Middle Ground

Middle Ground



Thursday, May 18th
, 2017
7pm to 10pm
Lydia’s on Ludlow
Where people are more important than politics!

This is a FREE co-ed writing event and it’s open to the public.  You do not have to be a writer, you just have to have a pen and paper.

Facilitated by Kelly Richey & Mary Pierce Brosmer, founder of Women Writing for (a) Change
Middle Ground

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Middle Ground Writing Circle

A Piece of Paper Always Listens

Middle Ground Writing Circle

Facilitators: Kelly Richey and Mary Peirce Brosmer
Date: Thursday, May 18th, 2017
Time: 7pm
Location: Lydia’s on Ludlow, 329 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220
 
“Middle Ground” …A place where people are more important than politics… An opportunity to listen, to write, and to be heard… A belief that we have more that unites us than divides us… I hope you’ll come be part of this powerful conversation.
 
We would like to invite you to join us in an evening of writing, sharing and listening. This is a free event. You do not have to be a “writer”!!! All you need is one voice, one journal, one pen, and two ears. Building community, one voice at a time.
 
Sponsored by: A Piece of Paper Always Listens

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The Many Voices of Writer’s Block

The Many Voices of Writer’s Block:
Creating Your Inner Writing Circle
Facilitator: Kelly Richey

Date: 04-22-2017
Time: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Tuition: $50.00
Open to: Anyone 16+ and All Adults

Register

Have you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this class, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing – and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck.

An excellent complement to WWf(a)C Core Classes
An innovative modality for working with Writer’s Block
Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present

Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet/songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach, and has made her mark through the power of her voice – figuratively and literally.
Location & Special Instructions

Women Writing for (a) Change
6906 Plainfield Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

Scholarships:

Scholarships in varying amounts are available for our programs depending on need and availability of funds. Call 513-272-1171 if you have further questions.

Please include your contact information and the class you are interested in taking. Thank you!

A Piece of Paper Always Listens

A Piece of Paper Always Listens

Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association

Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School This past week I had the honor of visiting Mother of Mercy High School, as an “Artist on Tour”, for the Cincinnati Arts Association.  I delivered a writing workshop centered around building self esteem for young girls.  My writing program is called, “A Piece of Paper Always Listens”.  I continue to be amazed by how strong the writing practice truly is!

I’d love to take this opportunity to share some photos from this weeks school program as well as the program description.

Kelly Richey, Building Self-Esteem Through the Creative Arts
Renowned singer-songwriter Kelly Richey’s dyslexia was undiagnosed during her school years, which made reading very difficult and presented many challenges and obstacles, most notably when it came to self-esteem. Today, Kelly’s greatest pleasure is sharing her story with students and teaching and inspiring them to overcome their own obstacles through creative self-expression. Using interactive, timed creative writing exercises called “fast writes,” Kelly helps students express themselves in an emotionally safe environment. Kelly’s innovative workshops help students learn to “self-express” through journaling and poetry. The workshops are interactive and fun and include a mini-concert where Kelly shows the students firsthand just what is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself.

Objectives: Students can learn to “self-express” through journaling and poetry.  The following are a list of topics for writing exercises to be used to build self-esteem.

» Lesson Plan 1: The Inner Critic
» Lesson Plan 2: The Procrastinator
» Lesson Plan 3: The Muse

A pre-program guide is given to teachers so they can prepare students for thoughtful discussion around the following topics.

Topics Discussed:

» Self Worth and Healthy Self Esteem
» Taking Action
» Creative Outlets
Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School
Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School
Kelly Richey, Artist on Tour for the Cincinnati Arts Association, at Mother of Mercy High School
NOTE: In addition to schools programs, I use these writing practices in writing workshops, coaching workshops, and when working one-on-one with coaching clients.

Reconnecting to the Artist Within While on Retreat

Lovingly called the 'Flying Jesus' room, this is where the whole group of us to come together.

The so-called “Flying Jesus” room ;>)

I recently spent a few wonderful days on a retreat at the Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Glendale, Ohio and wanted to share my thoughts about what this kind of “away” time means to me as an artist and a businesswoman.

Last summer, I wrote about my experience at the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy, a unique leadership course offered by Women Writing for (a) Change, where I began the process of becoming a certified and licensed writing workshop facilitator. This year’s retreat put me back in the same space and with many of the same faces — a reunion of my fellow facilitators from my own and earlier classes, in the tranquil setting of an active convent.

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As an artist, having the luxury to be on a retreat is something that I cherish. Being away from my workspace, from the typical disruptions of incoming email and the telephone ringing, really allows things to happen that wouldn’t normally happen.

journal_edited

The journal I got at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani and brought with me on retreat

I took a new journal with me, one that I picked up just a week before at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Bardstown, KY. It’s a beautiful journal, very special, and I filled many pages while there. Among them, I wrote a powerful chorus for a new song that I’ve been working on. I already had the music to it going into the retreat, and now I have a chorus and ideas for some verses.

Being on the road with the band, I meet all kinds of people I would never meet otherwise. In the same way, being involved with Women Writing for (a) Change has introduced me to so many people I wouldn’t ordinarily have met.

Lunch with some of my fellow WWf(a)C facilitators

Lunch with some of my fellow WWf(a)C facilitators

This organization, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has been such a pleasant surprise and given me more than I ever could have hoped for. I’m really, really, really blessed to have a life that brings me such fullness, and so many wonderful, unexpected treasures. This past week, WWf(a)C in general has really been a treasure, and it was especially an honor to be at the retreat as an actual writing facilitator for such a powerful community of women.

 

More about:

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.
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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)

Behind The Walls: The Teacher, The Student

Behind The Walls: The Teacher, The Student

I started teaching guitar shortly after I graduated high school.  All I wanted to do was play guitar; so it made sense to turn what I loved most into my life’s work. Being dyslexic, school was a constant struggle and it was clear that I didn’t fit inside the box.  My feelings of inadequacy fueled my passion for wanting to help others learn.  One of the greatest joys I’ve had in life was the first time I actually helped someone learn something; watching a look of confusion turn into an “a-ha” moment!  I honestly can not think of anything that makes me happier!

When I was growing up, I always felt lost in school.  I never knew exactly what was expected of me or how to accomplish even simple tasks.  Reading directions, much less understanding them, felt like an impossibility.  When someone took the time to explain something to me with patience and the slightest bit of consideration that I was struggling to understand, they gained my respect instantly.  I realize that teaching is not always an easy task; a teacher has to be able to sense what someone’s learning style is… how his or her mind works and processes information, what his or her strengths and weaknesses are, where this or her passion rests and how badly he or she wants to learn.

Kelly Richey in hte Studio_1.25.2015_Photos by Sonya ZieglerSometimes a student needs to be inspired because they honestly do not see the beauty in something, and sometimes they need to be challenged because they don’t see the value that something holds.  Teaching and learning are like putting together a puzzle— it’s done one piece at a time.  Some people need to know how things work in order to engage with the process, and others could care less, they just want to do it— and the how and why can come later.

We don’t just “learn”, we literally learn how to learn.  Some people see things symbolically and others see things literally. Learning how to play an instrument requires critical thinking skills.  It allows a student to actually experience math or science in an organic sense, and it invites a student to learn how to reason through a creative process.  Learning how to learn is of tremendous importance, but far too often devalued within the walls of bureaucracy because our systems of education requires statistical data that’s measurable enough to generate funding.  Not all data is easily measured and it leaves some behind– it’s sad but it’s true.

Here’s what I’ve learned:  Music and the arts give voice to those things like intelligence and creativity that cannot be measured in a test.  All of the arts expand and enhance self-esteem, critical thinking skills, creativity, and a feeling of connectedness with forces much greater than us.

By Kelly RicheyKelly Richey Photo Shoot 4_Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

I Remember Time

I Remember Time

Written by Kelly Richey

I grew up in Lexington, KY, on Honeysuckle Rd, in the Garden Springs subdivision— one block from the Turfland Mall.  I remember when that mall was built, and I remember the field it was built on.  I flew a kite once in that field; there was a small circus that came to town once that set up in that field.  I remember being told not to go past the end of our street and not to go near that circus… and that being exactly what I did.  I remember there was something strange about what I saw, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it was different.  I remember that I knew I needed to not get too close, and that I ran back home and tried not to look guilty of a “kid crime”.1966_Kelly Richey with new Crack Fire Riffle

When I was growing up “kid crimes” were fairly harmless; no one got shot or blown up, we were all taught not to talk to strangers, and we knew who “strangers” were.  Imagination was used instead of computers, crayons were used instead of pixels, and talking was still how people communicated.  I remember getting a busy signal when you tried to call someone’s phone if they were on the line, and I remember answering machines with mini cassette tapes that didn’t give you prompts to re-record if you screwed up or thought you sounded stupid.  I remember having my own phone line as a teenager so my parents could have access to a phone of their own, and I remember how mad my dad would get when my friends called their phone when my line was busy for hours on end.  I remember sneaking out and knocking on a friend’s window because back then you couldn’t just text; and I remember passing notes that I’d written in class, and they were folded a certain way.

Today I was looking back on old photos I scanned of what memories got captured by someone who actually had a camera— with film, that they took to the drug store to develop, waited for a week and were excited to discover the results.

I remember the old voting booths where my parents flipped one lever and voted democrat.  I remember only knowing one republican, and I remember when talking politics was based on passion and not absurdities.  I remember when people could still count change, conversation was sought, and debate was driven by critical thinking skills and not purely based on current spin, keywords, hashtags and hatefulness.

1972_Kelly Richey in 4th Grade

I went to Garden Springs Elementary School until I was halfway through 4th grade.  I remember the park that we played at and had to walk through to get to school. I remember the see-saws and I remember I first time I learned not to trust just anyone because they could jump off their seat and send me flying to the ground.  I remember the merry-go-round where I loved to lay down and close my eyes and spin.  I remember laying on my back and watching the clouds move across the sky for hours.  I could find a million pictures in the clouds, and I remember thinking that that was God’s art project.

I remember swings and how I loved to swing, I remember the swing set in my back yard and all four legs were anchored with stakes my dad drove in to the ground because I swung so hard it almost flipped over.  Each day I’d get on the swing and I remember swinging as hard as I could.  I wanted to swing high enough that I flip all the way around— God, I tried and tried but with no luck.

1966_Kelly Richey SwingingI remember my sand box and how I loved to get dirty and make a mess.  I remember my above-ground swimming pool; but being an only child, it was more fun to go play with my friends, and I remember getting lost in play.

I also remember being bored, having time on my hands, time that I didn’t know how to fill… and it forced me to use my imagination.  I don’t remember being so busy that I couldn’t think straight, that I couldn’t catch my breath, that I couldn’t make time to see someone I loved.  I don’t remember not having time.

Written by Kelly Richey

God Woke Me Up

God Woke Me Up – Kelly Richey

God woke me up this morning, with something more to say.
Before your feet hit the ground, please don’t run away.
Confusion is that part of life, things you don’t understand.
Because you’re too busy trying to live, without a helping hand.

Do you think that you can see, a single mile ahead,
As you’re trapped inside your thoughts, anxiety fills your head.
You worry what might come each day, and what has slipped away,
When everything in front of you, has the most to say.

Please be still and hear my words, a GPS of sorts,
Try not to move without a clue, because I know your heart.
Stop trying to live, instead just love, and you will find your way,
Through any trouble that you find, let love become your art.

Written by Kelly Richey

Photo by Sonya Ziegler - God Woke Me Up by Kelly RicheyGod Woke Me Up – Kelly Richey

Photo 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

“Shakedown Soul” has arrived and starts shipping on Monday to Kelly Richey Fans only!  For a limited time – get a FREE digital download of the CD immediately when you purchase the NEW CD!  All CD’s will be autographed by the band!

 

Kelly Richey News & Updates Splash PageCheck out the list of CD Release Parties:

KELLY RICHEY SOLO:

12/10/15 – Kelly Richey Solo – Live On Air Performance – 6:30pm
Louisville, KY – Crescent Hill Radio All – WCHQ 100.9 FM

12/11/15 – Kelly Richey Solo – Live On Air Performance – 9am    
Louisville, KY – WHAS TV 11 – Great Day Live

12/11/15 – Kelly Richey Solo – 8pm    
Louisville, KY – The Planet Bar & Bistro
Special Guest – “Julius”

12/18/15 – Kelly Richey Solo – 8pm
Waterville, OH    Third Street Cigar

KELLY RICHEY BAND:

12/19/15 – Kelly Richey Band – 8pm
Dayton, OH    – Oddbody’s Music RoomKelly Richey News & Updates - ShakedownSoul-Poster


Kelly Richey News & Updates - Women Writing for (a) Change WRITING WORKSHOP:

12/05/15 – The Many Faces of Writers Block – 12:30pm to 3pm
Saturdays, December 5th, 12th, and 19th, 2015

Women Writing for (a) Change
6906 Plainfield Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Venue phone: 513-272-1171

Cost: $60 for series (sliding scale available)

Kelly Richey is a certified writing facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change (affiliated with the WWf(a)C in Cincinnati, Ohio and offers writing circles and writing workshops.

Writers Block: Three Part Series – this workshop can be run as a full day event with three two-hour sessions and lunch break, or as a workshop, or as a series with three separate sessions at two and a half hours each.  Series description below:

  • Session I – The Inner Critic
  • Session II – Procrastinator
  • Session III – The Muse

Have you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this three-part series, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck. Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present!

Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet, songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach.  Richey has made her mark through the power of her voice, figuratively and literally.  Kelly leads writing workshops as a facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change and was certified through the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy (CFLA).

Writing Workshop with Kelly Richey – The Many Faces of Writer’s Block

Writing Workshop with Kelly Richey:

The Many Faces of Writer’s Block – December 5, 12, 19

WWf(a)CWriting Workshop with Kelly Richey: Have you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this three-part series, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck. Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present!

When: Saturdays, December 5th, 12th, and 19th, 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Where:
Women Writing for (a) Change, 6906 Plainfield Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45236
Cost: $60 (sliding scale available)

Sign up today!

Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet, songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach.  Richey has made her mark through the power of her voice, figuratively and literally.  Kelly leads writing workshops as a facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change and was certified through the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy (CFLA).

NEW Writing Workshop – this December only! “The Many Faces of Writer’s Block”

NEW Writing Workshop – this December only! “The Many Faces of Writer’s Block”

WWf(a)CHave you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this three-part series, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck. Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present!

When: Saturdays, December 5th, 12th, and 19th, 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Where:
Women Writing for (a) Change, 6906 Plainfield Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45236
Cost: $60 (sliding scale available)

Sign up today!

Kelly Richey is a certified writing facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change (affiliated with the WWf(a)C in Cincinnati, Ohio and offers writing circles and writing workshops.

Writers Block: Three Part Series – this workshop can be run as a full day event with three two-hour sessions and lunch break, or as a workshop, or as a series with three separate sessions at two and a half hours each.  Series description below:

  • Session I – The Inner Critic
  • Session II – Procrastinator
  • Session III – The Muse

Have you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this three-part series, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck. Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present!

Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet, songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach.  Richey has made her mark through the power of her voice, figuratively and literally.  Kelly leads writing workshops as a facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change and was certified through the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy (CFLA).

Words can be very powerful

I presented a school program today at East Grand Forks High School in North Dakota. After the session I had a young man share a poem with me that he had written titled “The Valley of Death”.  Words can be very powerful…

“The Valley of Death”
—By Garrett Thoreson

The midnight moon was shining bright
for it had reached its final height
The wind was whistling through the roughly carved slopes
as if it was calling to me
It was calling me as if to say
it was coming to bring me to the grave
The trees like the grim reaper
trying to bring me to perdition
The condors circling above
like omens of the end
The dull torches lit a path
that led me forward
it was predestined
I never had a chance
It was the illusion of freedom
messing with my head
Then like a blessing
I found the end
In a moment I realized me finding the end
wasn’t of my own accord.
I was meant to be here
to fight the war.
The war between the skeletons
and the forsaken souls.
Then as if blessed by holy light,
our God hath given me a boon of might.
For am no longer a mortal,
I am the skeleton king.

Kelly Richey - Music for Change - East Grand Forks High

Kelly Richey News & Updates

Kelly Richey News & Updates

October has been a very busy month.  I kicked off the month by attending a songwriting workshop in Nashville, TN with one of my all time favorite writers, Mary Gauthier.  This four day event took workshop participants into a deep dive of intensive songwriting adventures.

While attending, I wrote the final song titled “I Want To Run” for my upcoming new CD– set for release in late 2015.

If you’re not hip to Mary’s work, I encourage you to check her out; in my opinion, she’s one of the finest songwriters in the market today.  If you’re a songwriter, I highly recommend her writing workshops– it’s put on by Lydia Hutchinson, founder of Performing Songwriter Creative Workshops.

Mary Gauthier Songwriting Workshop

Upon returning home, I headed straight into the studio for final tracking and mixing and I’m happy to announce that we should start mastering this week!  The CD artwork will be unveiled the first week of November, and pre-orders will begin.  The CD is produced by my drummer, Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue.  Tobe and Rikk Manning joined forces with me in creating a sound that is truly FRESH and ROCKIN’ …!!!

The CD artwork was done by Sonya Ziegler and it’s stellar!  Sonya’s help and support in developing the material for this album, coupled with Tobe and Rikk’s brilliant musicianship and Tobe’s outstanding production approach leaves me deep in the groove!

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the artwork next week and pre-order details!

Tobe Donohue and Kelly Richey - Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Rikk Manning and Tobe Donohue - Photo by Sonya Ziegler

Photos by Sonya Ziegler

The Many Faces of Writer’s Block

The Many Faces of Writer’s Block

Class Description:

Have you ever experienced writer’s block, suffered from procrastination, or had your writing muse show up when you’re busy only to vanish when you finally clear time to write? In this three-part series, you will make space for the many voices in your head who can block your writing and reflect on your relationships with them. Through writing, sharing, listening, and discussing, we create an inner writing circle for each of us to return to in our busy lives whenever we are feeling stuck.

• An excellent complement to WWf(a)C Core Classes
• An innovative modality for working with Writer’s Block
• Connect with your Muse and learn what it needs to remain present

Dates:  Saturday’s, December 5th, 12th, 19th, 2015
Time:  12:30pm to 3:00pm
Cost:  $60
Facilitator:  Kelly Richey

Women Writing for (a) Change®
6906 Plainfield Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45236
Phone: 513-272-1171

Register Now

Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet/songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach, and has made her mark through the power of her voice – figuratively and literally.  Kelly will lead these workshops as part of the certification requirements to become a facilitator as part of the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy (CFLA) through Women Writing for (a) Change.

Kelly Richey_banner_14_headshot

A letter to a young songwriter, from Mary Gauthier

A letter to a young songwriter, from Mary Gauthier

“Nearly everything that matters is a challenge, and everything matters.” — Rilke

You’ve watched your musical heroes take the stage to thunderous applause, adulation and love, and you burn for that, for yourself, and you want to be a professional writer of songs. The songwriting call has whispered in your ears for years now, and you’ve decided to answer it. You are ready to embrace it, to begin your journey as a songwriter. I congratulate you, and would offer you a few considerations (if you are open to hearing from someone who has trudged this path for decades now).

Mary Gauthier Image

Warning: a songwriter’s life is not what you think it is.  

Music is more than a bouquet of sweet vibrations; it is something from a higher world, which we humans have been given the power to invoke. Artists are alchemists, with our hands in the holy. The Sacred. Yes, there is great power in creating music, but also great danger. The journey of the artist is filled with pitfalls. Where there is great beauty and the power to move millions on this path, there is always great risk.

Songwriting is a noble calling that requires more than talent and perseverance. It requires courage. If you are willing to face yourself and honestly reveal in your songs what you’ve seen in that unveiling of yourself, then you have a chance of writing songs that will outlive you. What can we gain by walking on the moon and planets if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages, and it is the job of the artist. The object of art is not to make salable products. It is to save one’s self, and to be a part of saving us all. Either we tell our story, or our story tells us.

And know this: A half-truth is a whole lie. Character, like integrity, is much easier kept than recovered. So write from your true self, not the self you think you should be. Do not try to impress us, and do not hide behind thin walls and smoke screens. It will only bore us. Brutal self -honesty is your challenge, and will reward you with much more than you can yet imagine.

You must learn how to reject acceptance and accept rejection. People’s opinions of you and your work are irrelevant. The search for love and applause has no place in the creative process. Here is what I know: thriving artists suffer from a feeling of inferiority, a feeling of reaching for something that keeps being just outside our grasp. We make contact with it, and then it turns to smoke. It cannot be held. So our work involves a constant striving. Those that don’t know this feeling are pretending to be close to art and live in secret fear of the aloneness of the deep creative process. Art requires audacity, and if you are not afraid, you are not taking risks. You will simply skim the surface and offer the world nothing new. Ultimately, your songs will not matter.

An artist’s job is to reach communion with truth, and bring that holy light into the world in order to soothe souls trapped in dark places. It is exceedingly difficult work and most who attempt it fail. That said, there is no safety in success either. In fact, triumph brings a greater danger, because the intense light of success is a wick that draws in darkness. Stars burn up.  Flame out. Stars overdose, suicide. Some become oldies acts that create no new magic but simply repeat what has already been done over and over again, not for beauty’s sake, but for cash. And they suffer this as a humiliation and become bitter. A deep grounding in solitude is necessary to remain vital and creative. Solitude courts the muse. So know this: you have chosen a lonely path.

As you work, you will have to learn to embrace each failure as an unavoidable part of the process. There will be many false starts and errors, and even though it is terrifying, you must continue to err, and to do so on the bold side. Have the audacity to lose face, don’t worry about saving it, and embrace each glorious failure as a necessary part of the journey. The chief danger in songwriting (and life) is taking too many precautions. There is a very real relationship between what you contribute and what you get out of this life, but satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. The point of the work is the work. Being vulnerable in your work will bring you strength.

And here is a final warning. If you do succeed and people come to know your name and your songs, the creative process gets harder, not easier. Fame and success attracts parasites, clingers on, and wannabe’s. These non-creators will do everything in their power to attach to the light around you thinking it will bring them out of their own darkness. It will not, but they do not know this. If you let them in, their hungry mouths will suck the light from you and when you are emptied they will simply move on and attach to someone else’s glow. You must rid your life of these people, or suffer their debilitating and soul crushing manipulations.

Fame and success also bring laziness, and ego swelling. With success comes the confusion of believing you are doing great work, backed up the reassurance of people on your payroll, when you are not. It is easy to become delusional and get lost. Fame is a full time job. So is songwriting. A choice is often required. Choose wisely.

So then, again the point of all this work is simply the work. Struggle is the path, and there is no destination, only the path. We do not get “there.” There is no there. There is only here, now, on the path, in the struggle. We all must face the daunting blank page in front of each of us each morning. In this, we are all alike. I wish courage and perseverance for you as you embark on this life’s work of writing songs. You will need it.

—-

Check out Mary’s music on CD Baby, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Kelly Richey News & Updates

Kelly Richey News & Updates

KRB Deep In The Groove

This week The Kelly Richey Band is nearing the final stages of tracking for the next studio release.  Tobe Donohue, Rikk Manning and I have been deep in the groove, so stay tuned!!!  The journey around this record has been very different than my previous records because I’ve had the luxury of time to develop the material, the sound, the performance dynamic and the recording process.  I’m feeling inspired and at home in my studio!

Kelly Richey News & Updates - Kelly Richey Studio

Mary Gauthier Songwriting Workshop

This week I head to Nashville, TN for a songwriting workshop with one of my favorite songwriters on this planet, Mary Gauthier!  Six and a half years have passed since I first attended one of Mary’s workshops, where I experienced profound breakthroughs in my writing.  I’m excited to return for the next leg of the journey as a writer and as an artist.

Kelly Richey News & Updates - Mary Gauthier

Kelly Richey Solo Experience

Kelly Richey returns to Louisville, KY for a morning TV appearance on Great Day Live WHAS 11 and a live solo performance that night at The Planet!

Friday, October 9 – Kelly Richey Solo – 8:00pm
The Planet Bar & Bistro
1565 Bardstown Rd.
Louisville, KY
Venue phone: 502-654-7866.

Kelly Richey SOLO Blues Experience

Here’s your chance to see Kelly perform on her electric guitar like you’ve never seen her before, pulling material from her entire catalog.  For those Kelly Richey fans that have been following Kelly for years, you’ll get to hear many of the songs she no longer performs with her current line up. See Kelly perform with ALL the energy and passion that she brings to the stage; Kelly is known for her jaw-dropping, blister-inducing fretboard work whether playing with a band or playing solo.  Don’t miss your chance to see her play live.  It’s Kelly’s mission to make every performance a show that you’ll never forget!

The Blues Never Looked So Sexy: Meet Kelly Richey

The Blues Never Looked So Sexy: Meet Kelly Richey
Published on September 21st, 2015 | by Marisa
Strong Is Our Sexy – Lifestyle & Sisterhood

 

For the “Our Voices” series, we’re talking to some women whose voices you can’t ignore, including those whose voices are integral to their way of life. Kelly Richey is one of those women. As an accomplished and acclaimed blues musician, poet/songwriter, guitar teacher, and life coach, Kelly has made her mark (and she isn’t finished yet) through the power of her voice – figuratively and literally.

Kelly Richey - Photo by Sonya ZieglerOn her musical roots

Kelly grew up in Kentucky with a church-going, musical family, with both her mother and her aunt involved with directing the music at church. It only made sense that she started taking piano lessons at a very young age, but she struggled from the outset due to her severe dyslexia. “I had the same trouble reading sheet music that I did reading books,” she explains. “All of that became intertwined. Music wasn’t fun, school wasn’t fun.”

Sheet music wasn’t an issue when she acquired a set of drums from a neighbor. “I set them up in my bedroom and I just banged on ‘em. My dad finally said ‘Kelly, I’ll buy you anything you want, if you get rid of the drums,’” she laughs.

She was given a guitar for Christmas when she was 15, right around the time she was starting to get turned on to rock’n’roll. “It was the first empowerment and identity that I ever felt,” she recalls. “It was my first real experience with music that was truly mine. I never looked back.”

On her love-hate relationship with writing

Kelly is a woman of many talents – among them, poetry. Her mom was an English teacher, so she knew what poetry was from a young age, but it was a personal experience that moved her to trying it herself.

“I lost my grandmother when I was eight years old, and that was the first time I had ever really felt pain,” she says. “She got cancer and was put into the hospital, and two weeks later, Dad met me on the way home from school and said ‘Your grandmother’s gone to be with Jesus.’ I was shattered.”

Not long after that, her family uprooted and moved, taking her away from all her friends, too. She didn’t feel like she had a place to talk about or express her grief, until the gray, rainy, Sunday afternoon when she wrote her first poem.  “It was the one thing I could talk to, a piece of paper,” she says. After that, “I wrote buckets full of stuff. Milk crates full of stuff. And I stuck it under my bed.”

As she continued pursuing music and began songwriting in her twenties, her self-confidence was dealt a mortal blow when an artist she respected told her: “’Kelly, if you can’t read, you can’t write.’ I took that literally. That shut me down, and I quit writing.”

In her early thirties, after she’d begun teaching guitar lessons, she shared this story with one of her students, who came back to the next lesson with the gift of a brand new journal. “Basically, she gave me permission to write. And then when I filled that one up, she bought me another journal.”

Eventually, Kelly moved from her journals into writing groups and workshops, including one with American troubadour and singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier. “When I got to sit with her, I remember I just started crying. She looks and she goes, ‘I wanna help you,’” Kelly told me, imitating Mary’s gravely Tennessee accent to a tee. “She mentored me through email. She said to me: You can write.”

Finally, three years ago, Kelly’s partner at the time discovered the stockpile in the basement – “about six boxes of poetry and three milk crates of cassette tapes, seventy-four hours’ worth,” she recalls. Her partner offered to help her sort through all that material and find the gems, and that project evolved into Whisperings, Kelly’s first book of poetry.

These three women giving her permission to write after she was told she couldn’t, made all the difference to her, a message she is now paying forward in her work as a guitar teacher, a life coach, and soon, a writing teacher.

On breaking down barriers in the music biz

Kelly’s interest in blues music was fed by her love of blues-based rock like Led Zeppelin, but it was really cemented when she got the chance to not only meet but play on stage with blues legend Albert King in Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1980s.

Albert_KingKelly didn’t really grasp who Albert King was to the genre when she asked if she could sit in with him for a jam session, at the bar where she was bartending and where he was playing that night. After a few other guitar players in his band vouched for her, they played together between his sold-out shows. When it was time for him to take the stage, Albert King sent her out there ahead of him, saying he’d join her for the second song. “He stood up and looked down at me and said, ‘Don’t you make me ashamed,’ and I said ‘No, Mr. King, I won’t.’”

On stage, in front of Nashville’s entire guitar-playing community, he gave her a lead in every song, barking out orders in a way that made her feel like a kid in church again – “I said a ninth chord! And I’m thinking, I know this is a ninth chord…Yes sir, Mr. King!” she laughs. “At that moment, I knew my place, and I had that whole show to sit with that.” After that experience, she got a stack of recommendations from another guitar player for blues artists she should get to know.

But while she embraced the genre, the genre was not so quick to embrace her when she started performing at the front of her own blues band in the 1990s. “I wasn’t just a woman in the blues…I was a rock guitar player, claiming to play blues, as a white woman.” At one festival she played in Indiana, she recalls that half the crowd completely loved her while the other half “sat there with their arms folded, glaring at me, hating the fact that I was even something that they had to deal with.”

Was that enough to discourage her? Hardly. In fact, her first guitar teacher had warned her of exactly that: “Girl’s don’t play guitar. They just don’t. If you’re gonna do this, you’re gonna have to be so much better than everyone else.” And she rose to meet that challenge. If she felt someone passed her over for a gig because she was a woman, she didn’t let them get away with it, to the point of “finding where they lived and knocking on their door with my guitar and amp saying I’m gonna play! I busted my way through.”

And how:

Her advice for other aspiring women musicians

“Anything that you can do to really know yourself and to surround yourself with people who help build your self-esteem, you’re gonna need it. Whether that means therapy, or new friends – there is no one recipe, but self-esteem is necessary for a healthy life, so figure it out.”

She points to artists’ tendency to wear their hearts on their sleeves. “It can be an awkward thing to learn how to let that out in a world that’s not always safe, not always kind. If we don’t have that infrastructure to manage that, you’ll turn to drugs and alcohol. You’ll turn to self-loathing, to questioning yourself, to blaming others or blaming yourself. There will be unrequited pain.”

Her other major lesson comes from learning how to support herself in life as an artist. “Mastery is important,” she emphasizes. “Master what you do, and honor it. Don’t think you can just have talent and that be enough. Find what it is that you’re truly good at and really embrace it.

I knew right away when I met Kelly at the Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy that she was a woman I wanted to know more about, and hearing her story in her own words was not only a privilege, but an inspiration. (And while these photos show her at her most badass, trust me when I say she’s got a smile that will wipe out any blue feelings you might have.)

You can follow Kelly on Facebook or check out her website and blog for other pieces of her story and see if she’ll be playing a stage near you.