Kelly immediately energized the crowd at Mugzee's with strong guitar licks on her first song "Brick," She kept it wired right through the night to closing time. Playing her road-scarred Fender, she supplied raw power matched by the emotion and strength of her vocals.
Kelly played a mix of covers and originals from her past CD's and her upcoming one. Along the way she gave the crowd a few new wrinkles in addition to her usual, power blues. Kelly growled deep on "The Blues Don't Lie," which complemented her howling guitar. She closed her first set with Hendrix's "Hey Joe," showing all her skills, even playing with her guitar behind her head.
Kelly started out her second set by doing two numbers on acoustic guitar, beginning with "Trouble in My Mind." This gave her a chance to feature her more polished vocals and show she can play slow and soulful just as well as fast and furious.
Switching back to electric on "I Should Have Seen It Coming," she did a little scat singing, strolled through the crowd playing, and climbed up on a chair in the middle of the crowd to jam. Kelly paid tribute to Roy Buchanan, her favorite guitar player and who influenced her, on "Down by the River." She alternated here between raw, emotional power and slow, soulful playing.
Kelly next did "Angel from Heaven," a Hendrix-inspired song that will appear on her next CD, "Sending Me Angels," due out May 15th. She ended her second set with a long version of "Purple Haze," where in the middle she sat down with the crowd while her drummer and bass player jammed and played solos. Drummer Dave Williams was energetic and inspired as he hit everything within reach while keeping the beat going. The capable J. Scarr also backed Kelly on five-string bass.
Unwilling to see her leave, the crowd stood and yelled for more. For an encore she covered Johnny Winter's "Walking All by Myself," playing slide with a beer bottle. Still not satisfied, the crowd called for more as the band packed their gear at closing time.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Rich Benson, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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