It’s easy to consign the idea of the itinerant blues singer to myth (Robert Johnson) or caricature (Seasick Steve) and for quite some time, Joe Kelly was as close as you could get to the real thing.
After spending years living out of various cars, vans and caravans, touring the UK, Australia and New Zealand with just a broken-necked guitar and a battered case of harmonicas, Joe Kelly found shelter in an old Victorian police station just in time to ride out the storm that was the covid-19 pandemic.
It was in this time that Joe Kelly was able to focus on consolidating the vast wealth of songs written in transit into an album that could encapsulate the spirit of those years on the road.
Backed by the Royal Pharmacy with Jon Greening on production duties, debut LP 'World On Fire' sees the dustbowl-dry skeletons of Joe Kelly's haunted blues and country songs fleshed out with a widescreen Americana sound ranging from lush to eerie.
Reworked from 'The Album That Never Was', Joe Kelly & The Royal Pharmacy's first full offering is an amalgamation of earlier tracks cut live in the studio with minimal overdubs using vintage production methods and newer tracks recorded remotely in lockdown creating a more contemporary sound reminiscent of the likes of The War On Drugs.
With the help of Dirty Carrot Records, the album is now available on all streaming sites with physical copies available at shows, in local record stores and via the band’s Bandcamp page.