Kelly Richey's latest release Carry The Light finds the artist addressing sociological world issues that in turn become strong lyrical statements.
As a live performer, Richey goes all out. Tearing and slashing at the guitar, the music is always a full out assault without too much time to catch your breath. The stage is a liberation zone in which Kelly embraces it wholeheartedly. Carry The Light divides itself with ballads, moderate paced numbers and smoking rockers.
Title track "Carry The Light" drives along the message of love and music underscored by scalding guitar lines. A slow paced "What In The World" finds a human race reflecting on their inner strengths and looking to rebuild a faith once lost. Working with other writers seems to have motivated Kelly in creating songs not reliant on guitar showmanship but in evolving artistic abilities.
It doesn't mean Richey is abandoning the rockier side of things. Opening track "Leave The Blues Behind" is a fast gallop into a guitar sweaty "I Want You." A catchy riff makes the tune "No More Lies" a candidate for a Govt Mule record with Kelly's fretwork being front and center. A dark force pervades "When All Is Said And Done" into positive waters with a glimmering solo.
The lyrical nature of "Time For A Change" makes this ballad a focused effort on achieving world unity. A unity counteracted by losing one's way on the gentle "Jericho Road."
While some of these numbers may be an excuse for Kelly to get on her soap-box, they are just reminders that we live in a grim world. But corrupted as the human race is, Kelly knows the healing power of music. And of musicians deserving to carry the light, she has our many blessings.