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Established 1981


Artist   Joe Kelley


Publication   Crossroads Blues Society   
Date  Wednesday, May 1st, 2002  
     Away in handcuffs

Crossroads Blues Society promotes blues in northwestern Illinois through education, Blues in Schools, and live performances. Freeport, IL (815) 624-7109 If any of you remember the days when "Gloria" by the Shadows of Knight was all over AM radio, you have my condolences because you are as old as I am! Joe Kelley was a member of the Knights and played bass on their biggest hit. He later switched to guitar and ultimately left the group, finally forming the Joe Kelley Blues Band. This group played all over the Northwest suburbs of Chicago at places like the Cellar in Arlington Heights, becoming a favorite of many, including yours truly. In fact, I once got Joe a gig at my high school for a dance. My dad was an official with the Booster club and they were looking to make some money. I suggested Joe's group and it came to pass. I was pretty proud of myself that night, at least until the first break, when Joe was lead away in handcuffs for smoking a controlled substance in the boy's locker room. Needless to say, my career as a music consultant with the Boosters club came to a screeching halt. His new solo disc let's you know that Joe is a talented guitar player. A highlight is the slow blues "Have You Ever Been Busted", which I believe dates back to the shows at the Cellar. Joe's playing focuses on the feel of the song instead of giving in to displays of technical mastery. Other highlights are the three slide guitar showcases, with the reworking of "Little Red Rooster" being a real standout. In the vocal area, Kelley's gruff style fits the seven originals and four covers. He also adds some harp work to several numbers. This effort should raise Kelley's profile in the blues community and rightfully so. This is another quality release from the Teardrop label that merits your attention. By the way - Pres. Right Hand Frank plays bass on both recordings. Check out these releases at: www.teardroprecords.com.


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