Kansas City-based blueswoman Kelley Hunt has been defying description for over a decade, and she shows no sign of slowing down. With a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior skills as a vocalist, piano player and songwriter she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe.
Her 2011 release, Gravity Loves You, is a remarkable collection of 12 songs from Kelley’s solo pen and songwriting collaborations with Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, as well as songwriters Sarah Hart and Dwight Liles. “Gravity” weaves its way through roots grooves and arrangements that conjure everything from old-school funk to Philly soul to the intense, Gospel-influenced ballad style that is a Kelley Hunt trademark.
Born in Kansas City, Hunt’s love for her craft was fine tuned listening to early blues, R&B, roots rock, jazz and Gospel influences – artists like Ruth Brown, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Ann Peebles, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin, Charles Brown, Wanda Jackson and a cross section of the New Orleans/St. Louis/KC piano traditions of Professor Longhair, Toots Washington, Johnnie Johnson and Kansas City masters Jay McShann and Mary Lou Williams among others. Before that came the sound of her mother singing jazz and blues – her first musical memories – and the influence of her New Orleans Gospel singer grandmother. Reminders of these very traditional influences are evident in Kelley’s live performances and recordings but the lyrics, soul and passion are all her own. Her career path so far has been a story of fierce independence, incredible will, unassailable cred as a blistering live performer and hard-won accomplishment.
With her independently produced new studio album due for release in May, Kelley Hunt is going on the road and is once again poised to take audiences by storm. Come check out what the hype is all about!
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“She sounds like a road-weary warrior with the passion of Aretha and the intensity of Bonnie Raitt. She combines vocal sensuality and sexuality in equal spades.” -Buffalo News
“Kelley Hunt remains an astonishingly well-kept secret on the blues circuit. She’s a powerful singer with a huge reservoir of blues and R&B muscle and can singe your eyebrows with a ballad or full-tilt boogie. She’s also a rollicking pianist…and a superior songwriter with a knack for going for the musical jugular… a swaggering live slab of smokin’ blues, high-energy swing and boogie-woogie.” -City Pages
“One of the best new songwriters in the genre.” -Seattle Times