Erin Kelly Band
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Erin Kelly Band

Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Country Rock

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"Beautiful Expression"

On a sticky-with-humidity mid-morning in August, amidst the just-opening Musikfest vendor tents along Bethlehem’s Main Street, 21-year-old country singer Erin Kelly flashes an easy smile as the photographer captures her portrait. With a shiny Martin acoustic slung around her shoulders, Kelly’s left hand instinctively grabs a few chords without strumming the strings with her right. In between shot set-ups, she gets this faraway look in her eyes as if she’s mentally making her way through one her songs. Somehow, even without a single note ringing out from her six-string or a melody sung, it’s clear that music is ingrained in Kelly.

Some artists gravitate toward their chosen creative pursuit at a young age, but Kelly began singing on key before she could talk, and by 3 years old, her music career was off and running.

“My parents really noticed my interest in music from a very young age,” says the Allentown native “…One of my first performances was the National Anthem for our local baseball team. Around the age of 3 and a half, I sang on the Al Alberts Showcase, which was a television show based in Philadelphia. I ended up touring with the show on the Jersey Shore from age 3 to 6.”

By 6, Kelly’s extraordinary singing ability made her a mainstay for belting out the National Anthem for large crowds for numerous professional sports teams – Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Phillies, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Lehigh Valley IronPigs. She even had the opportunity to perform for General Colin Powell and former-President George W. Bush.

Kelly’s voice took her far at a very young age, but it wasn’t until she picked up a guitar that her music became about more than singing the same song to kick off a pro-sports game.

“I had tried to learn for years and tried to learn through music theory,” she recalls. “The method never seemed to work for me, and I was ready to give up. A co-worker of my dad’s, named Lynn DeHaven, told me to give it one last try, and at the age of 16, I started to learn by ear. I spent the next few years spending about six hours a day playing my guitar. Learning the instrument really helped me decide that this is what I wanted to do with my life, and to continue to persevere and learn as much as I can about this industry.”

At the same time Kelly was learning the guitar, she also began writing her own original music.

“I think writing my own lyrics helps me relate better to the music I perform and that makes me more relatable to my audience,” she says. “Writing the music and melody is personally my favorite part of songwriting. It’s how I can play a role in making my music true to myself. ...Often times, I will start by writing a chord progression and melody. Once I understand the feeling and where a song is going, I will write lyrics that reflect what I am saying musically. I always say that I try not to write songs about my life, but I always find that the song relates to me in some way.”

In 2014, Kelly began recording her first EP of her original songs, which was produced in Nashville by Rich Herring of Trax Productions and Nyke Van Wyk of SixWill Studios in Bethlehem. Titled Why Wait!, the EP is now available for purchase.

As a country singer, Kelly’s voice is powerful and her sound soulful. When asked for a musical analogue, she says, “I have been told many times that I sound like Cher if she sang country, although, I think the closest comparison that I have heard would be Jessie James Decker.”

When it comes to musical influences, Kelly points to female legends like Linda Ronstadt, LeAnn Rimes, Eva Cassidy and Shania Twain, but as an independent singer-songwriter, she is also inspired by the music scene in her hometown.
“The Lehigh Valley is really a great place to be for music,” she says. “There is such a broad spectrum of genres and many talented artists. I think that the artists in this area are so talented because they genuinely love what they do. When you are an independent artist, it is always a great feeling to know that you have people supporting you. I think that support of our community plays a large part in making independent music important again. I think we could be an example for other communities in how we support our musicians.”

For the past 18 years, Kelly has been performing live, and she still loves the feeling she gets from being on stage.

“I think performing in front of a crowd is a special experience, whether performing for a small or large audience,” she says. “When I am on stage, I am not only focused on what I am playing, but I’m also connecting with the audience. When you are playing your best, and your audience feeds off of that, there is no better feeling in the world.”

Some of Kelly’s favorite venues to perform include the Nazareth College Arts Center, Easton Farmers’ Market, The Hamilton Bar & Kitchen and Bell Hall. But, perhaps, most off all, she derives the most satisfaction from the opportunity to tap into the healing power music can have with her volunteer work for Musicians on Call (MOC).

“Musicians on Call is a program that brings music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals,” she explains. “The musicians in this program perform for patients in hospitals across the nation. I have been a part of the program in Philadelphia for about four years now. I love being part of this program, and MOC has really changed my life. When you can use music to make people happy in their worst moments, you see how powerful it can be.”

At 21, Kelly has a bright future and a whole lifetime of music ahead of her, but she also sees value in getting an education. She currently attends Lehigh Carbon Community College, pursuing degrees in communications and audio production.

Between college classes and a promising career as a country singer-songwriter, Kelly is busy. So what keeps her motivated?

It’s the music.

“Music isn’t just something to be heard but is something that can be felt. It is an expression of who we are and how we can relate to each other. I think music should be something that brings people together, and that is ultimately what drives me to continue to do what I do.”

Upcoming shows scheduled for Kelly include the Wine Festival on the Susquehanna on October 1 in Millersburg, Pa.; the Lehigh Valley Beatles Showcase on October 6 at the Musikfest Café in Bethlehem; and Arts on the Move on November 12 at the TouchStone Theatre in Bethlehem, of which all the money raised will go to the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Scholarships. For more news, shows and her podcast (Life Behind the Mic!), visit erinkellymusic.com. - Lehigh Valley Magazine


"Meet the 'Steel Sessions' Artists: Erin Kelly"

Country singer-songwriter Erin Kelly has been performing since early childhood. She performs live at PBS39 as part of Steel Sessions on Thurs., Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. First, how did you find out about PBS39 Steel Sessions? I heard about Steel Sessions through Eastern PA Music Scene on Facebook. I saw the post and thought it was a great opportunity to share my music! In your opinion, why is an opportunity like Steel Sessions important for up-and-coming musicians? This is a great opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to be able to share their original material. It can also be difficult during live shows to get professional quality video. Local musicians don’t often come by opportunities like this to be featured on television with professional video footage. You’ve been performing from a very young age. Have you always known that you would pursue music as a career? As a child, music was something I did for fun. My parents didn’t know much about music and were - PBS 39


"Photos from Hunter Hayes, and Erin Kelly performing at Musikfest Café"

The evening was kicked off by singer/songwriter Erin Kelly. The talented Lehigh Valley native delivered a fantastic performance with her powerful vocals and her amazing guitar play. Her energetic set got the crowd ready for the multi-talented Hunter Hayes, who also delivered a powerful performance of his own. Beyond his vocals and instrumental talent, his stage presence and crowd interaction helped him deliver a memorable experience for all in attendance.  - John DelGrosso


"Musicians On Call (Acknowledgement)"

Gutman, the music buff, delights in touting MOC discoveries he's made, like "Erin Kelly, a college freshman from the Lehigh Valley who does old and new country. She sings Patsy Cline like a dream." - philly.com


"Erin Kelly Sings from the Heart"

South Whitehall teenager Erin Kelly uses her singing talent to raise money to help others. - South Whitehall Patch


"Why Wait"

Why Wait

Review by Michael McKenna

Erin Kelly
“Why Wait” EP
Review by Michael McKenna
Steel Notes Magazine
Here’s the formula, you take an Irish lass, dress her up in jeans and cowboy boots, hand her a guitar and mike and BAMM, you get a fiery red-headed country singer with a set of pipes that the laddies from County Cork to County Monaghan would hear clearly, from coast to coast, if she was in the Emerald Isle! Using a popular phrase, “With a little help from her friends..”, Erin has succeeded at the age of 19 where others are still dreaming of reaching!

She has performed for President George Bush and former Sec’y of State, General Colin Powell in DC! She has also performed at sporting events singing the National Anthem for the 76’ers, Phillies, Iron Pigs, Hershey Bears, Reading Phillies and the famed Harlem Globetrotters at stadiums and arenas. She has shared the stage with Fabian, Peter Noone and the Herman’s Hermit’s and a host of others as part of the Christmas Spectacular Show for Camelot for Children.
This 5 track EP was recorded in the Music City of Nashville at Trax Studios, Benchmark Sound & Legends Studios and also Bethlehem, PA at Sixwill Studios, the pedigree is already established. Produced by Rich Herring on 4 tracks and Nyke Van Wyk on 1 track, this CD features many well known musicians.

“Never Gonna Be” sets the rhythm from the door with Nick Buda’s percussion and Doug Carter’s bottom that lights the spark to full blast mode in seconds. This tune is a full sounding country/pop number that would fit well in both genres. Erin’s vocals are expertly held from start to finish with a certain amount of ease one would find in a seasoned veteran. The instrumentation is tight, precise and accentuates her pipes nicely. Andy Leftwich’s strings are a nice touch and aid in the transition from verse to chorus to bridge seamlessly!
“Real Good Man” jumps from verse to bridge to hook with such ease. Erin nails this tune like a seasoned professional comparable to a Shania Twain. “Jackknifed” has a retro/mod sound with the Nyke Van Wyk’s cool fiddle parts and bouncy rhythms coupled with a cool story line that generates a fun feeling. Craig Thatcher’s riffs are kicking! “Colorblind” drops it down a few notches as we hear another side of Erin as she projects some deep feeling into this song. The title track,“Why Wait”, hears Erin’s angelic voice project perfectly as she belts out this wonderful tune. The bass and strings add that fat feel to this full-sounding effort.

This EP is so full of energy as one is entranced by Erin’s vox and captured by the sound and rhythm one experiences from the beginning to the end. The excellent mix captures the many different faces of Erin as she tells her stories throughout this wonderful effort. Kudos to all the musicians!
Erin has a wonderful future in front of her. With a voice like hers, she will be charting and getting country radio play soon enough! Country Fans, This is a MUST LISTEN!! WELL DONE!! - Michael McKenna


Discography

EP- Erin Kelly

Why Wait Album Available

Photos

Bio

At first glance, Erin Kelly projects a humbled presence that quickly transforms the moment she steps behind a microphone.  She has been captivating audiences and has opened up for acts such as Hunter Hayes and numerous other artists through the years.  Her skilled guitar playing and powerhouse vocals define her country/rock roots.

Growing up in the outskirts of Allentown, PA,  Erin's love of  country music emerged at an early age by singing in several traditional country bands. She grew up listening to a wide variety of  vocalists such as Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt and Eva Cassidy.  Listening to these artists gave her the ability to perform many genres of music

From an early age, Erin has been no stranger to large audiences.  She started performing the National Anthem in public at the age of three.  By the age of six, she had the opportunity to perform a National Anthem for the Philadelphia 76ers.  Since then, she has performed for many major and minor league teams from the NBA to the MLB.  She has performed for the Philadelphia Phillies, Reading Royals, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, as well as numerous other sporting teams. Her years of performing the Anthem gave her the privilege to perform for General Colin Powell and President George W. Bush.

You can catch Erin performing often around the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas.  She has performed at Musikfest Cafe at Steelstacks, One Center Square in Easton, Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia, Musikfest and performs at numerous pre-game shows for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

In 2014, Erin release her first EP, Why Wait, recorded at Trax Productions in Nashville and SixWill Studios in the Lehigh Valley.  The album won numerous awards and her video and EP won a Lehigh Valley Music Award. 

Her new EP will be released in 2020!


Band Members