Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kell's List of Lists

At the end of the year, everyone makes crazy lists of the best things that happened to them, the worst moments, the best dressed, and the richest millionaires in the world… So I’m throwing my hat in, and telling you about the best musical moments I’ve ever had. Please don’t take them as points of pride… They’re just the moments that helped me realize I didn’t suck as much as I thought – and made me grateful for being able to play music in front of people. The list is in no particular order, but all the events actually happened. It's going to make me feel better to recognize some other musicians, so I'll follow with a list of other musical greats in my life. Hope you enjoy them!

Kell’s List of Best Musical Moments:
1) Hearing “Are you the Kelly that writes songs?” while getting my drivers’ license photo taken. Apparently, the woman working at the DMV was one of the few fans of a CD some friends and I made a couple of years ago. It was shocking that someone actually knew who I was.

2) After playing a spring outdoor festival, I found a gift clipped under my windshield wiper. It was a bag of cotton candy and a note that said I was so hot and great that night… I’m only assuming that the sender of the note really MEANT to put it on MY car, and not Hansons’ – who were also playing that night. For fun, I taped the note to my friend, Mark’s refrigerator. It's not that I didn't appreciate the offering, but I threw the cotton candy away.

3) Firing this guy Bob from my band. (It was a unanimous band decision, by the way. Despite what Bob would tell you - it was a group decision.) It was one of those things I felt mildly bad about doing – and great for having done. The band is so much more pleasant without him around. It made me resolve only to play with people I like…

4) Singing a song I didn’t know with some musician friends of mine on NYE. I just listened to the first chorus and chimed in with some ooh’s and key phrases. It seemed to work out. After, Dave told me I couldn’t quit the band and join their’s. I wonder how much money I can get out of this deal.

5) Singing at the base of a mountain at a ski resort. Those riding the lift said they could hear us all the way up the mountain… Singing “Shenandoah” was especially thrilling. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing the slight echo we heard back really filled in our sound.

6) Hearing Dave tell me that when he heard me sing “O Come O Come Emanuel,” it was suddenly Christmas for him. That’s probably one of the reasons I agreed to go out with him… (that and he hunted me down like a DOG – which is something I frequently tease him about.)

7) Recurring great thing: I frequently talk to Scott and Dave during songs at sets (Fran doesn’t stand next to me, so I usually don’t talk to him) – Occasionally something absolutely great happens during a song – either I sing something differently or the three of us harmonize just right, or Scott/Dave play some mind-tingling lick that I haven’t heard before… We’ll just look at each other and say, ‘nice…’ It happens about once or twice a gig – and it’s always just the best.

8) One evening, we played a live radio show. Following that, we had a gig at a local bar. A man and his three young daughters showed up. He explained to me that he formed a little band with his kids (isn’t that a cool dad?) and brought them there because he heard me on the radio. “I wanted them to see what a good singer sounded like.” Following the same radio show, I must’ve sung something differently, because one of our musician friends approached me to say, “Wow. That was a great Angel from Montgomery. I didn’t know you could sing like that.” That was a nice thing to hear!

9) After attending the Pete Seeger Sing Out! Benefit Concert, I was excited to catch the radio re-broadcast. The audience crooned along with Pete, singing “If I had A Hammer.” I was thrilled to call Dave and report, “Hey! I’m singing on National Public Radio!" (along with Pete and about 1000 other people…)

10) We had a former band member leave our band for personal/health reasons. We always liked him, but he was exceedingly high maintenance. For example, he hated playing in smoky bars. Um… We’re a band that frequently plays smoky bars (Until we’re like New York, I know very few other kinds of bars, as a matter of fact…). He couldn’t improvise easily (“If it ain’t written down, I ain’t playing it!” he’d say), and in all, we were expected to cater to his frequent and unpredictable mood swings (ok. Check that. He was usually in a bad mood, so I guess that’s an unfair statement – It would be more accurate to say he expected us to pander to his bad mood at all times…). We were sad to see him go until we replaced him with our beloved Scott… We realized something – that’s just about the best thing a musician can realize: That when you find the right mix of people, really amazing musical things happen. When you find the right personalities, even though we may have disagreements (Scott and I, for example, are always at odds about the casinos the area is planning on building), we always care about each other – and love making music.

Here’s Kell’s List of Best Musicians I’ve had the Privilege of Seeing Live:

1) Bruce Cockburn
2) Bela Fleck
3) Maynard Furguson
4) Tony Bennett
5) The Fabulous Thunderbirds
6) BB King
7) David Bowie
8) Arlo Guthrie (the only musician that I don’t care if he sings or talks)
9) Adrienne Young & Little Sadie
10) Charlie Peacock
11) John Cale
12) Antje Duvekot

Here’s Kell’s List of Musicians I Would Like to See Before Either They or I Die:

1) U2
2) Counting Crows
3) Tom Waits
4) Shelby Lynne
5) Tori Amos
6) Foo Fighters
7) Paul McCartney
8) Billy Joel
9) Lyle Lovett
10) Dido

Here’s Kell’s List of Musicians I Wish I Could’ve Seen Before Key People Died

1) Michael Hedges
2) John Denver (Don’t laugh. I had him on 8-track growing up, so it's nostalgic)
3) Frank Sinatra
4) Grateful Dead
5) Nirvana
6) Johnny Cash
7) The Beatles (I know, I know. They’re on Everyone’s List)
8) Queen (Oh, Freddie! I miss you!)
9) Warren Zevon
10) Ella Fitzgerald

And finally, here’s Kell’s List of Musicians I’d Like To Hear Sing Duets

1) Dennis DeYoung & Barry Manilow (And Freddie Mercury if they could dub him in)
2) Cyndi Lauper & Gwen Stefani
3) Tim (from the Polyphonic Spree) & Adam Duritz
4) Adam Duritz & Evan Dando
5) Adam Duritz & Kell!
6) Moriah Carey & Whitney Houston (I know it’s lame – but it'd be great.)
7) Norah Jones & Joni Mitchell
8) David Bowie & Sheryl Crow
9) Madonna & Gwen Stefani
10) Simon LeBon & Sting



  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger Sarabeth said…

    Oh, U2 is so worth the money to see and hear them play. I've seen them twice and loved it both times.

    And, I was lucky enough to see John Denver in concert just a year before he died. He was very entertaining. So, I'm not going to laugh at you.

    I was so surprised at how good Joe Jackson was in concert. Really great stuff.

    And, I like your idea of Madonna and Gwen Stefani in a duet.

  • At 9:48 AM, Blogger sass said…


    you haven't seen U2?

    i've only seen them once - unforgettable fire tour - and bono and his tight black jeans blew my mind.

    i decided, that night, to meet him the next morning. i did. please see my July blog archives. i, of course, totally blogged about it.

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    I loved your thoughtful list. I agree that when you are with amazing people who you like and respect - amazing things happen. My last worksite was proof of that!


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