Until recently it seemed like the fates were conspiring against Joe Kelly. From falling out of a moving car to seeing loved ones deported, our hero has spent the last three years living variously in cars, vans and an abandoned police station. And in between movie extra work and touring the UK, Australia and New Zealand with a broken-necked acoustic guitar and a battered case full of harmonicas, he’s somehow found time to make an album.
Backed by The Royal Pharmacy, debut LP Imperial Caravan sees the dustbowl-dry skeletons of Joe Kelly’s haunted blues and country songs fleshed out with an Americana sound ranging from lush to eerie. Cut live in the studio with minimal overdubs, no click tracks or samples, the album’s vintage sonics are augmented on three songs by Welsh singer-songwriter Bryony Sier, who adds spectral harmonies that somehow channel Emmylou Harris and Stevie Nicks.
Such is the prodigious nature of Joe Kelly’s songwriting, album two is already written and arranged, with a widescreen sound reminiscent of The War On Drugs, Arcade Fire and Springsteen’s Nebraska. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Imperial Caravan will be released in spring 2020
we hope you enjoy the ride.