Hey, guys and gals, I am really excited about this artist, Kelly Ritchie. I love the blues and Kelly has a real gift. She says she is The Female Stevie Ray Vaughn and I am in 100% agreement. She also does a fantastic Rendition of the Jimmy Hendrix Classic, “Hey Joe” which is one of the videos that appears below. All I can say is WOW!!!!! This IS The Blues!!!!!
She not only plays but has also been a guitar teacher for over 30 years. She has toured The US, Canada, Europe and Australia. She has recorded 16 cd’s. She has made 250 guitar instruction videos and has made two Truefire video series, “Blues Grit” and Focus on Blues-Rock Power Trio. She says, “ You don’t learn how to play the blues from a book — there’s no book smart with the blues. You have to be street smart to play the blues…”
Kelly started playing guitar in the mid 80’s but actually started playing piano in church, which she credits as giving her a firm musical foundation. When she was a child the church she attended burned to the ground and she started being influenced by Black Southern Baptist music and that influence caused her to drift into Blues Rock. The Blues was founded in misfortune, betrayal and regret, of which there was a great amount in the Mississippi Delta. Kelly was heavily influenced by the protest music of the 60’s and is very interested in Social Justice Politics.
It is always important to me to get a funny story from the road and this is one of the funniest. “Once while traveling in the band’s RV, from Cincinnati to a show in Lexington, KY, the tarp on the side began to come loose. We quickly saw that the tarp could not be easily fixed so I asked the guys to get on the roof and cut it off so we could get to the show on time. The only knife we had was a steak knife from the drawer of the kitchenette—not ideal for such a big job! I kept watching the clock as we were pushed for time, and it felt like it was taking forever, so I decided to take charge and do it myself. The RV had a garage in the back with a hydraulic ramp that came down for all-terrain and the only access to the roof was through the garage. In the process of “helping”, I managed to get us locked on top of the RV with no way down.
Kelly’s music is inspired by her deep emotional conscience and the injustices in the world. She is a quiet person in private and feels she learns her hardest lessons when she keeps her emotions open. When she sees social injustices her life lacks clarity and peace and these feelings are what make her a true blues artist. One has to take risks and allow him/herself to remain open to how injustices affect others rather than block it out like so many do.
“Education is one of my greatest passions. I’m drawn to working with people who are at risk emotionally, spiritually and creatively. Most of what I’ve learned is through overcoming the many obstacles I’ve faced in life-- I’m passionate about helping and/or holding space for people who are struggling to find their voice and to find their truest path in life. I am vegetarian and love animals as well…but at the moment I am mostly working with people!” I can tell you absolutely and for sure that when Kelly Ritchie come to play in your area you need to go see her.
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