Firmly established as Europe’s premier blues performer, Dave’s guitar & vocals form the backbone of The Blues Band’s distinctive sound. He’ll be performing solo at the Saturday afternoon concert – a real treat for the festival.
If there is such a thing as a British ‘blues pedigree’, then Dave Kelly’s sets the standard. Kelly is a blues craftsman – a journeyman who has served his time with the best.
In New York he jammed with Muddy Waters. He became a friend to Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker, who both felt the benefit of Dave’s playing in their touring bands. It was Dave’s big sister, the late Jo-Ann Kelly, who first opened his ears to the blues, although his passion for rock and roll – and especially the work of Buddy Holly – remains intact. In 1967 he joined The John Dummer Blues Band. After three albums and a solo project he continued to polish his style and technique throughout an adventurous career with some of Britain’s finest players. When The Blues Band was formed in 1979, the post of slide guitarist and joint vocalist was a foregone conclusion – and bringing his friend, the bassist Gary Fletcher, along to that first rehearsal, was a bonus. Dave Kelly’s guitar and vocals form the very backbone of The Blues Band’s distinctive sound.
Today, after 21 years ‘treading the boards’ with the band, with his solo albums, duo tours with Paul Jones, and soundtrack work (for commercials and such projects as BBC TV’s ‘King of the Ghetto’ and the Comic Strip’s ‘Strike!’) Dave Kelly is firmly established as Europe’s premier blues performer.