Shawn Kellerman hails from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and is a blues guitar wizard. He has joined the select circle of musicians who define modern blues and are insistent to carry the genre to new heights. His style of blues guitar reinterprets the traditional forms and blasts them into the present with a ferocious authenticity seldom achieved by most other guitarists. At only 27 years of age, he has played internationally with some of the best -- Deborah Coleman, Mel Brown and Bobby Rush to name a few. In fact Shawn lived in Mississippi for 2 years so he could play the famed Chitlin Circuit with Rush. The time spent in the deep south helped the self-taught guitarist to further hone his craft.
On Saturday April 8, Shawn appeared at Brantford's infamous Poor Folks Deli with special guest John Lee on keyboards. John is formerly of the Dutch Mason band and has been playing as a member of Mel Brown's Homewreckers for the past 10 years. The Poor Folks is one of those rare 'real blues' clubs which features live music 7 days a week. Its easily southern Ontario's friendliest bar and owners Scott and Wendy are super blues hounds. Their Saturday afternoon jams have been packing the place for years. Some of the many artists that hit the PoFo stage this year have been: Chuck Jackson, Pat Carey, Tyler Yarema, Paul DeLay, and The Sidemen.
Shawn and John were backed by the Poor Folks All Stars which included Larry Goodhand on guitar from the Livin Blues Band, Tyler Burgess on drums and Dennis Ronneau on bass. Shawn hit the stage smokin' with energy and left it dripping in sweat. The self-taught Albert King, Albert Collins and Freddie King influenced Kellerman laid down 3 sets of blues standards such as: "That's What Love Will Make You Do" and "The Sky Is Cryin". He prefers blues which is upbeat and funky and he plays them in his own contemporary style. On "Honey Hush", Kellerman played a blistering solo that was surely heard throughout the city. It was definitely felt by Shawn himself, you could see it in his face. His playing style is contemporary but it was still nothin' but the blues. This was a pure pleasure to experience as so many of today's young blues guitar wizards are really nothing more than mislabeled rock guitarists. Lately Shawn has been working to improve his vocals. He realizes that he is a far stronger guitarist than singer but is adamant about improving those chops. Shawn handled most of the vocals while John Lee took over on "Walking Blues". Then one of the regulars from the crowd, got up on stage and belted out a version of "Turn On Your Love Light" that would have made Bobby Bland envious.
Shawn has his own sound and style unless he is playing an Albert Collins tune. Then Kellerman can't resist but to closely imitate the sound of the master of the Telecaster. He does it as a tribute to one of his idols. Kellerman can be found regularly gigging the southern Ontario scene as a solo artist and as a guitarist for the Michael Pickett Band.
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