So the latest news is that I shot a couple of videos with Graham Lindsey on February 11th. I’ve posted one to my website so far but you can find both at http://youtu.be/0bxsvxTXpxs (We’re Falling) and http://youtu.be/LhRgkJkydPs (Whiskey Stone Blues). You may have to cut and paste the url into your browser. There are some fun shows coming up, including an afternoon set at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival on April 26th at 3pm. I’m also planning a show in Montreal on June 13th with Chris Rawlings. Chris and I began singing together in grade 7 at Westmount Junior High as we walked to school. This led to our first group and ultimately to our first professional touring group. Our high school is having a 50th reunion and we thought it would be a perfect time to do something together again – more to come. The trio with my son is also readying for our first public performance sometime in the spring. As a final note, I want to thank Missy Burgess and Bruce Murdoch for the great sold-out show that we did at Irene’s Pub last month, with thanks also to Mike Regenstrief for his hosting and for all the promotion that he did for the show. Until the next time. RK
So the Alberta Home Routes tour went really well. I LOVE playing house concerts. They have the feel of the coffee houses when I was young, eager listening audiences. The weather in late September in Alberta was wonderful and I didn’t have a single bad driving day. This tour was shorter by three days than my tour last year but the audiences were larger so it worked out great. I have an upcoming gig in Wakefield, Quebec on Sunday that I’m looking forward to since it will be my first time playing in Wakefield. This one is at Kaffe 1870 which is a restaurant/pup with a nice stage and fine sound system. This gig is hosted by Paul Hampsey who plays the opening set. I will doing a one hour set. I hope you are able to make it if you live in the area. A couple of other dates are coming up but I will wait until they are a bit closer before I post them. Until the next time!
So it seems that it takes me about three months to update my newsletter. Hopefully, I will get faster at this. So the Ottawa cd launch at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage went really well – I loved playing that room (the sound is great) and my audience seemed to really enjoy the evening.
That show was mid-June and since then I’ve been writing a few new songs that I will get to debut in Alberta in a couple of weeks when I play my second Home Routes tour. This one is mostly around and outside of Edmonton with one date closer to Calgary. I love playing house concerts for a number of reasons but mostly because it is for a dedicated listening audience. Can’t wait!!
The other fun thing that has been happening is that I have been rehearsing a trio in Toronto with Josh Turnbull (drums/percussion) and Alan Kelley (bass)and yes that’s my son. This will be an exclusively Toronto thing since the guys have many other things on the go. More news and dates to come. I’ve also been rehearsing with Missy Burgess here in Ottawa. We are hoping to do some shows together hopefully with Bruce Murdock in kind of a songcircle format. We’ll see how this takes shape.
I will keep this short. Hope to see my Alberta friends very soon and hope to make new friends along the way.
Once again it has been awhile since the last newsletter. In the interim I have had the opportunity to play a very fun gig at Grove Hall in Huntingdon, Quebec with a great group, the Durham County Poets www.durhamcountypoets.com . This was part of the Ormstown Branches and Roots Festival series. Over 100 people came to the show and it was a treat to share the bill with the poets. Another major treat was to re-connect with the extraordinary Bruce Murdoch after a very long time.
For those of you who don’t know, Bruce was a powerful, fast rising singer/songwriter from Montreal who left the music business in the early 70s but was highly regarded and touted in the US as the next big thing in folk music. Bruce and Mandy have returned to Quebec and he has a new CD out and is playing again. Check him out, www.brucemurdoch.com .
So my big news is that I will be playing my first Ottawa show on June 19th at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage. The 4th Stage is an cosy room with exceptional sound. I’m hoping that the show will feel as intimate as a house concert. I’ve come to love the spotlight that a house concert puts on songwriting and storytelling. I’m hoping that many of my Ottawa friends will come out to the show, it will be fun. After that, I expect to be back in Toronto for a July show at a little club with Josh Turnbull (drums), Alan Kelley (bass) and other guests.
So now it’s back to songwriting (I have three new ones that are almost ready) and preparing for the NAC show. Until next time, RK
First, I want to thank all of my Manitoba and Kenora friends who joined my mail list when I toured there this past fall. It was a truly enjoyable and valuable experience for me. It has taken a while to get the newsletter together since I wanted to have my website updated. That has happened recently so I invite you to go to www.russkelley.com and check it out. You’ll find the cd streaming under the music button on the banner. You will also find an area on the home page called Song Catalog. This where I will be posting new songs as I write and record them in my home studio. Hope you enjoy them and please feel free to comment on them. It will be very useful to me. There should be a new song up in the next couple of weeks. The working title is It Must Be Love.
So finally “Crazy Shades of Blue” has been officially released and is now available world-wide through CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, etc. The launch was a moving experience for me, in part because it is my first solo recording and in part because it was the very first opportunity for my son and I to play on stage together. The musicians joining me were Alan Kelley (bass), Josh Turnbull, (drums), David Baxter (guitar and mandolin) and special guest and a long time friend, Brian Blain. Everyone who came seemed to really enjoy the show. I even had a friend who I haven’t seen since high school (a very long time ago) in the audience.
It always a thrill to hear one of my songs played on the radio. I hope that it keeps happening. I will be performing in Montreal and Ottawa in the next few weeks to support the cd and to see and greet friends old and new. It is quite a shock for those who have only known me as an arts administrator to see me as a singer-songwriter. I’m enjoying their reaction and I’m truly enjoying performing these songs.
I’m going to keep this first newsletter short. I am starting to keep notes and looking into some design changes for the next one. It should be posted within the next month and regularly after that.
Thanks and see you again. RK
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Copyright © 2013, Russ Kelley, All rights reserved.
Joining me for the launch of Crazy Shades of Blue at C’est What in Toronto on January 10th will be one of my oldest friends and musical buddies, Brian Blain. Brian will be playing some of his original tunes as well as joining me at some point in the evening. Also guesting with me will be the incredible David Baxter, guitarist, singer/songwriter, producer etc. The very tight and cool rhythm section is Josh Turnbull on drums (Young Mother & Old World Romance) and my son Alan Kelley (Young Mother) on bass. This will be the first time Alan and I will play together professionally. This will be a real treat for me and something I never thought would happen.
So finally here’s my new website. All thanks go to the wonderful Amanda Rheaume. She is the designer of this site and of my cd launch poster and if you don’t know, she is an amazing musician, singer and songwriter. Check her out yourself at www.amandarheaume.com. Along with official photos by Ben Wellend, a number of the photos on this site were taken by a couple of the hosts on my Home Routes tour this past fall. My heartfelt thanks go to Lynne Moxam of Lockport, MB and Leslie Sellwood of Winnipeg. Two of Lynne’s 10 photos were selected for my home page photo and for the home page banner.