Exploring the heart and soul of American music, Kelly Joe Phelps has been recording and playing around the world for close to 20 years. A virtuoso slide guitar player and accomplished singer-songwriter, he has toured alongside B.B. King, Lucinda Williams and Madeline Peyroux, recorded with Townes Van Zandt, jazz musician Bill Frisell and been signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings.
Phelps’ timeless approach lies at the crossroads of great American music: blues, folk, country and gospel. Hailing from Washington State, Phelps started out in the world of jazz as a bass player, but then embraced roots music and developed his own distinctive sound: “It’s a reflection of all the music I loved and steeped myself in. There’s a space and openness in rural music that makes sense to me.”
This year has seen Kelly Joe Phelps tour the United States, Canada, UK and Australia. With his slide guitar on his lap, Kelly Joe combines an extraordinary ability to improvise, while playing a set of both his own songs and Delta blues classics.