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). I draw on a lot of influences and to name just a few: Tony Rice, Cahalen & West, Richie & Rosie, Pharis & Romero, Grant Gordy, Bryan Sutton, Louis Armstrong. There are many musicians who inspire me, more than I could possibly include here, and hopefully I’ve a little bit of all of them in my music presented from my perspective as an artist. I’ve won awards in songwriting but I’ve learned it’s way more fun to connect with an audience. My playing, hopefully, continues to evolve and I’ve added claw hammer banjo, mandolin and fiddle to my bag of voices. I want to weave tasteful, melodic acoustic music, 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.