Her new NEO-RETRO Swing CD, “Swing-a-Billy” which is now topping play list around the world, is a true Vegas sound that includes a re-written cover of Louie Prima’s, “5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days” being proclaimed as, “superbes” by French critic, Bernard Boyat. There is ONE amazing fact to this CD that needs to be brought to your attention. Kelli not only sings, wrote most of the songs, did all of the arrangements but played ALL of the instruments except guitar.
Kelli Grant’s new Neo – Swing CD kicks off “swinging” with the title cut, an autobiography of her musical career. With original lyrics, 4 verses long (included) Kelli gives praise to her Mother's influence and gift of a signature piano style. Kelli plays a walking 4/4 or “swing” bass line with her left hand, a testament to her title, “the Queen of Swing” given to her by Mr. Action, Roy Moss & Carl “Blue Suede Shoes” Perkins. However; the fun has just begun as a charismatic Swing version of "Goody, Goody" starts the ball rolling.rivaling “The King of Swing” Benny Goodman's hit and Frankie Lymon’s 50’s chart topper. No disappoints so far as the Swing Queen ascends you to the CD's magnificent original, and what should be a show stopper, "The Queen of Swing".
If your foot is not tapping by now friends and neighbors,
then call the family in cause you must be "DEAD." ;o)
With a couple of R&B covers by musical legends, "The Drifters" and R&B megastar, Ray Charles; "Drip Drop" & "Hallelujah, I Love Him So" Kelli takes you to another groove on an even higher level. Which I didn’t think was possible. Complimenting Ray Charles cover with the exact opposite meaning, Kelli wrote a very enjoyable R&B story song that could truly catapult the CD into a Platinum arena. "Don't Mess With Me" (side note: Kelli wrote / recorded "Don't Mess With Texas" for the state of Texas, thus the song/title).
With a “Zing” in my heart I enjoyed the vocals of this amazing singer on the Judy Garland cover, “Zing, Went the Strings of my Heart”. A rather strange but mesmerizing arrangement I found captivating as well as exciting.
Grab your girdle’s girls and strut your stuff to two more of Kelli's penned genius: "Boogie Woogie Stroll" & "Strut My Stuff". The later is a sassy little, I've had enough declaration. Although written from the woman's point of view, the song can easily support either gender.
"Sometimes I Wonder" set in a classic DooWop style for a nice slow or “stroll” dance, takes you back to the wonder of a lost love. Back to a walk down the beach holding hands or a ride down a country road with the top down, to a time when love was innocent as hearts were racing with excitement and ragin’ with anticipation.
But, just as you relax with the memories of “The Way Love Use to Be” (Kelli won an “Honorable Mention from Billboard in R&B for a same titled song), the whole thing explodes into a magnificent revamp of Louie Prima's "5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days". Prima's original consisted of the title line followed with a "Hurry, home home baby" vamp that Prima was known for. Kelli wrote 3 verses giving the song a beginning and end. But the thing that “will get you up and off your seat” (a line from title cut) is the arrangement ... ALL Kelli. The music graduate not only wrote the arrangement but plays each and every note on ALL of the instruments: her signature style of piano – bass (right / left hand) but also; drums, bari, 2 tenor sax parts and 2 trumpet parts. It’s a 4 minute swing revolution that will leave you “swinging” from a chandelier and hanging in anxious anticipation for the next number.
But unfortunately friends, that's the final cut. But WOW! What a ride!!!
A Note from Kelli:
I graduated in music and play many different instruments as demonstrated on my "Swings & Sings" CD. When I was seven my Mom taught me to walk the chord in my left hand, because my hands were so small which is the swing bass or walking 4/4 bass line created by Count Basie's bassman, Walter Page. Since I play the piano poundin', gyrating rock-a-blly leads similar to Jerry Lee Lewis, I combined the left hand with the right hand and I call my music, "Swing-a-Billy."
I was tagged the Queen of Swing™ by R&B legend, Carl Perkins for my unique piano style. I have long been associated with Rock-a-billy, playing piano on 2 cuts on the England release by the legendary, “Groovy” Joe Poovey and 11 of the 18 cuts on the Warner Bros. German affiliate release on Eagle Records for, “Mr. Action” Roy Moss.
Who knew at the age of 7, my Mom would give me a signature piano style that would bring such accolades. When I first realized that people were referring to me as a Swing musician, I really didn’t understand why. Like so many, I thought of “swing” as big band music and I normally worked a trio, occasionally adding a Sax/Clarinet player. And that’s not a “BIG BAND”. Because of that misunderstanding; on my part, I did not even publicize the tag for many years. However, the tag / title are mine and people all over the world know the Queen of Swing is ... Kelli Grant.