|Sunday 23 October 2016 @ 02:00pm : -
Kelley McRae called New York City home for many years, cutting her teeth in the vaunted singer/songwriter scene and honing her craft at legendary clubs like The Living Room, The Rockwood Music Hall and the Bowery Ballroom. In 2011 McRae teamed up with guitarist Matt Castelein, and the duo traded in their Brooklyn apartment for a VW camper van and hit the road full time. Kelley and Matt traveled extensively across America those first few years, performing hundreds of shows and finding inspiration for new songs along the way.
The duo has since gone on to tour in eleven countries, including shows in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. They’ve taken the stage at renowned venues such as The Bluebird Café in Nashville and The Green Note in London, and they’ve performed at festivals like Riverbend in Chattanooga,TN, Rhythm and Blooms in Knoxville, TN and the Kerrville Folk Festival where they were named New Folk Finalists.
Kelley McRae’s latest release, The Wayside, is a testament to the inspiration inherent in the American landscape, the grief intrinsic to change, and the hope that comes with stepping onto unknown soil. The Wayside, McRae says, “is the place along the side of the road where things get left behind, or where you go to rest awhile, or where you go find something you lost along the way.” McRae’s songs sip life from the tension between holding on and letting go, blooming in their rich search for truths.
Released in April, 2016, The Wayside debuted at #7 on the Euro-Americana charts and hit #4 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Contemporary Folk chart. It has continued to impress critics: Penguin Eggs Magazine calls Kelley’s voice ‘hauntingly beautiful, echoing the best of Gillian Welch’ and New York Music Daily calls the duo ‘the real deal.’ Folk Radio UK describes McRae as ‘evocative of the finest moments of Emmylou.’ Mike Penard of Radio France says, “With hundreds of new releases each year, there are maybe ten or twenty magical moments. The Wayside is one of those moments.”
“The last songs that made me cry were by a young New York singer, Kelley McRae.” ~ acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders to the San Francisco Chronicle
“Kelley moves effortlessly from the mournful tones of the plantation to the celebratory swing of the saloon, from songs of loss and decay to hymns of love and grace.” ~ Paste Magazine FOUR STAR Review
Reviews for ‘The Wayside’:
“Beautiful music with stunning, delicate vocals. Made with such a high sense of good taste. With hundreds of new releases each year, there are maybe ten or twenty magical moments. The Wayside is one of those moments.” ~ Mike Penard, Radio France
“…intricate lyrics complemented by simple acoustics all woven together with a voice that yearns to be heard…Her voice is tender and hauntingly beautiful, echoing the best of Gillian Welch, and Emmylou Harris.” ~ Penguin Eggs Magazine
“McRae is the real deal, bringing some rare depth to the newschool Americana genre.” ~ New York Music Daily
“Kelley can do no wrong. This latest cd, The Wayside, shows Kelley rising to her amazing potential.” ~ New Folk Radio
“McRae’s delivery and the emotion in her voice evocative of the finest moments of Emmylou…” ~ FRUK Music & Culture
“Kelley McRae is underrated, and you need an Americana cleanser after that Lumineers album.” ~ If It’s Too Loud/First Listen
“GREAT, GREAT, GREAT. Such nice guitar playing, such nice vocals and such beautiful songs.” ~ an Willem Bos, Delta Rhythm
“It is way over time for the world to take more notice of this sparkling performer.” ~ Music Mainline
“The harmonies… provide consistent warmth and charm to the reliably ear-catching choruses of Ms. McRae’s insightful lyric sets. Mr. Castelein’s graceful guitar touches complete the hat trick that anchors this exquisite acoustic set” ~ Roots Music Report
“The Wayside will propel an excellent Kelley McRae to the top of the charts” ~ Martin van der Laan/Country Stew/Radio Compagnie
“This is pure magic.” ~ Hans de Boer, Radio Loco Americana
“Another finely-faceted batch of gems.” ~ Cameron Dilley, WMNF Tampa