fire, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. In addition to two songs by Shake and one by the late Nashville pro Tim Krekel, The Blues Don't Lie burns up with cherished blues/rock standards that Kelly makes her own. With Shawn Wells on drums, Terry Williamson on bass guitar and Keith Hubbard on keyboards, this sophomore effort established Kelly's tradition of going from strength to strength in the recording studio.
Kelly Richey’s first release, recorded in Cincinnati by Duane Adams in 1994, shows the innate talent of an artist who was clearly going places. The title track grooves with a deep funk and unique guitar riffs that would make Kelly a force to be reckoned with. “Travelin” has become a Kelly Richey signature, an original composition she often uses to kick off shows. Its foot stomping, guitar-driven energy grabs the room from the very first note. The infectious “Just a Thing” was inspired by one of Kelly's guitar influences, the great bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan, to whom Kelly is today often compared.