Kelcy Mae
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Kelcy Mae

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"…The new EP includes an impressive list of local players; among them lead guitarist Alex McMurray, the Revivalists’ drummer Andrew Campanelli and singers Alexis Marceaux and Alexandra Scott. All five tracks are strong, but ‘Oh How the Whiskey’ was the one"

…The new EP includes an impressive list of local players; among them lead guitarist Alex McMurray, the Revivalists’ drummer Andrew Campanelli and singers Alexis Marceaux and Alexandra Scott. All five tracks are strong, but ‘Oh How the Whiskey’ was the one that really caught our attention. It has the lively feel of a good drinking song; yet the lyrics are deep with foreboding: ‘Oh how the whiskey means it’s winter/ Oh how the devil loves a sinner/ Oh how the whiskey burns in summer/Pouring like the sweat of a funeral drummer.’ The arrangement pulls a neat trick toward the end, as the fiddle and banjo and overtaken by a gospel choir. Whether the singer gets saved or keeps sinning is up to you.” -

"Her voice, falling somewhere between Natalie Merchant and the Indigo Girls, is as warm and inviting as ever.”"

Americana singer-songwriter Kelcy Mae, a Shreveport native who moved to New Orleans in 2001 to major in English and minor in music business studies at Loyola University, continues to excel at both courses of study. She funded her new “The Fire” EP, her third recording project, via a Kickstarter campaign. Available as a digital EP and in a limited run of physical CDs, “The Fire” picks up where her previous release, 2011’s sparkling “Pennies in Hand,” left off. She plays up the rootsier elements in her sound via cameos by a trumpet and pedal steel guitar, and such songs as “King of Tennessee,” an Elvis ode. Her voice, falling somewhere between Natalie Merchant and the Indigo Girls, is as warm and inviting as ever.” - The Times Picayune

""...a specialist in fresh-faced yet soulful alt-country reminiscent of Natalie Merchant.""

Kelcy Mae Wilburn is a regular on Frenchmen Street and a specialist in fresh-faced yet soulful alt-country reminiscent of Natalie Merchant. The songwriter and poet is backed by her regular band of Lucy Cordts on banjo and mandolin, Tom Marron on violin and harmonica, Andy Neubauer on guitar, Owen Romero on bass and Kyle Sharamitaro on drums. -

"Kelcy Mae Weaves Rich Instrumentation, Thoughtful Lyrics Into Album"

Kelcy, the poetry student, enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at UNO in 2007 as Kelcy Wilburn. Kelcy, the singer-songwriter, released her first CD the same year under the name Kelcy Mae. Her poems and her lyrics often intersect, but not in a linear way. After one of Wilburn’s poems got a lukewarm response from her MFA peers, so she filed it away. The retooled version is the title track for the 28-year-old Shreveport native’s latest CD, Pennies in Hand, released to strong reviews last April. “I often go back to my poems and find a few lines that are powerful image-wise or message-wise,” says Wilburn, who describes “Pennies in Hand” as a “relationship song” reflecting on the fear and the solace of change.

“The song is full of remembrance, valuing what was without wanting it back, at least not in the same capacity,” she says. “The pennies are what the singer holds onto, the things the other person no longer finds valuable.” “But I will pick up your pennies and hold them for you. You may want back your poverty, its richness, too, and I’ll just be waiting here, waiting for you with pennies in hand.” James Joyce’s Ulysses was the catalyst for a song a decade after Wilburn read the novel as an undergraduate exchange student in Ireland. “Mr. Leopold” (after Joyce’s main character Leopold Bloom) was the first song Wilburn wrote after the release of her first CD, The Times Compiled, in 2007. It appears on her current album.

After completing her MFA in 2010, Wilburn developed tunnel vision about her music, spending most of her time in Blue Velvet Studio, located in Uptown New Orleans, producing the rich soundscape of Pennies in Hand with cello, piano, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, acoustic and electric guitars, drums and bass accompaniment. The financial generosity of fans via Kickstarter (an online fundraising source) provided Wilburn with half the cost of the album. She saved money by designing her own cover, marketing the product and lining up tours. A video is in production.

Times-Picayune music critic Keith Spera, who listed Pennies in Hand among his top 10 New Orleans CDs of 2011, describes Wilburn’s voice as a cross between Natalie Merchant and the Indigo Girls. Last year she was nominated for best female vocalist by OffBeat magazine. But even more validation is in store for the singer whose career began at Neutral Ground Coffeehouse on open mic night: Kelcy Mae and her band will play Jazz Fest this year, performing on the Lagniappe Stage.

For more information, go to - UNO Magazine

""Kelcy Mae has a nice rootsy sound and a cool way with her own songs. 'Moonshiner' gets a powerful reading that she really nails...A wonderful album.""

Kelcy Mae has a nice rootsy sound and a cool way with her own songs. The traditional "Moonshiner" gets a powerful reading that she really nails. "Down to the river" is a dreamy and suitably country tinged song with a gorgeous lead vocal. "Take your time" sees her in a relaxed mood, her lovely vocals set to a good tune. It's a wonderful album. - The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music

"“...solid ground for Kelcy Wilburn, whose voice is warm and distinctive, and whose lyrics are intelligent...a reason to keep paying attention to Kelcy Mae.”"

The sound of Pennies in Hand is familiar enough. Kelcy Mae and the album exist in Lilith Fair’s long shadow, evidenced by her good musical taste and the emphasis on voice and words. These are solid ground for Kelcy Wilburn, whose voice is warm and distinctive, and whose lyrics are intelligent without being brainy. She references genres and books (Ulysses, of all things, in “Mr. Leopold”), but without making a production of either, and if you missed the reference, you wouldn’t miss the song. The lyrics are rarely confessional, though it almost always feels like there’s a story behind the song, no matter what. The title cut is the album’s finest moment, an expansive song that feels far shorter than its six-minute length. Its opening lines set the tone for the song and represent her writing at its most evocative: “If in the distance you spy some large bird / carrying my scarf it its claws and strands of my hair in its beak / well know that I shall make a good nest.” There’s a whole story in those lines alone, a reason to keep paying attention to Kelcy Mae. - Offbeat Magazine

"“Pennies in Hand sparkles with nuanced vocals, smart wordplay and a bright, warm production that casts arrangements in a flattering light.”"

Some poems simply make better songs. As part of her Master of Fine Arts curriculum at the University of New Orleans, Kelcy Mae wrote a poem about pennies and a bird. It did not fare well during peer-review workshops.“Let’s put it this way,” Mae said this week. “It didn’t make it into my thesis.” She later retooled the poem as a song, “Pennies in Hand.” She was so pleased with the result that she showcased it as the title track of her new CD. On Friday, April 15, Mae and her band celebrate the release of “Pennies in Hand” at Carrollton Station. She’ll also play a free show at the Louisiana Music Factory on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m.

Born Kelcy Wilburn — her stage name, Kelcy Mae, is a nickname bestowed by her maternal grandfather — she grew up in Shreveport, where she started writing music in high school. She moved to New Orleans in 2001 to major in English and minor in music business at Loyola University. At the urging of friends, she braved open mic nights at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse. She was graduated from Loyola in May 2005, three months before Hurricane Katrina temporarily chased her back to Shreveport. The Tipitina’s organization’s new musicians co-op in Shreveport helped her find gigs in her former hometown. She eventually returned to New Orleans and worked as a sales representative for a tile and flooring store, but a nine-to-five job left little time or energy for creative pursuits. She enrolled in the MFA program at UNO in 2007, around the time she released her debut full-length CD, “The Times Compiled.” “I thought going back to school would help get my creative energy flowing, and help me write songs,” she said. “But I ended up writing more poems. You only have so much creative energy in a day.”
Since graduating in 2010, “it’s all music from here on out.”

Her songs often originate with lyrics; she matches them to melodies found on a guitar or piano. Lyrical raw material mined from her poetry requires tweaking. “I don’t rhyme much in my poetry, and, in the songs, I do. So (the transition) is not exact by any means, but it’s close.” Her voice evokes Natalie Merchant crossed with the Indigo Girls. Mae counts Ani DiFranco and alt-country singers Casey Chambers and Gillian Welch as artists she admires. Welch “writes incredibly beautiful melodies and harmonies, simple but touching.” Mae aspires to a similar aesthetic. “Pennies in Hand” sparkles with nuanced vocals, smart wordplay and a bright, warm production that casts arrangements in a flattering light. Acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, piano, cello, drums and upright bass factor into the mix. “With this record, I had more freedom to experiment with different textures and instrumentation. The process took a lot longer, but it was nice.”

She covers “Moonshiners,” an Irish standard previously recorded by Bob Dylan, Cat Power and Uncle Tupelo. “Mr. Leopold” is named for a character in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” She initially recorded it with her full band, but scrapped that version and conjured a richer, darker take with cello and piano. It is the only track on the album on which she plays guitar and sings simultaneously. “The song slows down and speeds up, and there are different moments of intensity. It’s hard to re-create if you’re just focusing on the instrument or the vocal. I needed to do both to really express how I feel in that song.”

Not surprisingly, Mae puts a premium on lyrics. Two inside panels of the “Pennies in Hand” CD package are crammed with lyrics in small type. “I had to squeeze them all into an affordable CD package. You might need a magnifying glass.”

Fans donated $6,000 via Kickstarter, an online fundraising site, to partially fund the recording. “It was hugely helpful,” she said. “It covered more than half the album, which I wouldn’t have been able to afford on my own.” Katrina scattered her original band. Her current ensemble includes Lucy Cordts on banjo and mandolin, Kyle Sharamitaro on drums, Owen Romer - The Times Picayune

"French Quarter Fest Preview - Kelcy Mae"

Are you a fan of traditional folk or indie-rock music? Give Kelcy Mae a shot, she won’t disappoint, nor will her very talented background musicians. Mae has a beautiful voice that is both soothing, yet powerful. Relaxing, but it grabs your attention.

Mae was born in Shreveport, LA in 1983 and began playing piano at age six. She learned the trumpet at age 10 and the guitar and bass guitar at 14. She developed a love of poetry in high school and now holds an MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans.

Mae released an album in 2011 called Pennies in Hand, which can be purchased on iTunes. Her 2007 album The Times Compiled is also available. In terms of style The Times Compiled has a more upbeat and “happy” sound to it than Pennies in Hand.

On Mae’s website,, you can listen to eight of her songs for free, including my favorite “Swingin’ Low Without a Chariot.” You also will see links for her Facebook page and Twitter feed (@Kelcymae) on there.

Check out the calendar on Mae’s website to see when you can watch her perform, or just wait until April 14 and watch her perform at 11 a.m. at the French Quarter Festival on the Esplanade/ Old Mint stage.
—Peter Dupont - Where Y'at Magazine

""Filled with peaceful yet compelling vocal melodies and relaxing, well arranged instrumentals, this record is the ideal companion to a glass of lemonade and a rocking chair on a southern porch.""

Kelcy Wilburn’s latest recording Pennies in Hand is the perfect record to listen to on a lazy weekend day. Filled with peaceful yet compelling vocal melodies and relaxing, well arranged instrumentals, this record is the ideal companion to a glass of lemonade and a rocking chair on a southern style porch. Wilburn’s (better known as Kelcy Mae) Louisiana roots are evident throughout the record, especially on tracks like “Take Your Time.” The thoughtful lyrics in songs like “Carnivale” and the title track “Pennies in Hand” give the listener an insight into the singer/songwriter’s mind while also allowing the listener to identify a meaning of his own.

Wilburn, who is originally from Shreveport, LA, has called New Orleans home for over a decade and has been making music here for almost as long. She first came to New Orleans to attend Loyola University’s Music Industry Studies Program. This is her first release since her 2007 release, The Times Compiled.

Her vocal sound has been compared to such legends as Ani Difranco and Natalie Merchant. Comprising the instrumental performances on the album are Kelcy Mae on piano and guitar, Tom Marron on violin and harmonica, Kyle Sharamitaro on percussion, Lucy Cordts on banjo, “Bad Andy” Neubauer on lead guitar, and Owen Romero on bass. Special guests include Marc Paradis of Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, NOLA legend James Singleton, and Ian Smith of Lagniappe Brass Band.
Kelcy Mae performs regularly in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and beyond. Pennies in Hand is now available in stores and online at —Georgia McBride - Where Y'at Magazine

"Kelcy Mae revs up the early crowd at the New Orleans Jazz Festival"

It can't be easy to open the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Thursday at the Lagniappe stage, hidden in the Grandstand's paddock where horses normally cool their hooves, the crowds were sparse at 11:30 a.m. Jazz Fest can be a sweaty jumble of strangers, but this early the crowd had room to spread out: Middle-aged festers were in the middle, younger folks on the left and families with strollers in the back.

Kelcy Mae jams on the Lagniappe Stage during the first day of the second week of the New Orleans Jazz Fest on Thursday, May 3, 2012.
Local singer and songwriter Kelcy Mae, playing Jazz Fest for the first time, gave the gathered festers a gentle wake-up. Her band started with the lilting "Down to the River," off Mae's 2011 album "Pennies in Hand."
She sang with an easy confidence, ever so slightly raising the energy in the room.

Fifteen minutes into her set, she launched into a song that she called perfect for dancing. No one took to the aisles, but the crowd, no longer so sparse, gave Mae their complete attention. For the rest of the set, Mae and her band controlled the mood of the room, shifting from quiet reverie to a folksy wall of sound sometimes in a single song.
Mae often gets labeled as alt-country or alt-folk. That seems to mean that her music is clearly American but can't be pegged to a single region. She writes sharp songs with lyrics that steer clear of cliches. On her last album, it was easy to hear the threads of influence in her voice. At the Lagniappe stage, she sounded more mature. She sounded like no one else but herself.

By the time she finished her set, nearly every seat was taken. During that hour not more than a handful of people wandered off. Mae worked hard to convert that crowd into lasting fans. After playing "Under Those Trees," she said, "You can listen to that song every day -- if you purchase our beautifully packaged CD." -

"Wilburn’s lilting vocals set against soulful – sometimes mournful – instrumentation, replete with jaunty banjo and ukulele, synthesize a charming aural canvas, blending components of bluegrass, back-country ballads and modern rock."

Kelcy Mae (real name Kelcy D. Wilburn) has just released her second full-length album, Pennies in Hand. Wilburn’s lilting vocals set against soulful – sometimes mournful – instrumentation, replete with jaunty banjo and ukulele, synthesize a charming aural canvas, blending components of bluegrass, back-country ballads and modern rock. A Shreveport native, Wilburn relocated to New Orleans as an undergraduate, and has been writing and singing here ever since. - New Orleans Magazine

"Top 10 Local Releases of 2011"

Mae grew up in Shreveport; she moved to New Orleans in 2001 to major in English and minor in music business at Loyola University. Her sparkling 2011 release is illuminated by smart wordplay and arrangements, bright, warm production and a voice that recalls Natalie Merchant crossed with the Indigo Girls. Acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, piano, cello, drums and upright bass factor into the mix. - The Times Picayune

"“...a bold statement against the stereotypes associated with singer/songwriters. These are songs with guts, with purpose, and with legs...”"

Kelcy Mae's album Pennies in Hand is a bold statement against the stereotypes associated with singer/songwriters. These are songs with guts, with purpose, and with legs. Her heart is all over these songs, but her musical head makes them great. A pleasure to listen to from track one til the end. A true success, in a field of just ok's. - Johnny Sketch (of Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes)

"“In a world where singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, the ability to stand out of the crowd is definitely worth mentioning...Pennies packs a vocal punch of southern-styled lullabies with a hint of sarcasm and sass...” - The Shreveport Times"

In a world where singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, the ability to stand out of the crowd is definitely worth mentioning. Get ready for a fusion of rock and roots as Kelcy Mae makes her way back to Shreveport to promote her sophomore album, "Pennies in Hand." The 28-year-old released the album last weekend in New Orleans, which was fully funded by donations and pledges made through funding platform Her album, Pennies, packs a vocal punch of southern styled lullabies with a hint of sarcasm and sass; You can meet the songwriter when she performs tonight at her favorite hangout, Bear's. I got the chance to sit down and talk to her about her new album, what she says "had a lot of emotion" behind the tracks.

Question: How was your launch party?
Answer: It was so much fun. It was a huge success. I think the Times Picayune article helped get people in, it was packed. There were over a hundred people who were there.

Q: Tell me a little about your title track, "Pennies in Hand."
A: I wrote the song long before the Kickstarter project. Whenever I decided to do the Kickstarter thing, I thought, "Oh well, this is kind of clever, I can use this title." It was sort of a play on words I suppose, but the song itself started out as a poem. Inspiration is best described as a love-lost relationship. It's like a goodbye, but it's not one that you want to be permanent. It's like celebrating something that was good while it was good.

Q: Is it your favorite?
A: It's a culmination of a lot of work and a lot of emotion. There's a lot that went into that song and the album as a whole. I just love the ending, it's my favorite part to hear. I had like ten friends come in the studio and record the ending with me, so when that chorus of vocals comes in, it's a fun culmination of work and play.

Q: Any other mentionables?
A: "Mr. Leopold." Chronologically, that's the first song that was written for this record and so, it's kind of my favorite in that way. It's the first born. It's definitely one of my favorite songs to play.

Q: What is special to you about playing at Bears?
A: I really like Bear himself. He's always been really generous to me and very willing to host my performances when I come to Shreveport. I like the room, the stage - I like being next to windows especially when the sun's setting. It's one of my favorite places to hang.

Q: And Shreveport itself?
A: When I left in 2001, Shreveport was a completely different place than how it is now. I really enjoy coming home and seeing my family and seeing what's new.

Q: On a non-musical note, do you have any pets?
A: I have a cat named Clyde.

Q: Does he inspire you musically?
A: I sing him songs sometimes. So far, he hasn't been an inspiration for one, but I'll never say never. - The Shreveport Times

""...well-produced, solid first album.""

Singer/songwriter Kelcy Mae makes an unforgettable entrance with her debut album, The Times Compiled. Her pure yet eclectic voice hugs genuine, personal lyrics, creating a sweet and honest tribute to her beloved hometown of New Orleans. Having been spared any personal loss in the storm, Kelcy Mae offers a unique perspective on life Post-K as someone who is just as heartbroken and confused as those that did experience loss. Astutely crafted lyrics complement the album's indie folk-rock style. The song "In the Underlining" expresses poignant melancholy, as evidenced by a sample lyric: "It's always in the underlining; it's never in the silver lining." "Lullaby-bye" is certainly the most memorable song on the album, reminiscent of a young Sandy Posey. "Bait" has an Irish folk slant, while "This Town" incorporates a jazzy trumpet, which rounds out this well-produced, solid first album. Great things are right around the corner for this budding local artist. –Katie Tape - Where Y'at Magazine

""...smooth poeticism and beguiling charm.""

An intelligent combination of insightful lyrical angst and catchy melodies, singer/songwriter Kelcy Mae captivates audiences while leaving them enchanted by her smooth poeticism and beguiling charm. With a distinct talent for writing lyrics, Kelcy Mae stands apart from the redundancy that plagues the soft alternative rock community. Her songs provide comfort and emotional reassurance in an honest yet unthreatening way. Lines like, “It’s the nuclear family that never was okay…it’s a pill a day to keep all emotion at bay,” and “I can’t imagine what it’s like to bleed anymore, it’s the love and it’s the hate, the trust, the lack of faith that keeps you guessing,” exemplify Kelcy’s lyrical eloquence and ability to clearly and creatively express herself.

Backed by Eric Klerks on bass, Ryan Olivier on piano, Ingo Deul on drums, and Beth Halel on cello, the group fills the room with a uniquely rich and relaxing sound. Traces of the Counting Crows, Tori Amos, and Jewel (before she sold out) can be heard in her music.

Raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Kelcy Mae, whose real name is Kelcy Wilburn, began playing piano at the age of six, trumpet at age ten, and guitar and bass guitar at age fourteen. She entered Loyola University New Orleans in 2001 as a Music Business major, but decided to change her concentration to English. By combining her talent for writing with her love for music, Kelcy is able to offer audiences something new and uplifting.
- Speed Magazine

""...strong example of local female talent.""

“It’s the nuclear family that never was okay, it’s the sick dissection of each goddamn religion.” Ladies, Kelcy Mae is just what we need. This young singer/songwriter has just recorded her first full album, Strange Confidence, which is filled with powerful lyrics that we can all identify with.

She started out as a solo guitar act and filled out her sound by adding drums, bass, cello, and piano. This combination of instruments is perfect for Kelcy’s variation of material. Each song has a unique sound. The piano brings out melodies while the cello adds a soothing aspect. The drums contribute to the distinct rhythm of each song. For example, Carnivale has a touch of a Latin beat.

I like to think of Kelcy as a Trojan horse. Her music’s catchy and soft exterior masks her sometimes harsh lyrics. Her voice is angelic, but her message is poignant. For example, “Revolution Song” is an upbeat, tap-your-feet and smile kind of song. The lyrics begin, “Don’t you love those Sunday afternoons when we sit out at the Fly.” But it continues, “we talk about the politics and the men who love to lie.” Since her music is so melodic, it has the potential to appeal to every demographic. It is very easy on the ears. But unlike most pop music, her lyrics are intelligent. Her songs run the gamut from friendships and breakups to saving the world.
- Sisterhood Magazine

""...perfect pastoral pop music.""

“Kelcy makes perfect pastoral pop music. Her music is resonant in the way Sandy Denny and early 10,000 Maniacs were, and Erin McKeown and Josh Ritter are today.” - George Howard, former presidet Rykodisc Records

"Top Pick!"

Kelcy Mae was featured as a Top Pick in the Times Picayune in New Orleans on January 13, 2006, May 11, 2007, November 2nd, 2007, and April 11, 2008. - The Times Picayune

""Mae woos the Revel audience...""

As a child growing up in Shreveport, the Red River Revel was big in Kelcy Mae’s eyes. Crowds of people, an array of activities, endless food booths and the steady stream of music blaring from multiple stages captivated her. The Revel was more than making a sand sculpture, eating a funnel cake and going home -- it was experiencing community.

Years later and all grown up, Mae will return to the Revel, but this time her eyes will take in the festival from a different perspective -- the stage. Set to perform Saturday on the Chase Stage, Mae is excited about the experience.

“I went to the Revel every year as a kid. Playing there is kind of an awesome feeling,” said Mae, a 2001 Byrd High graduate.

“It’s somewhat intimidating, but I’m really excited about it. I love playing music. I feel comfortable on stage, and I like people seeing what I do.”

The New Orleans-based musician evacuated to her hometown following Hurricane Katrina and found the music scene in Shreveport more inviting than she imagined.
“Shreveport is more welcoming to my style of music than New Orleans. I think the music scene (in Shreveport) is on the rise because of all the things they are doing for artists.” During her temporary stay in Shreveport, Mae performed hurricane benefit concerts at 516 Soundstage and Sully’s. Mae has since returned to New Orleans, but finds the music scene much different than when she left.

“It feels great to be in a city that I love so much, but it’s also somewhat painful to see the distress some people are still going through. But so many good things are happening as well.”

As Mae woos the Revel audience with her melodic folk/rock and graceful voice, she hopes to snag the attention of some new unsuspecting fans.

“The biggest benefit of the show is the amount of people that are going to be there, that are randomly going to hear my music, who haven’t heard it before,” Mae said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m playing at a bar or a festival. Just playing for people is good enough for me.”
- Shreveport Times

"" impressive debut, well-crafted and professional.""

by Rob Fontenot, Jr.

One look at this native's MySpace page will confirm what you can hear in her voice on this, her debut CD: she appreciates the obliquely cutting poesy of Tori Amos, the deathly conversational phrasing Joni Mitchell is famous for, and the obsessively confessional tone of Fiona Apple (not to mention her love for moody, pillowy jazz piano chords). But vocally, she's a dead ringer for Natalie Merchant, who isn't listed. So you certainly can't accuse Kelcy Mae of bad taste on these 10 thoughtful originals, and you can't accuse her of dilettantism. She sounds like she came by all these influences naturally. It's only experience she lacks; she hasn't found a way to forge these influences into a signature style yet. Too often on The Times Compiled you can hear her gallery of Lilith Fair headliners poking their individual heads out for just a brief moment, a phrase or two, to announce themselves.

Make no mistake: this is an impressive debut, well-crafted and professional. And Mae's lyrical noodlings, unlike a lot of works in this genre, occasionally strike gold, or at least move her past the poses. ("You leave your notebook locked away / Like a Daniel in your den / But can your words tame lions?") But tellingly, it's when she drops the mask and steps out to make a universal emotional statement that the elements all come together, such as "Dear Baton Rouge (The River Jordan)," in which she asks the Mississippi for some mythic healing, or the near-jaunty "Swingin' Low Without a Chariot": "You don't believe in everything you hear / So why should I be any different?"
- Offbeat Magazine

""A Shreveport favorite!""

Kelcy Mae, the New Orleans-based alternative/indie folk artist is a Shreveport favorite having lived here and performed regularly for several months in the wake of Katrina. [She is] a singer/songwriter of unique sensitivity with originals such as “Swinging Low Without a Chariot,” “A Select Few,” and “Strange Confidence.” - The Forum

"Radio Performances"

11/20/04 - WWOZ 90.7FM - Saturday Night Jam Session
03/12/05 - WWOZ 90.7FM - Fund Drive Performance
04/19/06 - WTUL 91.5FM - Interview/Performance
10/30/07 - WWOZ 90.7FM - Interview/Performance
11/03/07 - WTUL 91.5FM - Interview/Performance
04/08/08 - WWOZ 91.5FM - Interview/Performance
05/10/08 - WWWL 1350AM - Interview/Performance
- Various Stations


Still working on that hot first release.



(For the most up-to-date and accurate information, including music, press, show schedule, videos and more, please visit

Reminiscent of musical greats such as Lucinda Williams, Natalie Merchant, Kasey Chambers, Indigo Girls, and Neko Case, Kelcy Mae's songwriting and performances are just as one-of-a-kind as the city she resides in. A recent finalist in Pepsi's first Southern Original competition, Kelcy Mae was selected from an initial pool of over 2,000 national bands and competed in the Top Seven.

Combining traditional southern bluegrass and country instrumentation with an independent rock sound, Kelcy Mae hits a pitch perfect balance of alt-rock/alt-country that follows in the tradition of the aforementioned artists. Her band instrumentation typically includes electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, bass & drums.

Half-Light (March 2014) is Kelcy Mae's third full-length album and poised to become a breakout for the New Orleans-based singer/songwriter. With a matured sound, terrific songwriting and some of the finest musical accompaniment New Orleans has to offer, Kelcy Mae has taken her already-considerable talents to another level. This project garnered remarkable national support, and a successful Kickstarter effort raised over $10,000 to help see the "double-EP" to fruition. In return, Kelcy Mae has taken her longstanding love affair with folk and Americana music and infused it with touches of pop, rock, blues, soul and rockabilly.

In 2011, Kelcy Mae released her 2nd album, Pennies in Hand, and followed the release with US tours in the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest. Pennies in Hand was named one of the Top 10 New Orleans Albums of the Year by the New Orleans Times Picayune, and Kelcy was nominated for Best Singer/Songwriter by Offbeat Magazine. Pennies in Hand is available through all major online retailers and is available for streaming via Spotify and Pandora radio.

Kelcy doesn't shy away from tackling difficult subject matter or from challenging herself (and thus her listeners) to go deeper lyrically and poetically than many artists do. One of her great strengths as an artist lies in her subtlety -- beautifully-nuanced lyrics and arrangements which reflect that very notion of human emotions. She leaves simplistic odes to love or lust or heartbreak to other artists and instead dwells in the fascinating space of sudden realizations and complicated reactions.

Kelcy Mae was born on St. Patrick's Day in Shreveport, LA. She currently lives and performs in New Orleans where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. She is also a published essayist and poet. She is currently touring in support of Half-Light.


2014 SUMMERFEST (Milwaukee, WI)
2014 Creole Tomato Festival (New Orleans, LA)
2013 Gulf Coast Jam: Country on the Coast (Panama City Beach, FL)
2013 Mudbug Madness (Shreveport, LA)
2013 New Orleans Earth Day Festival
2013 Natchitoches Jazz & R&B Festival
2012 Unofficial SXSW - Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Showcase & others
2012 French Quarter Festival
2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
2012 Bayou Boogaloo (New Orleans, LA)

2014 MUSIC VIDEO coming soon!

Band Members