I know this sounds paradoxical but the first time I heard Carolyn Kelly sing, I thought to myself, where have I heard her sing before. I didn’t recognize her name, and I was sure I hadn’t met her before. I shrugged it off. The next time I heard her sing I had that same feeling, where have I heard this woman sing before? It finally dawned on me, I’ve been listening to her for years. Allow me to explain.
I’ve been a fan of nearly all genre’s of music most of my life, but I’ve always had an affinity for female vocalists. The likes of Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, The Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Denise LaSalle (I could go on but you get the picture), have always been among my favorites. The essence of these greats is not just the incredible vocal talent and impeccable delivery, it is style and grace. Carolyn Kelly not only has outstanding vocals and an instinctive sense of presence and delivery, in a word (or two) she has style and grace. The emotive qualities of her style will sadden you on one song, and then gladden your heart on the next. You’ll feel and hear the influences of the above named legends as well as others on this disc. I don’t think it’s contrived, I don’t think it’s intentional, I think it’s natural. It’s what happens when a natural talent manifests naturally. It’s what I heard the first night I heard her sing, it’s what I hear now as I listen to this disc as I write these notes.
Add to the mix elements such as the distinctive guitar work and backup vocals of Roosevelt Dean, the tasteful guitar of Nick Humez (another natural talent) and a tight rhythm section and you have an incredibly enjoyable disc. It’s the vehicle that Carolyn uses to take us on an emotional ride through love (both lost and found), lust, scorn and a few stops in between.
So sit back, relax, snuggle up to your honey (or get out the voodoo doll as the case may be) and get ready to join Carolyn on an emotional journey through the many phases of love and relationships. I love this disc, hopefully you will too.