Welsh Music Wednesday #14: Joe Kelly


Name: Joe Kelly

From: Newport

Influences (taken from the artist’s Facebook): Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Two Gallants, The Tallest Man On Earth, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earl, Otis Gibbs.

Header image photography by Tash Horton @ Tash Horton Photography

Newport country, rock & roll blues artist Joe Kelly made the cut for our Top 15 of ’15 recently with his single ‘Devil At Your Door‘ but it seems his gentle knocking is merely a polite warning for things to come. Pretty soon, Joe Kelly will be kicking your door down.

And you probably wouldn’t mind him kicking it down either, once you saw this suited and booted gent with a stupidly handsome face and fantastic beard stood in your doorway playing an acoustic guitar and singing folk tunes with his husky growl of a voice; this wolf-man will leave your kittens purring.

As of right now, Joe doesn’t have much music available to satisfy our ears, ‘Devil At Your Door‘ is available to stream and will be available on CD soon. He’s been recording new material following his success with BBC Horizons, but until we’re blessed with those recordings, we’ll just have to settle for satisfying our eyes as well as our ears by seeing him live. Poor us.

If you’re local, you can catch Joe playing in & around Newport and Cardiff almost every week; seriously, he never stops, which more than makes up for his insistence on keeping us waiting for new tunes.

I’ve seen Joe play live a few times. If you’re not already drawn in by his sharp shoes, then just wait until he starts singing. Joe’s voice is deep, gravelly and effortlessly emotive, and he’s pretty good on that guitar too. Every so often you’ll see him pick up a harmonica, and it’s simply stunning to hear and watch, it sounds almost therapeutic. Fans of Bob Dylan will really, really dig. Fans of whiskey and cigarettes will also dig.

His music, in general, has a beautiful and humble authenticity to it, much like his character, his stage presence and somehow, his stage presence when he’s not even on a stage.

If you’re really, really lucky, you can sometimes catch Joe busking on the streets of Cardiff or Newport, but if you don’t wanna chance it, you’d better go see him on a stage at the end of this month.

Joe Kelly will play:

Parc Pantry Tea Rooms – January 29th (Newport)

The Full Moon (Free For All Closing Party) – January 30th  (Cardiff)

Check out the video below of him playing underneath the roads of Cardiff for BuskingTV.


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