Russ Kelley | Crazy Shades of Blue

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Crazy Shades of Blue

by Russ Kelley

This powerful but delicate debut solo album draws on a lifetime of roots/blues experience with ten exceptionally well-crafted songs.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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1. Sometimes It's so Simple
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2:29 $0.99
2. Crazy Shades of Blue
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3:22 $0.99
3. Somewhere Later Down the Road
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4. In the Middle of the Day
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5. If My Dog Don't Know Me
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6. I Got the Blues
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7. Signs of Love
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8. Elaine
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9. I Disappear
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10. Everybody Sees
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Songs

This collection of ten songs would not sound or feel the way it does without the wonderful contribution of the ten incredible musicians and the fine production people who accompanied me on the journey.  I will forever be grateful to them for working so hard to make the songs come alive.  I must also thank my beautiful partner, Bea.  Her loving support has remained constant throughout the challenging process of writing and recording this cd.

Sometimes its So Simple
If there is a theme to this collection of songs, it's that long-term love relationships are always very hard work to keep together but much harder on you if they fall apart.  I wrote this song a long time ago but it fits very well with the theme.

Crazy Shades of Blue
When I finished writing this song, I immediately imagined the incredible Jane Bunnett playing sax on it.  Jane has made a truly significant mark on Canadian jazz (and jazz in general) including with her work with young Cuban musicians.  That Jane agreed to add her stunning talent to this song is one of the things that made the process of putting this CD together a truly magical experience for me.  

Somewhere Later Down the Road
As I was preparing for the recording session, I began writing this song.  I knew very quickly that I wanted it on the cd.  I ended up finishing it just before we recorded it in the beautiful cottage on Lake Winnipeg with the waves breaking on the shore.  Talk about inspiration.

In the Middle of the Day
This is the first time that I have created a work directly from the work of another artist.  I came home from seeing one of the first concert films by the amazing comedian, Margaret Cho.  Through her comedy, she had drawn a picture of this particular woman.  I was inspired to try to draw this same woman in song.   

If My Dog Don't Know Me
This song is on the cd because my friends and family really like it.  I thought it was just a ditty but they all think it's a good song.  Who knew.

I Got the Blues
I grew up with jazz and blues in the house because of my Dad (I still have his great album collection), pop on the radio, and folk /roots rock that I played with my friends.  The influence of the blues and jazz has stayed with me and comes out no matter what I do.

Signs of Love
I learned early on to try to pay attention to the things that were in front of me and not to get lost in hopes and dreams.  This has seemed to work for me as some very extraordinary things have come my way when I did the  basic work.  This holds true for love as well.

Elaine
This is the oldest song in the collection, written when I was quite young.  It was one of a couple of songs that changed the direction of my life.  A version of this song, liberally translated into French as "Partir au Soleil" was a number one hit  in Quebec for then rising star Renee Martel.   Along with earning me a bit of money, this success convinced me to truly pursue music as a career.

I Disappear
A friend confided in me that he had just gone home to his wife of twenty years who, out of the blue, told him that she had met someone else and the marriage was over.  His story allowed me to write a song and tell a story that I had been wanting to write for quite a while.  When someone is in a long-term relationship, over time each person becomes an "us" and stop being just an "I".  When that relationship ends, like my friend's did, you may no longer know who you are as an individual person having fully invested in being a couple.

Everybody Sees
You can change the world if you stand up for and hold true to what you believe. When you approach your every day with selflessness, others will follow.

The Credits

CORE MUSICIANS:
Jaxon Haldane  (JH)
Daniel Roy  (DR)
Gilles Fournier  (GF)
Russ Kelley  (RK)

Sometimes It's So Simple:
RK - Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH  - Mandolin

Crazy Shades of Blue:
RK - Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH -  Electric Guitar
DR - Drums, Percussion
GF -  Bass
Jane Bunnett - Sax
(Jane was recorded inToronto at Green Door Studios by John Critchley)

Somewhere Later Down the Road:
RK -  Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH -   Bowed Saw
DR -  Drums
GF -   Bass
Doug Cox - Slide Guitar
(Doug was recorded on Vancouver Island chez Doug Cox)

In the Middle of the Day:
RK  -  Vocal,  Acoustic Guitar
Chris Carmichael - Acoustic Guitar

If My Dog Don't Know Me:
RK -  Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH -  Electric Guitar
DR -  Drums
GF -   Bass

I've Got the Blues:
RK -  Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
DR -  Drums
GF -  Bass
Chris Carmichael -  Electric Guitar
JH -  Feedback Swell

Signs of Love
RK -  Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH -  Harmony Vocals
DR -  Drums, Percussion
GF -  Bass
Ron Di Lauro - Trumpet
Mohammed Abdul Al-Khabyyr -  Trombone
Chet Doxas -  Sax & Horn Arrangement
(Horns were recorded in Montreal at Boutique de Son by George Doxas)

Elaine
RK -  Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH -  Harmony Vocal, Electric Guitar
DR -  Drums
GF -  Bass
Chris Carmichael -  Electric Guitar

I Disappear
RK -  Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
JH -  Mandolin
DR -  Drums
GF -  Bass

Everybody Sees
RK -  Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
JH -  Vocals, Electric Guitar
DR -  Drums
GF -  Bass

All songs written by Russ Kelley
All songs published by Ark Road Music Publishing  (except Elaine- published by Summerlea Music Ltd),  SOCAN

All songs recorded by Jaxon Haldane, Winnipeg
Recording space on Lake Winnipeg thanks to Judith and James Prise
Mixed by Rob Heaney at Fast Forward Studios, Montreal
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, Montreal
CD artwork and design by A Man Called Wrycraft, Toronto
Photography by Ben Wellend at ben@byfieldpitman.com, Ottawa
Produced by Jaxon Haldane and Russ Kelley
Executive Producer, Russ Kelley for Ark Road Music Productions
Email: info@russkelley.com

BIO

Russ is returning to writing and performing after what he thought was a career ending operation on his vocal chords. His background was in folk, blues and rock.

He had his songs charted in Canada and in one case had a #1 chart topper in Quebec on French pop music radio co-written and performed by Renee Marteel. He had toured in the US, had a publishing deal with MCA Music Publishing in New York, and performed continually in groups and as a solo artist in Canada based first in Montreal and then in Halfax, NS. This first period of his music life lasted for 22 years before he lost his voice.

Describing himself as an extraordinarily fortunate person, He found a new life in funding the arts in Canada. He worked first as a program officer for the Canada Council for the Arts for five years. Then he was the founding Executive Director of the first Nova Scotia Arts Council, followed by being appointed to the newly created position of Acting Executive Director of Culture for the Province of Nova Scotia. Subsequently, he was appointed to the position of Head of Music for the Canada Council for the Arts, the national arts funder.

He remained in the position of Head of Music for ten years, during which, midway through he began to write and sing again. Slowly but surely much of his voice returned. It is different than before, not the same range, but it has become an interesting voice, rough and expressive, that together with his fine guitar work has audiences responding very well.
In the summer of 2012, he began performing seriously again, appearing at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso, Nova Scotia followed by the Mariposa Folk Festival in Ontario. he then spent the last two weeks of September and early October on a 12 date tour of house concerts in Manitoba organized by Home Routes in Canada.

His first solo CD will be released in early January, 2013. "Crazy Shades of Blue" consists of ten original songs recorded on Lake Winnipeg with some of Winnipeg's finest musicians and sweetened by guest artists such as Juno Award winning Jane Bunnett and slide guitar master Doug Cox. Russ plans to tour and then record his second cd of original songs in 2013.


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