Many of you may not have heard of Kelley McRae, a beautifully talented singer/songwriter, most recently hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Kelley and her husband Matt (an excellent guitarist in his own right) quit their jobs, bought a VW van, and set out on a nationwide tour, consisting of small venues and, mostly, living rooms across America. Kelley works the web in search of hosts for her shows. As of July 31, she and Matt have played nearly 80 shows since the end of February.
On July 30, my own living room was the venue for Kelley and Matt. I and about 15 others enjoyed a great show, as Kelley played her original compositions for about an hour. Yes, the show was about an hour, but Kelley and Matt were guests in our home for over 4 hours. They are not only superb musicians but terrific people. It didn't take long to feel like they were a part of our usual circle of friends.
The Music: Kelley and Matt play acoustic guitars. Kelley sings, and Matt harmonizes from time to time. Kelley has a strikingly beautiful voice. She ranges from soft restraint to inspiring power, often in the same song. Smooth, natural, beautiful.
The Songs: There are many great singers out there, but to me the musicians who write and perform their own songs take the artistry to new heights. Kelley is an immensly gifted songwriter. During the show, she told us that some come easy and some take years to finish. Kelley has taken snapshots from her life and turned them in to amazing songs, especially "Johnny Cash" and "Never Be". "Sparrow", "One Hundred Dollars", and show-closer "Time" were other highlights of the show.
To all my readers, please take some time and listen to Kelley McRae's music. She has recorded two albums, "Never Be" and "Highrises in Brooklyn". Check out her website and tour blog, http://www.kelleymcrae.com/. If you're so inclined, contact Kelley to host a house show. I've never had an experience quite like the intimacy of an incredible musician performing in such a personal venue.
Amazing, just amazing.