BIG DADDY - Montana's Premier Blues Artist
Steve "BIG DADDY" Kelley picked up the guitar at the tender age of ten years old and turned professional at sixteen in 1964, playing rock & soul music. He was turned on to the blues by listening to the Rolling Stones and John Mayall. Checking into the authors of the tunes these bands were covering began a life-long research into blues tradition and an ensuing deep love of the music and culture.
BIG DADDY toured extensively in the late 1960's and 1970's, sharing the bill with many top American acts, including Paul Butterfield, Canned Heat, James Cotton, and Steppenwolf. He put down roots in the Flathead Valley of Montana in 1977 with his wife, Mary Ann, to raise their children, as he continued to play locally and regionally. It was Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for the legendary Jimmie Rogers, who talked Big Daddy into touring again. They formed the Nightcrawlers in 1990 and tore it up for the next two years. Slim went back with Jimmie in 1992, and Big Daddy formed the Blue Notes, and has been knockin' em dead ever since.
BIG DADDY and the BLUE NOTES play upbeat Chicago style blues, firmly rooted in the tradition of the great masters of the 1950's and 1960's, such as MUDDY WATERS, MAGIC SAM, SLIM HARPO, LITTLE WALTER, HOWLIN' WOLF, and SUNNY BOY WILLIAMSON II. Out of this tradition, Big Daddy and the Blue Notes have fashioned their own style of driving shuffle, sensual mambo, and hold-on-to-your hat boogie woogie that puts their audiences into a dancing frenzy!!! Their '96 release "NIGHTSHIFTER" CD heralded rave reviews.
Some of the highlights of the last couple of years have been festival appearances with Charlie Musselwhite, Duke Robbilard, Robert Cray, John Hammond, Curtis Salgato, Paul DeLay, Andrew "Junior Boy" Jones, Little Charlie and the Night Cats, and James Cotton. Steve has played club dates with Kenny Neil, Coco Montoya, Maxine Carr, Larry Garner, Cookie McGee, and Johnny Rawls. His many festival and club appearances have put Montana on the map of the northwest blues scene.
He is respected throughout the region as a performer, song writer, producer and promoter. BIG DADDY'S devotion to the blues has attracted national and regional artists to Montana. As founder of the FLATHEAD VALLEY BLUES SOCIETY, he has introduced national touring blues artists to Montana by networking with venues, acting as a source of information for agents, and producing concerts in the Flathead Valley. You could say he is the "Ambassador of the Blues" for Montana.
The year 2005 promises to be the best ever for BIG DADDY and the BLUE NOTES. To mark the band's Tenth Anniversary, a long awaited new studio CD project, "Blue & White", is in the works, slated for a July release. This will be their third album following the 2003 release, CLUB SHOTS "the Truth", 13 tracks, 69 minutes of live gems that capture the true energy of the band hard at work, "doin' the do". Big Daddy often calls upon keyboard wizard Chuck Cummings, Sax master Fred Jones or the amazing Missoula Phil Harmonica for an even bigger sound. Add these virtuosos to Big Daddy's long time bassist Mark "Sparky" Meznarich and drummer Marshall Noice and it adds up to be one world class blues band! TREAT YOURSELF TO MONTANA'S PREMIER BLUES BAND ...........
BIG DADDY And The BLUE NOTES.