Kelly Joe Phelps
With a background in jazz and experimental music, Kelly Joe Phelps emerged in the late 1990s as an unknown master of 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars. His original songs were intricate portraits and tales rooted in the blues. And his voice was a one-of-a-kind thing, soulful yet smooth. Since then he's put together a powerful body of original songwriting work. If you're new to Kelly Joe Phelps, check out the amazing ten-minute version of Skip James's "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" on his "Tap the Red Cane Whirlwind" live album and then come on down to The Ark to experience one of the great roots musicians of our time. He can play straight blues, classic folk, and one-of-a-kind originals with equal, slightly mystic grace. Recently back on the road after recovering from a hand malady, Kelly Joe Phelps has increasingly drawn on the gospel side of the blues with his recent music.