Most musicians wait for a major label record contract and multi-platinum sales before they tour the world. But not Kelly Buchanan. The Hershey, Pa., native has performed as far from home as France and Ecuador, accompanied in her travels by an acoustic guitar and a whole lot of life.
Buchanan's music strays all over the map as well, ranging from alt/punk bombast to folk-rock to Zeppelin-esque progressiveness, all the while revolving around a solid core of influences like Jeff Buckley, Ani DiFranco, Jane's Addiction and The Pixies. Buchanan's lyrics come straight from her heart, and along with her addictive melodies, they go straight to the listener's head to set up a permanent residency.
Kelly Buchanan's musical journey began when she starting playing piano at age three. In junior high school she picked up guitar as well. While attending Penn State, she performed at local coffee shops and on the campus radio station, and eventually decided that international relations wasn't the major for her; she wanted to be a musician.
In 1999, Buchanan released A Bipolar World, an album featuring only her, her acoustic guitar and her captivating songs. The musical offerings on A Bipolar World range from the punked-up energy of "Be My Jesus" to the majestic balladry of "Tattoos" to the embittered wail of "The Knife (Armor Mio)." Soon after the album's release, Buchanan packed her bags for Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music.
These days, Buchanan lives in Boston, honing her skills at Berklee. She has expanded her sonic palette by enlisting the aid of a backing band, featuring a Canadian electric guitarist, Japanese drummer, English guitarist and a backing vocalist from... well, Ohio. All fellow Berklee students, this collection of top-notch musicians has helped transform and enrich Buchanan's compositions, adding an energy and dynamic worthy of the singer's talent.
A new set of songs has emerged from this era of Buchanan's career; tender love ballads ("The Way That You Love Me"), frightening tales of abuse ("Here With A Bruise") and sentimental remembrances ("Shoebox") all find their way into the mix, entertaining Buchanan's moods as much as her audience's ears.