Astra Kelly

Astra Kelly


Astra Kelly croons like the love child of rock and soul, raised by beat poets and catapulted into the cosmic realm of the 21st century. Melodic rock that packs a punch.


Since moving to San Diego in July of 2006, Astra has been nominated twice for a San diego Music Award. She's appeared in the pages of City Beat, The San Diego Reader, The NC times, and The SD Troubadour. She’s been heard on Java Jams (CTN/Channel 4), FOX ROX (Fox Channel 6), KUSI Good Morning San Diego, on the air at 94/9 with Tim Pyles, and on 102.1 KPRI where she DJ’s their Saturday night local music show, The KPRI Homegrown Hour (9pm). In summer 2008, she was guest host for KNSD TV/NBC 7/39 and KPRI's "Concerts on the Square.

She was born in Marvel, AR. and delivered by Dr. Wise. Her early interest in music was fueled by family jams, school choirs and formal music studies. Her universal solo style has developed into a sound she calls acoustic soul. It is a rich fusion of her Chicago roots in acid jazz, funk and blues, merged with acoustic rock and folk elements. Her lyrics read like poetry, speaking of emotional transformation and personal freedom. Many times armed with only an acoustic guitar, her delivery is an intensely powerful expression of equal parts joy and pain, balance and struggle. She has toured extensively over the years, both as a solo performer and as a member of various other projects. She’s also versed in the art of improve. She was a major player in the acid jazz explosion in Chicago with the band SUMO who never rehearsed once in 31/2 years and yet packed houses every single week. She continued this tradition with the group FLY during her time in Santa Fe, NM. Her work in the music industry has included managing recording studios, graphic design, promotions/booking and industry consultation for songwriters/bands, and now on air radio personality and promotional support.

Since 1996, Astra has released four records on her Rockaway record label, including the 2004 EP in conjunction with producer/composer, Bob DeMarco (Primary writer for Paramount TV). In addition, she can be heard on a number of regional and national artist’s recordings and regional compilations, most recently, WC Handy award winner Eddie Turners “Rise.” “Rise” was produced by famed composer/artist, Kenny Passarelli (Joe Walsh, Elton John) who lends his extraordinary bass stylings to some of Astra’s new tracks (forthcoming on a full record release). She performs live freequently, solo/acoustic, and with her band. She hosts a Monday night showcase at Dublin Square in the Gaslamp District featuring some of San Diego’s best local bands and songwriters. She also hosts shows at various SD venues under the auspices of the KPRI Homegrown Hour.

Astra reached a major turning point a few years back when she skidded on some black ice on the way to a gig in Colorado. Her tour van rolled and she landed upside down on a set of train tracks. In the light of the full moon with her posters and CDs scattered along the highway, she grabbed her guitar and got to safety just in time to watch a train charge down the tracks and crash into her tour van. This symbolic moment on her musical path launched her into a new wave of creativity and she has emerged with strong new material for these curious times. (see full story in blog..."The Crash")

Throughout the years, Astra has had the privilege to open for such acts as: Stanley Jordan, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Wilcox, Widespread Panic, Donovan Frankenreiter, Johnette Napolitano, Shawn Mullins, The Freddie Jones Band, Leon Russell, The Marshall Tucker Band, Jeff Healey, The Samples, and members of Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

1992 - 1995
Performed with Chicago band, The Junction, on rhythm guitar and vocals. Played college circuits throughout the Midwest and east coast, as well as Chicago’s hottest venues, including the historic Park West and Vic theatres. Began playing in the subways to expose her new original material, make a living, and to strengthen her guitar chops and her solo performance stylings.

1995 – 1997
Played incessantly and developed a local following as a solo performer. Recorded her first CD in her Chicago apartment. Played to a devoted audience every Sunday for three and a half years with a ten piece, talent packed acid jazz and funk improv group called SUMO. Participated in a worldbeat/ jazz group, as well as a number of other diverse projects. Painted a 6’ high by 80’ wide mural
depicting the evolutionary path of humanity at a club called Pop’s. Took residency there every Thursday and presented a menagerie of music, poetry, art and spontaneous happenings.

1997 – 1999
Joined with bass player, drummer, and electric guitar player to form her band, Astra Kelly and Far Rockaway. Presented her second CD to a sold out release party at Chicago’s Martyrs in December of ’98. Hit the road in June of ’99 booking,
promoting, and traveling solo. Played clubs and
coffeehouses all throughout the western United States including, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, as well as southern states, Texas, Louisian


Shotgun Mama

Written By: Astra Kelly

How can I shake this
feeling down and out
I dont wanna fight
for my simple love
I want no doubt
To the world I go
sword drawn
dont mind if its
for the music
I wanna shake this
feeling down and out.

I wanna be
the shotgun mama
shoot em down

Cmon patience
cmon peace
Cmon compassion
hold me in your dreams
I wanna shake this
feeling down and out
I wanna be joyful yeah
I want no doubt


Cmon compassion
cmon please,
show me to your door
bring me to my knees
I wanna shake this
feeling down and out.
I wanna be joyful yeah
I want no doubt


All I Got

Written By: Astra Kelly

It’s my condition, my ambition
My struggle, my test
Believe in you, trust in you
Always see your best

Been in trouble had to still my pride
Been accused of being far too nice
I felt the sting and my rage, my pain became

My rhythm, my passion, the music
My rhythm, my passion, the music

I give to you everything, everything
I give to you everything, all I got
I give to you everything, everything
I give to you everything, all I got

You think you’re wrong, but you still hold on
And you’ve never let go
The road is long, seems to just stretch on
You’ve come so far, I know

The transition could go either way
You weigh it out and you lay your bet down
You felt the sting and your rage, your pain became

Your rhythm, your passion, the music
Your rhythm, your passion the music

I give to you everything, everything
I give to you everything, all I got
I give to you everything, everything
I give to you everything, all I got

I give to you everything, everything
I give to you everything, all I got
I give to you everything, everything
I give to you everything, all I got


Written By: Astra Kelly

You could let it be what you’re thinking
Or you could think better of it
We will say all there is to say
Then forget it and walk away

Love you better than I did before
We could’ve run but there’s so much more
Now we move to what it is we need to do
Then I fall back into you

There will come a day
When we look back and say
That’s my life and it’s mine
And things turned out alright

What should I be holding out for
Don’t even think I know what love is anymore
We don’t need it if its not working
I’ll give it to the wind as I’m falling

Falling down, floating down
I can see everything
Now back on the ground
Safe and sound
Ready for anything




One and Only

Written By: Astra Kelly

Findin’ myself better every day
It’s so nice to know you
And I don’t mind a cloudy day
We can just sit here and play

You’re my one and only, you’re my one and only

Just yesterday, I thought of you
And I smiled aloud
What will your name be, how will you feel
You’re my one and only, you’re my one and only

Do I go there? Dare I say?
What I’m thinking

You let it all go, take control
You wake up and you wonder why they’re gone
You don’t like where you’re rollin’, so you push ahead
Find people who remind you how it goes, then you’ll know
You’re my one and only

You will stay here and I will be with you
It’s so nice to have you near
And I don’t mind being alone
You’re still around after they are all gone

Just yesterday, my plans fell through
There I was again with you
I never loose you. You will never leave
You’re my one and only. You’re my one and only

Do I go there? Dare I say?
What I’m thinking.



Forthcoming - Summer 2009
Interim - 2007 - Production Demo
Astra Kelly - EP/ Rockaway Records - 2004
Females on Fire, compilation/ Warrior Girl Music - 2004
Digifest Southwest - Compilation/ Digifest Film Fest - 2004
Acoustic Soul Live - Live solo performance/
Rockaway Records - 2001
Big Fish, Little Fish - Emerging Women in Chicago Music, Compilation/ Sweet Pickle Music - 2000
Subtown Rituals - Studio/ Rockaway Records - 1999
Safety First - Compilation/ Emphasis Music - 1999
Chicago Rapid Transit - Compilation/ Novo Records - 1999
SUMO - Live @ Elbo Room, Chicago - 1997
Stones, Bones, Boxes - Home Studio/ Rockaway Records - 1996

Set List

Her performances are fiery and intense, sweet and rejuvenating.....

Original Songs:
One and Only
Just Fine
When You Go
Shotgun Mama
Break the Glass
How Long
For What I Want
Brink of Things
Back to the Oneness
Guess What
Sunshine and Mr. Blue
Where Do We Go From Here
Excuse Me, Sir
Not Like This
Caught a Window
Full Circle
'til the Sun Rose
Mad Crazy Mad
Change Happens
Teach Me to Love
Never Said You Were Wrong
The Love Song
The Key
Among the Spirit World
Who I Am
Free From You

Angel From Montgomery - John Prine
Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Soulin' - Traditional
Crazy on You - Heart
Baby, I Love Your Way - Peter Frampton
Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith
Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
Turn Your Light Down Low - Bob Marley