Favorite

Kelly Joe Phelps at Ashland Coffee and Tea 

Thursday, Feb. 27. 8 p.m.

click to enlarge night09_kelly_joe_phelps.jpg

James Rexroad

If there’s one form of music I truly hate, it’s modern blues. Since the late 1950s, only Howlin’ Wolf, Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits have brought something new to the game, with most blues players content to desecrate its corpse with overblown rehash. One guy that gets it right is Kelly Joe Phelps. It may be a little traditionalist for my tastes, but the Sumner, Wash., native nails his gospel Delta blues. His voice and guitar cut to the bone working not as two separate instruments but as one — invoking Mississippi Fred McDowell and Charley Patton without sounding like a well-intentioned parody. Like the great early players, there’s a disarming intimacy to his music that confesses its truths without fanfare. It’s a deeply human sound and one that’s as old as time, but rarely is it played with such genuine presence and melodic restraint. Kelly Joe Phelps plays Thursday, Feb. 27, at Ashland Coffee and Tea. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $16 in advance and $20 at the door. ashlandcoffeeandtea.com.— Chris Bopst
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Updated: Local Musician Jonny Cecka Dies at 53

    • I work at the Byrd Theatre and remember Jonny and his family as regulars. He…

    • on May 26, 2017
  • Re: Interview: Gregg Allman

    • Real love spell to get ex back and Stop a Divorce or Break-Up !!! This…

    • on May 25, 2017
  • Re: Halcyon Days

    • I have always had such positive experiences at Halcyon with the owner and the delightful…

    • on May 23, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in Night and Day

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation