Philadelphia born singer-songwriter Annie Kelly was raised on heavy doses of Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Gladys Knight, Carole King, Bette Midler, and Aretha Franklin — and it shows. By mixing pop influences with those of folk, blues, country, and vintage standards, Kelly has a hybrid sound all her own.
Still, she doesn’t mind if listeners hear a hint of Carly Simon in her charming ballad PORCH SWING. Or a bit of Aretha Franklin when she sings her bluesy KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE. Or a splash of Joni Mitchell or Annie Lennox when she smolders through RECKLESS ABANDON. She often writes with other artists in mind and is just as interested in having others sing her songs as she is in singing them herself.
TABLEAUX, Kelly's catalog of over 300 songs, spans a wide range of styles and subjects. Ballads like BACK HOME lament a life too much in the fast lane and too far from family, while songs like GIVE ME ONE NIGHT ring passionate. Still others, like LOVE IS AN ART and LIVING BY HEART, talk about trusting your instincts about love, while TAKE THE TIME and TABLEAUX encourage patience and tolerance in a fast-paced world. Some of her best work, like ANGELS GATHER and PRAYING FOR MIRACLES, finds her in spiritual territory.
But Kelly’s music career has had its share of detours. One of nine children, she heeded the well-intended advice of struggling, newly-divorced parents concerned for her future and chose not to major in music while working her way through college. Opting instead for courses designed to “prepare her for the real world” she continued to treat songwriting only as a hobby. Soon after college, however, she moved to Los Angeles to explore the entertainment industry and find her place in it. But there again her music took a back seat while she worked long hours on the business end of the television and film industry.
While it appeared business people were the forces behind the industry, Kelly soon came to realize that none of it would be possible without the creativity of artists - artists like herself.
Haunted by this, Kelly rearranged her priorities in order to focus on her music. Along the way, she befriended singer and songwriter-activist Shirley Dixon (daughter of blues legend Willie Dixon). After giving Kelly a private audience of one, Dixon held up Kelly's songbook and called her songs “diamonds." That kind of assurance let Kelly know she was on the right track.
Kelly currently lives in the New York metro area where she spends most of her free time recording and performing her originals as well as some favorite covers.
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