Michael Kelly


Hi. I’m a singer-songwriter based in Maryland. I’ve never been able to pin down my music to one genre, but musically, I’d say my songs are an aggregate of influences ranging across folk, rock, blues, country and bluegrass. In my youth I worked with a lot a blues acts, opening up shows at the old Desperadoes club in D.C., which was across the street from another legendary club, the Cellar Door. I was trying to make it as a songwriter and I was really struggling. The club owner took pity on me and offered me a job working the door a couple of nights a week.  On any given night I might have checked your ID, collected your cover charge, opened up the show, and kept the cooler stocked with cold beer – now that’s service! It was a great education and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity. I’ve done stints in rock bands (Color Factory) and even worked with a steel drum band (check out the Geckos Rising Up From Below CD for a great version of my song What’s Your Heart Say). Lately I’ve been working really hard on my guitar playing, studying via Skype with acoustic guitar icon Russ Barenberg, who is a wonderful teacher. Russ is revered for his melodic guitar playing and I’m hoping some of that rubs off on me.  My playing is evolving a great deal as a result of his patient mentoring. I want to weave tasteful, melodic acoustic guitar playing, soulful vocals, and poetic storytelling in every song and keep your foot tapping. My goal is to make you feel good, to share some experiences, maybe even get you thinking a little every now and then, but most of all, to help us both find that place where self-expression makes you go wow! It’s a shared endeavor. Hope you come out for a listen.