Lonnie Mack

Lonnie Mack R.I.P.

Lonnie was a dear friend and mentor of mine, a friend that I often called for straight talk.  When I first met Lonnie, I was playing a M.E.R.F. benefit (Musicians Emergency Relief Fund) in Louisville, KY. My friend Jim Rosen, a powerful harmonica player who passed away in the late 1990’s, introduced me to Lonnie, as he was the headliner for the event.  Jim asked Lonnie to check out my show.  I remember seeing Lonnie walk in and sit at a table in the back and I noticed that he stayed through my entire performance. When I was coming down off the stage, Jim met me and told me to go to the bar and order Lonnie a shot of Jamison and a Heineken, and to come join them, so I did.  As I sat Lonnie’s beer and shot of whiskey on the table in front of him, he motioned for me to come closer and whispered in my ear, “You’re Stevie Ray trapped in a woman’s body”.  I was taken aback, and we sat and talked, drank, and laughed.  Later that night, Lonnie called me up on stage and we played together.  After that I asked him what I needed to do to be the best that I could be, and he said, “Girl you need to learn how to sing!”.  Lonnie wasn’t one to mince words.  I quickly asked, “What should I do??   He went on to tell me that I should listen to Bobby “Blue” Bland, B.B. King, and a few other artists that I honestly don’t remember now.

Lonnie gave me his number and told me to call him any time, which I took him up on occasion.  I didn’t want to bother him so my calls were rare.  Lonnie wanted to see me on Alligator Records, but even though he tried they said I was “too rock”.  Lonnie shared with me the story about how he tried to get Stevie Ray on Alligator and they said Stevie was too rock as well; hence Lonnie’s reason for using SRV on his record “Strikes Like Lightening”.  Lonnie always was someone who did exactly what he wanted, be damned!  This may have been Lonnie’s downfall, I don’t know…

Lonnie Mack mack-obit-1-master675

One night I remember hearing my phone ring around 3AM and didn’t bother to get it as I was exhausted after a long tour.  The next morning I checked my messages and it was Lonnie.  The message said “Hey girl, you’re out there doin’ it. Don’t stop– you’re doin’ it and that’s all that matters”.  Those words often carried me through the madness, the madness that the road often brings to touring musicians.

My favorite footage is from a Stevie Ray concert in 1986 and his appearance at Carnegie Hall with Albert Collins and Roy Buchanan in 1985.  Roy Buchanan was my favorite guitarist to ever live, but to me, Lonnie was right there with him.

Rest in peace Lonnie, rest in peace…

One thing I will say, I suspect that this is the first real peace Lonnie’s known.

Here’s another clip of Lonnie with Stevie Ray in 1986:
Stevie Ray Vaughan Live @ The American Caravan, w/ Lonnie Mack 08/26/1986

Blues Bytes Magazine

Blues Bytes Magazine

Shakedown Soul CD Review

One good thing about Kelly Richey, certainly not the only good thing, is that she rarely stays in the same place musically for very long. For her 16th and latest release, Shakedown Soul (Sweet Lucy Records), the singer/guitarist retains her usual exemplary guitar, songwriting, and vocal talents, but her usual mix of blues and rock n’ roll is enhanced with the addition of horns, DJ scratching and drum loops, and strings and synthesizers.

Shakedown Soul - Cover squareWhile Richey adds the extra bells and whistles to this new album, she doesn’t lean on it, like so many artists did years ago. Instead, it amplifies and broadens her sound to powerful effect on several tracks, like the feisty “You Wanna Rock,” “Only Going Up,” and “I Want To Run,” or the funky workouts “Lies” and “Love.” Richey’s songwriting skills are front and center on a trio of strong tunes, “The Artist In Me,” “Afraid To Die,” and “Just Like A River.”

Reportedly, Richey told producer Tobe “Tobiotus” Donohoe and bass player Rikk Manning, “You make me cool and you make me relevant and I’ll make you rock!” Donohoe, who played drums, synths, and did all of the sequencing, and Manning, who plays some monster bass on the album, more than hold up their end of the deal. As for Richey, the lady can’t help but rock …… she’s been doing it for 35 years now and is as cool and relevant as she’s ever been.

Shakedown Soul ranks as Kelly Richey’s best work to date. If you’re not familiar with her talents, this is a fine place to get started.

— Graham Clarke

Guitar Player Magazine April Issue

Guitar Player Magazine April Issue
Focus On Blues-Rock Power Trio

Hi, I’m Kelly Richey and welcome to Focus On: Blues-Rock Power Trio. Many of today’s most popular guitar players like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan played in what’s called a “power trio”. In this course, we’re going to focus on the essential techniques and specific elements that are used when playing guitar in a blues-rock power trio. We’ll look at rhythm and lead guitar techniques and how they overlap, working together seamlessly to create a powerful wall of sound. I’ll also focus on the importance of creating musical “holes”, the power of creating space, and how to work with a drummer and bass player to create a unique sound that best supports your guitar style.  Be sure to check out Guitar Player Magazine April Issue:

Kelly Richey Guitar Magizine

I’ve separated this course into four sections:

The first section will give you an overview of the history of three-piece blues and blues-rock players that have influenced my style and my overall sound. I’ll also talk about their individual rhythm sections and how particular artists’ rhythm sections played a key role in their sound. We’ll also look at how to design the right guitar rig to support your unique style. You’ll learn about guitar tone, effects, amplifiers, and speaker configuration – all the things critical for you to have sustain, texture, and articulation to support your signature sound.

In the second section, we’ll look at how to approach playing rhythm guitar in a power trio, focusing on essential rhythm guitar techniques like chords and chord voicings, riffs, and riff-based rhythm guitar.

In the third section, we’ll look at how to approach playing lead guitar in a power trio. You’ll learn essential soloing techniques that’ll teach you how to build a bridge between lead and rhythm guitar, leverage dynamics, and create musical “holes” necessary to fully connect with a rhythm section.

Lastly, in the fourth section, I’ll put all of these these essential techniques and concepts together into a series of performance studies. Let’s get started!

NEW Guitar Instruction Website Launching Soon


NEW Guitar Instruction Website Launching Soon!

I’m excited to announce that I will be launching a NEW website dedicated to solely to guitar instruction!  My new website will be designed to support guitar players who want to rock out to the Blues and learn to do so from the comfort of their own homes!  I will feature an extensive video instruction library, a special “members only” area with discounts on guitar lessons, merchandise, live shows, access to over 250 guitar instruction videos, rhythm tracks, tab, and one-on-one lessons where I design a targeted lesson tailored to your learning style and needs.  I’ll help support you in your learning process no matter what level you may be at— beginner, intermediate, or advanced.  I will also be reaching out to you female guitarists out there— I understand your unique needs and the difficulties you might face in learning to play the guitar.  I’ll also share my 30-plus years of recording, touring, songwriting, and the whole business aspect of being an “indie” musician.  Stay tuned and don’t forget to  turn up!

Kelly Richey - Guitar Lessons by Kelly Richey


KELLY RICHEY: Blues Rock Guitar Teacher
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

One-On-One Video Skype guitar instruction allows students anywhere in the world to take lessons directly from Kelly Richey!  Stay in the comfort of your own home while Kelly streams live on your computer for your interactive scheduled lesson. Kelly Richey has 30 years experience being a touring musician, and she is also a highly regarded guitar instructor who has taught well over 1,000 students to date, since the mid-1980’s. She’s an expert at designing personalized lesson plans for students of all levels.  With individualized lesson plans, students are free to move at their own learning pace. Whether you are a beginning guitar student in need of basic instruction, or you’re an intermediate student in a learning rut, Kelly Richey can help.  Or, are you are an advanced student in need of your own personal “guitar coach” to inspire you with new tips and techniques?  Kelly Richey has a master plan for successfully teaching all students to play the guitar with efficiency, fluidity, confidence, hand strength, and precise timing. Purchase one lesson at a time, or purchase lessons in a bundle and save. Are YOU ready to rock?

Kelly Richey at the Hambone Blues Fest_1_Photo by Sonya ZieglerARE YOU A FEMALE GUITAR PLAYER?

Girls, Are you ready to rock? Do you need a teacher who you can connect with?

Girls, Are you ready to rock? Do you need a teacher who understands your needs? As a female guitarist who’s spent my career touring and playing in a male dominated world, I know what it takes to compete! I have specialized tips and techniques, hand strengthening exercises, and finger exercises, designed to help you succeed!

Have you taken lessons from male teachers and feel they don’t understand some of your difficulties getting around on the fretboard? I had these exact same issues when I first began playing guitar, so I can relate! I have had many female students come to me over the years because they felt awkward and not understood by their male instructors. I have a unique ability to work with female players to help them develop hand strength, dexterity, gender-specific techniques, and how to leverage and build upon their own unique qualities. All ages and talent levels are welcome!

Kelly Richey Blues On Steroids

Guitar Instruction Video Library

Immediate Access to over 250 of my online guitar instruction videos! Professionally recorded rhythm tracks, discounts on merchandise, and lots more!

In my special MEMBERSHIP area, my Blues On Steroids Video Series, Blues Grit Video Series, and Focus On Blues-Rock Power Trio Video Series are offered as online videos— with instant access, and NO TIME LIMIT FOR VIEWING. Each of these three learning video series allows students at any level to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere. You can review lessons at your leisure, from the comfort of your own home. The Blues On Steroids video series is jam packed with expert instruction, including all of my insider tips and tricks— plus each volume features professionally recorded drum and bass rhythm tracks to practice along to. My Blues On Steroids video guitar instruction series can be purchased as stand-alone guitar instruction, or it can be purchased for support material when taking guitar lessons from me, either privately, or through my guitar instruction via video Skype.

Here’s what you get:

• Immediate access to over 250 online guitar instruction videos
• Tab and Professional Rhythm Tracks so you can jam while you learn
• 15% off all Kelly Richey Merchandise at my on-line store
• Discount on 1-ON-1 guitar lessons
• VIP access to Kelly Richey live shows
• Exclusive guitar gear reviews and guitar rig setup

Kelly Richey at Batesville IN Middle School - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Guitar Instruction Workshops
Schools, Universities, Festivals, Music Stores, House Parties

Kelly Richey offers 90 minute guitar instruction workshops. The price of the workshop includes a BONUS: each person that attends the workshop receives an all-access pass to my Blues On Steroids Complete Online Video Instruction Library-Volumes 1, 2, 3 for 30 days free of charge.  At the workshop students will be given a link to access to over 185 videos (that’s over seventeen and a half hours of video instruction!) — everything I cover in the workshop is included in the video library for students to review.  The library has tab and rhythm tracks included as well, so students have something professional and fun to jam with.

In the workshop I cover my unique way of breaking down the neck of the guitar. Students will learn an easy system for understanding chords, pentatonic scales and how to use them. I have one of the fastest and easiest “road maps” for learning chords and playing lead that you’ll ever find.  Finally, I’ll have my rig set up for the audience to look at. My new solo rig is intense and gear heads will love it!  I’ll be happy to do a Q & A at the end as people usually have a lot of questions. I have a new video of my guitar rig on my website that students can watch as a followup!

Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Rockin’ The House

Rockin’ The House

This past Saturday, I was honored to play a house concert at the beautiful home of Jay and Cheri Brandt.  Their home is in the country, near Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.  It’s so rural, in fact, there’s no cell signal the last mile of the drive.  The house was packed with new friends and loyal fans.  One of my dear friends, Cliff York (of York Vision in Cincinnati) introduced me to the Brandt’s earlier this year (Sonya and I thank you for the awesome home cooked vegan meal!) and we set the date.

The house concert scene is a growing phenomena throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe.  I was recently accepted into “Concerts In Your Home” an online community that pairs musicians and people interested in hosted house concerts.  CIYH has a heavy vetting process for musicians with very strict criteria.  Many people have asked me, “What’s a house concert?”  Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like… it’s a concert in your own home!

Kelly Richey House Concert

Now, anyone can throw a party and ask a musician to come play music, but this is much more that that.  This is an “event”.  An event where an artist sets the stage, people come to hear music, and the audience is there to listen!  People bring food and beverages, and typically there’s an hour before the show to meet and greet everyone, eat some food– and once everyone is settled in their seats, the music begins.  This allows an artist to have a fully captive audience, perform in an intimate setting, play music, tell personal stories, and when the music is over, the party continues!

Saturday night the house was packed full of interesting people who love music and I performed my electric solo show.  People were dancing– and all but swinging from the rafters by the second set!  Many people have questioned if my show is appropriate for someone’s home– yes it is!  LOL!  I use my full guitar rig AKA “spaceship” and two small amps.  I play according to the size of the room and to the mood of the room.  I play an acoustic set in the middle and can lean more towards acoustic the entire set if needed.

Kelly Richey House Concert

Most artists that play the House Concert market are all acoustic, and I can certainly do that; but I have the added advantage of offering both acoustic and electric performances.  And I have more funny/interesting stories than I could ever begin to tell; and I have more music to offer than I could ever begin to cycle through.  For me– short of playing a big festival, this is the absolute best modality an artist could ask for.  It’s an amazing feeling to step onto a big stage in front of thousands of people– there’s nothing like it!  I’ve had my share of wonderful performances while playing in clubs and music venues, but throughout the years there’s been a sense of separation.  I’m a people person, and with the amount of touring that I’ve done, I’ve seldom had the opportunity to get to know many of my fans.  This has always felt a bit empty.  We drive like crazy to get to the venue, hit the hotel, run to the club for soundcheck, eat what dinner we could find, hit the stage, head to the merchandise table, and back to the hotel.  Not that I don’t love my job, but house concerts offer so much more in terms of really engaging with my audience.

Kelly Richey House Concert

I’m excited and inspired to create a solo performance that allows me to stretch my wings as an artist and come in for a landing to meet my band on the other side.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, please feel free to email me and we’ll discuss the possibility of me coming to your home for a house concert.  Here’s a video put together by the “Concerts In Your Home” community.  The video explains the concept thoroughly.

Kelly Richey Rockin’ the house!!!

Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul

Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul

While the world was celebrating the holidays, I managed to squeeze in three videos shoots for the new CD. In the next few days I’ll release the first of three videos; each video will focus on an aspect of my live performance: Kelly Richey Solo (acoustic), Kelly Richey Solo (electric), and The Kelly Richey Band.

Check out these new photos from the video shoot – Day Two:

Day two of the video shoot included my band, Tobe “Tobotitus” Donohue on drums ad Rikk Manning on bass guitar.  I’d like to give a big thank you to Kosmik Ray and Sonya Ziegler for the amazing light show and photos!

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KellyRicheyBandVideoShoot-Dec2015-PhotosbySonyaZiegler - 187KellyRicheyBandVideoShoot-Dec2015-PhotosbySonyaZiegler - 187

The Kelly Richey Band Bio:
NOW BOOKING 2016 & 2017

Here is the Kelly Richey Band lineup for 2016!  Back by popular demand featuring Tobe “TOBOTIUS” Donohue on drums, and Rikk Manning on bass guitar.  WOW!  I had more fun and positive fan responses in 2015 than in any other year in regard to my rhythm section.  I can’t wait to hit the stage with these guys again in 2016.  We’ll be dishing out a new FRESH set of material (with some older KRB favorites here and there) with a killer new sound from my new CD release, “Shakedown Soul” that is totally ROCKIN’…!  I’m so excited to be sharing the stage with these uber talented and genuinely nice guys.  We are definitely going have a blast, and we can’t wait to rock the house for our fans!

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul

Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul

I wrapped up the Christmas weekend on Sunday with day one of my latest music video shoot, and all went very smoothly!  We got footage for two new music videos for two songs from my new album Shakedown Soul:  the first song we shot was the acoustic track (the album’s last song), a reprise of the opening tune, which is an all out electrified rocker titled “Fading”.  I wrote this song when I was 19 years old and it has remained one of my favorites throughout the years.  The song is about the struggles we face in finding our own voice, our own path in life, and our own way to love. (Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul – Photos by Sonya Ziegler)

Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul - Photos by Sonya Ziegler The second song we cut was “I Wanna Run” and this video was cut for my electric solo show.  I wrote this song while in Nashville at the songwriting workshop with Mary Gauthier.  This was the final song written for the new CD and it’s an uptempo blues-rock anthem that I can take to the stage solo or with the band.  As a guitarist and performer, this song is just plain fun to play and sing– it rocks so hard it’ll shake the paint off the walls!

I was in good hands with Chris Vogel behind the lens and Sonya Ziegler was running about capturing photos of the production.  I saw an occasional grin on his face so hopefully he got the footage he was looking for.  Today we’re scheduled to shoot one video with the whole band and plan to knock out or rather rock out “You Wanna Rock”!  This song is a power blues song with a drop D tuning, so Rikk Manning’s low end will lift the church up off the ground with only Tobe “TOBOTIUS” Donohue, there to hold it down on drums!  I can’t wait!  I’ll post more photos as soon as I can!

Thank you for staying tuned in and keeping us turned on!  2015 has been a great year and I have a feeling that 2016 will be even better!

Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul - Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey Solo Video Shoot for Shakedown Soul - Photos by Sonya Ziegler
Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Behind The Walls: The Journey

Behind The Walls: The Journey

The journey starts when we’re born and begins again when we die.  We only arrive at mere resting places along the way.  The people we meet, fall in love with, fall out of love with, laugh with, cry with— they are never the destination, they are part of the conversation.  If two people share a car together and they do not wish to go to the same place, it will be a miserable ride and they probably will end up in separate cars.  If allowed to become a miserable ride, then all scenery is lost, tainted, abandoned; or even worse, used as mile markers for what went wrong, and the journey will have been lost except for the scars left in each others memories.
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Faith happens when we listen to that voice within us, that inner GPS, the guide— that muse, that voice we came here to develop a relationship with. The voice that guides us to where we are drawn to go, that voice that navigates us onward to places we do not even know exist.   Faith is when we do this because it’s simply what we do; not out of fear, not to gain more “stuff”, not to insure safety, not with an agenda, goal, or preconceived notion other than an understanding that the voice knows.  That voice speaks to us whether we listen or not.  That voice quietly competes with all the other voices we create in our heads that usually talk louder, know more, develop “isms” upon “isms”, fears upon fears, until finally— it’s the only world that we know.  It’s the world, the reality, the journey, the destination, the commitments we’ve created, that we must stand by, justify, analyze, and suffer through.
We have self-help books galore.  We fight wars over the Gods we create and we teach lies to explain deeper truths. The bible says that “God” created us in “his” own image.  As people have read the bible for centuries, they have created God in their own image.  God has become a “man”, with a white beard, floats in the sky, keeps score of all that happens, knows all, loves everyone, and needs for us to love “him” or he gets angry and seeks revenge.  “God” sends some of us to blow others up, to give food and shelter to those whom should get up off their ass and take responsibility for their own actions… and in return, they get a better seat in “heaven”.  The absurdities are non-ending.  And love?  Love does not make the news and a single act of love does not stop a war, so why love?  We buy guns, to protect ourselves from each other.
What if I’m not meant to be a “rockstar” like Jimi Hendrix, a “songwriter” like Bob Dylan, a “poet” like Emily Dickinson.  What if I’m just meant to be Kelly, just plain and simple “Kelly”.  OMG, how disappointing would that be? What if I only touched lives in small and simple ways, ways that only the voice inside of me knew were needed. What if I only made the best music I could, learned to work with others to achieve common inspirations, instead of success.  What if I was listening long enough to hear, to remain present with those thoughts and inspirations, instead of the battling the fear of possibly traveling part of my journey alone, without approval, without understanding, without knowing, without people seeing me, hearing me or even acknowledging me; or even worse, without me acknowledging “me”, that part of me that only I can discover, that role that only I can fill in this journey called life. It’s all we have, and their is no destination but “here” AND “now”.
Kelly Richey Strat - Photo by Sonya ZieglerYes, the journey starts when we’re born and we navigate it by our internal voice, our external voice, or in the midst of a war between the two.  For most of my life, I fear I’ve done the later.  I’ve found myself seeking acceptance amongst my peers, and sought respect from those who do not like, know, or understand me.  I’ve competed with the ghosts of our beloved guitar icons and tried to sustain many of the voices of previous generations.  In my early years I tried to sculpt an identity that could gain the approval of “God”, and I abandoned all ties with the external version of “God” as I desperately sought an internal version, a conversation, and possible illumination.  Yes, this has been a long journey, often an embattled journey, and on occasion, a noble journey.  It’s been a journey of loneliness in search of solitude.  It’s been a journey of self-discovery in tandem with recovery.  It’s been a journey of destinations that were often absurd, yet deeply human.  It’s been a journey of learning how to listen, how to watch, and how to trust where I’m going.

Kelly Richey Strat - Photo by Sonya Ziegler


Photo by Sonya Ziegler (top three photos)

Back In The Saddle AGAIN…!

Back In The Saddle AGAIN…!

Rikk Manning, Tobe “TOBOTIUS” Donohue, and Kelly Richey are back in the saddle again with the release of Kelly Richey’s brand new album “Shakedown Soul”. This Saturday night kicks off the first of six CD release parties for the KRB fan base until festival season begins!

12/19/15 – Kelly Richey Band – 8pm
Dayton, OH    – Oddbody’s Music Room

Tonight the band was rehearsing in Kelly’s studio— working out the kinks and getting the new songs ready for the live show, which is sure to be ROCKIN! Be sure to check out the story behind the making of “Shakedown Soul”…

KRB Rehearsal_Photo by Sonya Ziegler

If You Wanna Rock – We’re Gonna Roll!
Kelly Richey’s “SHAKEDOWN SOUL”

“Shakedown Soul” has been a journey filled with profound personal growth, just as all of my prior sixteen CD’s have been. Let me tell you the story:

I went to Duane Lundy at Shangri-La Productions in December 2014 with 5 songs that I’d written to drum loops. I wanted to cut them live with drummer Robby Cozensa, Robby is a brilliant drummer and we approached the sessions like the White Stripes and The Black Keys— raw, real and organic. We added bass and keys, mixed, and did a basic mastering process. I also recorded two music videos, “Love” and “Afraid To Die” for release in February and March of 2015 and started booking and playing shows.

During my continued writing for “Shakedown Soul”, I had begun putting together a solo show and hired Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue to help me design my “spaceship” with loops, beats and new exciting elements that were cool and fun to work with. I was having a blast! While working with Tobe one day I asked him to play a set of drums set up in his studio— Woah!!! I was taken aback! He sounded like John Bonham and the loops he gave me that day sounded like a blend of blues, rock, funk and hip-hop— just what I’d dreamed of playing to in a solo setting.

KRB Rehearsal_Photo by Sonya ZieglerCurious, I asked Tobe if he would consider playing festivals only with me, (if I could find a bass player that made him want to play!) He said he would consider it, but stressed that he too wanted to do something that was fun, creative and inspiring. I went on a search and after several weeks of looking I found Rikk Manning. Tobe, Rikk and myself met up in my studio with the new songs and songs from my most recent live CD, started playing and, WOW magic began to happen! During the course of 2015, I played over 25 festivals and concerts with my new rhythm section and I’ve honestly never known such musical or professional happiness! I had long-time Kelly Richey Band fans saying, “This is the best I’ve every heard you sound”, and, “I’ve never seen you having so much fun AND where on earth did you find these awesome guys!!!???”

All the while, I kept song writing and I wrote some of the strongest material I’ve written to date….songs that access the deepest parts of my soul. The writing process was interwoven with my training to become a facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change (WWF(a)C) where I had three week long workshop intensives this summer to write and develop. That has been a very rewarding experience and one that I will treasure forever.

KRB Rehearsal_Photo by Sonya ZieglerIn early October of this year I attended a writing workshop with Mary Gauthier, one of my absolute favorite songwriters of all time, and there I wrote the last song for the new CD. I called it, “I Want To Run”— a deeply personal and prophetic song that captured many of the struggles I faced and have continued to face as an artist and a human being. I give song writing credit to Mary as her advice throughout the workshop helped me to see the song that needed to be written. She helped me find the truth I was afraid to write about and ultimately afraid to face. Songwriting credits on “Shakedown Soul” are also given to Sonya Ziegler because she has been my musical sounding board for over five years now— she was very much involved in the development of my solo show, my acoustic CD “Finding My Way Back Home”, my poetry book “Whisperings – A Collection Of Poems By Blues Guitarist Kelly Richey”, my last studio CD release “Sweet Spirit”, and now “Shakedown Soul”.

The angst, joy, new growth in learning to accept myself, facing some hard truths and fears, and personal development process I’ve been through this past year has been just that, a “shakedown” of my very soul.

This past October I celebrated being sober now for 6 years but it’s just recently that I’ve started into a 12-step recovery process because I find that as a person with an addictive personality, being an “a-holic” continues in the form of negative patterns and ways of behaving until really being dealt with. For me, I’m a workaholic and the struggle with self worth is non-ending. There is no amount of success that can heal such wounds, so I’m happy to share that this year has presented many things to be thankful for— sobriety for 6 years, an amazing collection of friends that support and love me, Sonya Ziegler whom has stood by my side through the difficulties that a busy career and personal struggles presented, my mom and dad for loving me unconditionally, and you— each and every one of you who’s taking the time to read these words.

KRB Rehearsal_Photo by Sonya ZieglerAfter touring with my band this summer and sharing so much magic on stage, I knew that I wanted Tobe to produce the CD— and I asked for he and Rikk to play on the tracks. During the recording process we didn’t even see each other, as we all have our own personal recording studios, we all trusted each other musically. I asked Tobe to bring in elements of his production skills like “scratching”, DJ work, and his hip-hop and funk background from years of production work with Bootsy Collins, and I said “Dude, make me cool!” And he did… coupled with Rikk Manning’s stunning bass work throughout these tracks; laying down the best and deepest bass grooves I’ve EVER heard in my life! WOW— I’m thrilled! Sonya Ziegler did the amazing artwork and photography for the CD, and designer Gary Kelley put it all together. Their team work to bring Sonya’s artistic master to print is the icing on the cake. Me, I just play guitar and sing! LOL!

I’m proud to introduce to you “Shakedown Soul”— and I’m releasing this to my fan base first, before taking the CD to national press and radio. With your order, you’ll get an immediate FREE download of ”Shakedown Soul” to listen to while you wait for the hardcopy of the CD’s arrival on your doorstep.

I Thank you in advance for giving me a place to land in this crazy and wonderful musical landscape. I can’t wait for you to hear “Shakedown Soul”!

KRB Rehearsal_Photo by Sonya Ziegler


Friday night Kelly Richey will be flying solo in Waterville, which is just outside of Toledo, Ohio— at 3rd Street Cigar, home of John Henry’s blues club. If you’re in the area stop by and prepare yourself for a special sonic treat as Kelly burns up the fretboard on her vintage ’65 Strat. It’s a show you won’t forget!

12/18/2015 at 08:00 PM
Waterville, OH

A Tribute to Gene Curtis R.I.P. — For those who knew Gene Curtis he loved the BLUES and one of his all-time favorite artist was Kelly Richey . In a tribute to Gene Curtis his life and the contributions that he made to the Blues Music scene, Kelly Richey will perform a live performance dedicated to Gene Curtis! The performance will be Friday December 18th from 8:30 to 11:30 at Third Street Cigar in Waterville, Ohio. We invite all to attend and remember Gene and enjoy the music that he so dearly loved.

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Behind The Walls: Where Do Dreams Come From

Behind The Walls: Where Do Dreams Come From

My life as an artist has been that of comedy and tragedy: I learned to play the guitar before I learned to play “me”.  I’ve told my truth the very best that I can, but my truth has been trapped behind the walls of my soul for most of my life.  I post things on Facebook that lead people to believe that I’m happy, carefree, living the dream— and I am— living the dream, but sometimes even dreams hurt.  Dreams are just dreams, they don’t actually exist unless you make them happen and sometimes dreams never turn out the way you actually dream them.

Where do dreams come from, what do they mean, what do they cost? Here’s what I know about my “dream”:  I get to work from my coffee table at home, I go to bed when I want to, and I wake up when I want to, and nobody tells me what to do or how to do it.  I have a gym in my basement so I can work out, I have a nice but small recording studio that’s tailored to meet my needs, I buy guitar gear instead of sports cars, and I drink coffee instead of Martini’s. I interact with people mainly via email, FaceTime or Skype, and I only leave the house to eat at one of my two or three favorite restaurants. IMG_0183 (1) Behind the FaceBook posts are 16-hour days woven in with booking, gigs, promotion, social media, blog posts, office work, and writing as I’m moved, or in some cases heartbroken or feeling like no one cares. I fall asleep with my computer in my lap most nights, I listen to books on tapes, spiritual or philosophical bodies of work, I long for deep meaningful conversations with friends that know me, that “get me” and that long for the same, and I play guitar because I still actually love doing so.

My guitar is the one consistent connection I’ve had since I was 15 years old.  It’s never left, it’s never threatened to leave, it’s always been 100% honest in every sense of the word.  My guitar has reflected for me a level of truth that I’ve never known, and it’s not unkind and it’s always provided an equal amount of hope mixed in with the most intense set of challenges I’ve ever known because it’s the thing I chose to explore and to see what I was made of— that’s not to say that a piece of wood with strings could hold such power or that what it could bring could create meaning for my life; what I do mean by that statement is this:  It’s my measuring stick and it’s a part of me. It’s how I express things that words fail to express for me.  It’s something that when I’m one with it, magic happens and when I’m not, I know it.  There is a constant pull to explore connection with the hopes of it being an interface between the depths of my soul, my heart and the world around me.2_Kelly Richey_Guitar.JPG

What I just said presents my greatest problem— what the hell am I talking about, can the guitar really be that complex, isn’t it just a bunch of noise at the end of the day and a bunch of people clapping for someone with no real job, for someone who’s been fired from almost every job I ever had?  No, it’s a cry for love just like what each one of us does— it’s a cry for love— a cry to be seen and a cry to be heard, a cry to be understood and a cry to be touched and allowed to touch.

Some nights when I’m on stage, the sweat that pours down my face is laced with tears.  Sometimes when the show is over and I’m in yet another hotel room in some town somewhere, checking to make sure there’s no bed bugs, making sure my feet don’t actually touch the floor, washing my hands after I take a shower and putting a chair in front of my hotel door before I sleep— I wonder why I can’t get fired from this job too.  This job is what I’m called to do, and until lately, I haven’t understood what that really meant.   I was looking for some level of success, some end game strategy, some gold ring to prove the one thing I don’t need to prove— and that’s the fact that I can play a guitar and that’s one argument I’ve never had to weather.  I’m here to find me, to get “real” and to survive that very act, and if I can cultivate enough genuine love and compassion in my heart and I’m not too broken to give and not just think about what I’d like to do in my head but actually become vulnerable enough to do it, maybe I can share the mistakes I‘ve made in a way that can save someone else some of the pain I’ve felt and maybe I can share a few pieces of wisdom I’ve learned throughout my crazy journey.

IMG_0368I know things like where socks go when you can’t find them, how to keep a drivers license after 90 traffic violations, how to stay safe out in the world after 1,000,000 miles of travel, how to keep life-long friends, how to laugh instead of die, how to be honest with myself even if I can’t always verbalize it to others.  I know how to say I’m sorry and mean it, I know how to hurt someone and not mean it.  I know how to get free drinks until my life falls apart, create a reality that doesn’t even exist, and come in for a landing without a parachute. I know what angels look like and I know who “God” is.  I know that I have a guitar tuner and no matter what kind of music I play it works for me just as well as it works for the person playing county music, jazz, or punk.  It’s about connection and it’s about being in tune and it’s about truth and it’s about love.  Whatever we practice is what we get good at.  Whatever we play is what we know. Whatever we listen to is what we hear and whatever we look at is when we see.

It’s what’s behind the walls that has to find it’s way out, and that’s our life’s path.  We dream of what’s outside the walls, and it’s the connection between the two that fosters the state we find our self in.

By Kelly Richey

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey News & Updates

Kelly Richey News & Updates

This past week I delivered three school programs as an “Artist On Tour” for the Cincinnati Arts Association.  This was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to work with kids in 1st – 6th grade, and they were so much fun!  I gave a short history of the blues and helped the students see how the music we listen to today is heavily influenced by the blues.  I also pointed out that we all have a story to tell— and music and art are very powerful ways to express ourselves.  After performing several songs and giving a short teaching, I spent the last half of each of the programs letting the students come up and rap to beats I created on my drum machine— the students were great!  First and second graders took the mic just as fast as the older kids!  I was amazed by their openness to be on stage.  Music and art are so important to the development of our young people.  It’s an honor to deliver these programs and to be an Artist On Tour for the CAA!

Bond Hill Elementary School, Hays Porter Elementary School, Carson Elementary School

Kelly Richey as an Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association_Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey as an Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association_Photos by Sonya Ziegler

Kelly Richey Solo

In addition to the school programs this week, I played three solo shows– the first show was to a packed house in my home town of Lexington, KY for a monthly event held at the Tadoo Lounge!  Lexington has grown so much since I moved to Cincinnati in 1997…!  They have worked hard to build awareness for music and art in the community and it shows — I was honored to play in support of the event for the CD release celebration of Chris Sullivan’s “Western Movies” official CD Release Party!  My solo shows continued as I returned to a slammin’ crowd in Maysville, KY where the dance floor was packed as I rolled out new beats and grooves for my show.  Art of Entertaining was an early show on Valentine’s Day, and it turned into a real party with one the areas best food and wine tasting venues! I’m having an absolute blast playing new original material and bringing back originals that I have continued requests for (and do not have in my current show with the band)!

Kelly Richey in hte Studio_1.25.2015_Photos by Sonya Ziegler_8 - 56

Kelly Richey Returns To The Studio

This week I head back to Lexington, KY to record my next round of songs at Shangri-La Productions with Duane Lundy.  I’m so excited— I’ve been writing like crazy lately!  I’m having so much fun creating soundscapes, beats and grooves– and they’ve opened up many new doors for inspiration.  When I wrote Sweet Spirit I used drum loops, but they were loops from a program that were not tailored for each song.  Now with the new tools and gear that I have, I’m finding that I’m reaching new levels in my writing and my guitar playing. I’m taking some of my lyrics from poems in my poetry book “Whisperings”…  I’m having fun playing, writing, and creating songs that have been waiting to come out for many years.  I’ve worked up several of the new songs with the band, and the latest songs will be performed at my upcoming solo shows!  I’ll be recording songs “Fadin’” (from my poem “No Way Out”), So Afraid To Die (from my poem “Once Again”) and “Just Like A River” (from my poem “Love Is Like A River”).

Kelly Richey in Shangri-La Studios with Duane Lundy_Photo by Sonya Ziegler

The Kelly Richey Band LIVE

This week the Kelly Richey Band hits the road again for shows in Indiana and Michigan.  It felt great to play with the guys last week for the Cincinnati Blues Winter Blues Fest, and this week we brave the cold to bring some red hot funky blues to the Midwest — on the road AGAIN!!!  Please check out our show info below and please help spread the word!

February 20, 2015 – 9pm    
204 S Buffalo St
Warsaw, IN 46580
Phone : (574) 267-5066
Contact Website : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rexs-Rendezvous/190645200339

February 21, 2015 – 8pm    
2105 South Blvd
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Phone : (248) 858-9508
Contact Website : http://atcallahans.com/

Next week the KRB heads to South Bend, IN for one of my favorite venues anywhere– the famous Midway Tavern!  We will be on Ole Harv’s Blues Revue that afternoon before we play, so tune in if you’re far away and come catch the show if you’re near by!

February 28, 2015 – 9pm    
Martha’s Midway Tavern    
810 West 4th Street
Mishawaka, IN 46544
Phone : (574) 255-0458
Contact Website : http://themidwaytavern.com

Kelly Richey Band Live_Freekbass, Big Bamn and Kelly Richey_Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Photos by Sonya Ziegler