Listen Up: Wednesday, March 27, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Kelly

Kelly (Self-released)

By Ken Shimamoto

I’m naturally suspicious of one-named singers, unless it’s “Sinatra.” And I’ve never heard Kelly before, possibly because I haven’t been in the Flying Saucer since I got shit-canned from my job last year and wound up dropping $40 there to put on a semi-decent drunk.

Kelly’s a singer-songwriter who makes his bread playing classic rock covers in bars — your classic Billy Joel “Piano Man” syndrome, to which the opener here on his eponymous c.d., “Raise Your Glass,” is spiritual heir. (When I lived on Long Island, which entitles me to hate the former Mr. Christie Brinkley more than most people around here, I knew a dozen bartenders who claimed to be the “John at the bar” that BJ sang about. Ah, fame.) Actually, Kelly’s rollicking barroom singalong has the slight edge on Joel’s “I’m much too sensitive and poetic to be doing this” shtick and should have a salutary effect on the tips of bartenders and waitresses at the watering holes where Mr. Kelly plays.

He knows his way around a bunch of instruments and has overdubbed ’em all on several of this c.d.’s tracks. Unfortunately, the net effect of the “band” numbers is more stilted than any such effort I can remember since Steve Winwood’s “Look ma, I’m playing all the instruments” self-indulgences on the early Traffic albums. Kelly does best when he keeps things simple, i.e., just his warm, smoky voice and acoustic.

Some of the songwriting here is pretty pedestrian, too. On “Y I Got D Blues” (an homage to Prince?), Kelly breaks out the most hackneyed of all possible Chuck Berry-via-Stones rock riffs. Midway into “Monday 0800,” I started flashing on Spinal Tap’s “Jazz Odyssey.” Kelly’s disc sounds more like a resumé than a statement, begging the question: Just who is Kelly, and what does he want to do?


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions