Saturday, July 26th, 2003RAIN OR SHINE 608-935-5993
Sponsored by the Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce
A FREE, Fun, Family Event.
Vance Kelly was born on January 24, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. Kelly's urban soul-blues came to prominence in 1995 when his debut album, Call Me, won a Living Blues magazine award in 1995.
Rooted in the music of the Windy City from birth, Kelly was born on Maxwell Street, where musicians played impromptu open-air sets every Sunday. His father was a gospel musician, while his uncle was an occasional blues player. By the age of seven Kelly was already playing guitar, and began sitting in at blues clubs in his early teens, backing the West-Side singer Mary Lane. His musical education was broadened in the late 70s by work in the disco field, but it was an invitation to join saxophonist A.C. Reed's band in 1987 that provided Kelly with an opportunity to gain valuable experience on the road. After playing with Reed for three years Kelly moved on to develop his own sound, which not only reflected his diversity by mixing blues, R&B, funk and disco, but also catered to the demands of the club audiences: "If the older folks come in, I want to take them back to the Delta blues. When the middle-aged folks come in, they just want to hear regular-type blues. If a younger crowd comes in, they want to hear up-to-date type blues."
Though hardly known outside Chicago before the release of Call Me, that album's critical reception saw Kelly reaping the rewards of his long apprenticeship. The follow-up, Joyriding In The Subway, featured John Primer repeating his co-guitar and production duties from the debut album, and was another fine mix of cover versions and originals (co-written by Kelly and his daughter, Vivian), covering a variety of styles from traditional blues to contemporary R&B. An excellent guitarist and singer, Kelly has established himself as one of the leading exponents of modern Chicago blues.