Built on unforgettable and explosive live performances, the Kelly Richey Band has developed an almost cult-like following, with fans picking up thousands of the band’s previous releases, most notably, Eyes Of a Woman, Sending Me Angels, and the electrifying DVD, Kelly Richey Live. Since establishing her own label, Sweet Lucy Records, Richey has released ten CDs, as both a solo artist and with her band. The label has secured national and international distribution through traditional channels and embraced internet digital distribution since the beginning of it’s availability to independent artists.
A national and international touring band, the Kelly Richey Band is backed by Shane Frye on drums and Jimmy Valdez on bass, each accomplished musicians in their own right. In her adopted hometown of Cincinnati, OH, Richey and her band have won multiple awards including Best Blues/RB Band, Best Rock Band, Best Musician and Best Band.
Given their timeless sound and considerable talents, the Kelly Richey Band will continue to awe, mesmerize, and rock audiences worldwide.
Kelly Richey has been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out.” That’s an apt appraisal of the Lexington, Kentucky native who’s been based in Cincinnati for many years. Richey has often been compared to such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan because of her ability to capture and entertain an audience with ripping guitar leads that both sing and astonish.
As a teenager, Richey practiced guitar 12 hours a day. “I never set it down,” she remembers. “I took it to school, I took it to the kitchen table and if I took a walk it was strapped on.” Now, when she picks up her guitar, anyone within earshot is compelled to listen. A working musician since her teens, she began her professional career as a member of the Arista Records group Stealin’ Horses; in 1990 she formed The Kelly Richey Band, with whom she has become both a national and international touring artist.
One of Kelly’s most cherished moments as a guitarist came in 1988 when she found herself on stage with the legendary Albert King at his sold-out show in Nashville. Invited to join him for one song, King told Richey, “That guitar is like a gun: if you pick it up, you better mean to use it.”
And use it she did, playing the remainder of the set with the late blues legend. In 1993 she was playing a benefit in Louisville where another of her idols, Lonnie Mack, saw her perform. Impressed with her strong performance, he invited Richey to join him on stage, and together they brought the house down with their dueling guitar leads.
Since establishing her own label, Sweet Lucy Records, Richey has released 10 albums and a live DVD, as both a solo artist and as The Kelly Richey Band. As an extension of Sweet Lucy Records, she built a studio where she records her own music and workswith other artists. In her adopted hometown of Cincinnati, Richey and her band have won multiple local awards, including Best Blues/R&B Band, Best Rock Band, Best Musician and Best Band.
Richey’s involvement with music goes way beyond recording and performing. A longtime private guitar instructor, in 2003 Richey began developing a Guitar Workshop and a Blues History program to take into the schools. In 2004, she became an “Artist on Tour” with the Cincinnati Arts Association, and in 2005, was added to the Kentucky Center’s artist roster. That same year, Richey began delivering an adult education program that included a six-week Guitar Instruction class. The following year, Richey created Music for Change, a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to music education in today’s public schools; a variety of programs offering live performances, lectures, and interactive participation serve to facilitate learning opportunities for students while keeping the history of American music alive and prospering. Through standards-based instruction and academic enrichment, Music for Change programs support and strengthen existing school curricula. Recognizing that music is a universal language and the gift of music can be used to build learning skills and to strengthen each student’s imagination, Richey’s entire life is dedicated to enhancing the musical experiences of students and audiences alike.
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