Kelley Hunt Tickets
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Kelley Hunt’s love for her craft was fine tuned listening to early blues, R&B, roots rock, jazz and gospel influences including Ruth Brown, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Ann Peebles, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin, Charles Brown, Wanda Jackson and a crossection of the New Orleans/St. Louis/KC piano traditions of Professor Longhair, Toots Washington, Johnnie Johnson and Kansas City masters Jay McShann and Mary Lou Williams among others. While subtle reminders of those very traditional influences can be heard in Kelley’s live performances and recordings, her lyrics, soul and passion are all her own. The result has been critical praise, "surprises don't often crop up on the well-trodden blues circuit. So welcome Kelley Hunt. This Kansan is a full-blown phenomenon: Powerhouse singer, hardboogieing pianist, polished songwriter…” - Minneapolis Star Tribune. “…the freshest slant on classic R&B you're likely to hear these days. She's a tough woman who makes a hip and burly sound." - Westword Denver. Along with critical acclaim Kelley’s blistering live performances over the last several years have won over legions of blues and roots music fans making her a crowd favorite at over 100 blues and music festivals across North America. On a trip to Nashville in 2001 Hunt took a meeting with one of the most respected producers in town, Garth Fundis, (Trisha Yearwood, Keith Whitley, New Grass Revival). Her intent was simply to pitch him a few songs for Trisha Yearwood. Fortunately, one of those songs was not yet on CD so Kelley sat down at the grand piano in Sound Emporium’s Studio B and performed it live for Garth. After requesting her to play several more Fundis (taken with her talent) wanted to do more than cut one of her songs, he decided he wanted to take her on as an artist. "When I first heard Kelley Hunt sit down at a piano and sing my reaction was immediate; this was not only a great musician but an artist who is a 'natural'. Like a great athlete, painter, or writer, I believe she was born with a musical gift (soul) that she couldn't escape from if she wanted to" said Fundis. Garth then decided to call his friend Gary Nicholson, Grammy Award winning producer (Delbert McClinton), who was also an accomplished musician and songwriter. Thinking they would be a natural creative fit, Garth promoted a meeting between Hunt and Nicholson just to see what would happen. From the start the chemistry was right and great song collaborations immediately blossomed. Shortly thereafter Garth asked Gary to co-produce the new project with him. Also taken with Kelley’s talent and passion he gladly accepted. When asked about her ability as a singer Nicholson said, “Kelley has found that soul space that all singers really want to be coming from and she lives there. She's a song's best friend.” While taking her time writing and recording material for the album, Kelley continued to tour across North America, building up a fan base (her previous two releases on 88 Records have sold a combined 80,000 copies). Her growing grass-roots popularity built a buzz prompting invites to perform on NPR/PRI’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” (seven times) and "Beale Street Caravan" The Blues Foundation's syndicated radio show (six times). Other appearances include "House of Blues Radio Hour", a 2001 appearance on the PBS-TV music series "Backstage Pass" and numerous other syndicated blues radio vehicles. While in Los Angeles on business Fundis met with friend and former co-worker Pam Hughes and played her some rough tracks from Kelley’s sessions. Pam was impressed and immediately suggested that Kelley’s new project land on her newly formed label Coda Terra. Over the period of the next year Kelley finished recording New Shade of Blue at Sound Emporium with Garth and Gary by her side. They chose to start the album off with mid-tempo “Waking Up Slow.” “ I wanted that to be the first track on the album because I felt it embodied the spirit of the rest of the record,” said Fundis. Although the project boasts 12 strong tracks standouts include a gospel-feel take on Jesse Winchester’s “That’s What Makes You Strong,” her own intense reading of Jim Lauderdale’s alt-country “Why Do I Love You”, “Darkness,” a haunting introspection from Hunt’s pen written well before the recording process began and “Deal With It”, a raucous up-tempo duet with Delbert McClinton that deals with the challenges of making a relationship work. Their labor of love New Shade of Blue debuted at #9 on the Billboard Blues chart late this summer and was met with critical acclaim from writers across the country. Kelley is currently on North American tour doing live dates and press in support of the project including a recent joint performance in NY City with John Mayer at the Housing Works Benefit in Soho. Discography 1995 - Kelley Hunt 2000 - Inspiration 2004 - New Shade of Blue 2008 - Mercy Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.