Kelley Mooney
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Kelley Mooney

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF
Band Country Singer/Songwriter


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



"A rock star is among us…"

ACOA-PEI’s Kelley Mooney takes her tunes on the road
She may be in the corporate world from 9 to 5, but when the whistle blows at the end of the work day, Kelley Mooney belongs to the stage!
Kelley launched her album, “Tomorrow”, back in June 2011 – and has since been taking her tunes on the road.
“I’m happy to say that since the CD launch, my solo career has gotten a bit busier”, says Kelley. “And not just in PEI … I played at the Company House in Halifax in November, and I’ll be at the Moncton Press Club on January 6, opening for Catherine MacLellan.”
The contemporary country album is a heartfelt collection of mostly original material – including her lyrically (and legally) adapted version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. And the song has attracted some attention, with over 381,000 hits on YouTube.
“I modified the lyrics and sent the adaption to the Canadian Musical Rights and Reproduction Agency – the CMRRA – in Toronto,” explains Kelley. “Then, my lyrics went from Toronto, to Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles for approvals. Finally, they arrived at Mr. Cohen’s publisher.”
After hearing reports that Mr. Cohen had called for a moratorium on people singing his song, “Hallelujah”, Kelley was nervous that her lyrics would be declined.
“I was surprised, to say the least, when I received an email from the CMRRA saying my lyrics had been approved,” she says.
Kelley received an even bigger surprise when she received a letter from Mr. Cohen’s agent from Beverly Hills, California – Matthew Nocita.

“Kelley, I would like to say, frankly, well done,” writes Mr. Nocita.

He informed her that he listened to “Hallelujah” and the rest of the album: “You have been true to your nature. This takes courage.”

The kicker? He assured Kelley that her letter, and her album, would be given directly to
Mr. Cohen himself.

That letter, addressed to Kelley and copied to Leonard Cohen, now sits framed on her piano.

The good news for Kelley doesn’t end there.

Kelley was recently nominated for three MusicPEI awards – including Country Recording of the Year, Female Solo Artist and New Artist. Her album’s producer, Jon Matthews of Big Grey Sound Studio, also garnered a nomination for Musician of the Year.

In addition to their Music PEI nominations, both Kelley and her producer, Jon, are being considered for multiple ECMA nominations for her album, “Tomorrow”.

Despite her increasing success, Kelley doesn’t forget where her humble musical roots began.

“My dad was my first fan and continues to be one of my biggest,” she says. “He was the one who nudged me into the entertainment spot light.”
Filling her piggy bank with quarters, Kelley’s dad would give her 25¢ a song to sing for company in the family kitchen. At the time, her set list included anything from Irish tunes, gospel to country music. At the young age of 14, Kelley began writing her own material.
Fast forward to 2012– when Kelley’s not on stage serenading the audience with her solo tunes, she’s rocking out as lead singer with a popular Charlottetown cover band, WaterTown.
To listen to her music, see where she’s playing next or to buy her CD, check out Kelley’s website at You can also check out her CD at, or
Published January 5, 2012
- ACOA / Rendez-Vous

"A Musical Journey"

Sally Cole, June 10, 2011

When Kelley Mooney was asked to sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah during Easter Sunday mass in 2006, she went searching for music.

“I compare it to singing Silent Night. You think you know the words, but really you don’t,” laughs the P.E.I. singer-songwriter.

However, after finding the score she was in a bit of a quandary.

“The lyrics weren’t quite suitable for church,” says Mooney, who turned to a liturgy booklet that contained Holy Week Scriptures about Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection for inspiration.

Poring over the words, she started transposing the texts into lyrics.

“After completing the first couple of verses, I called Mom and Dad and ran it past them. They thought it was very accurate. So I wrote two more verses and called them again. Then I wrote the last verse,” says Mooney, who is launching her CD that includes her own adaptation of Hallelujah at the Olde Dublin Pub in Charlottetown on June 12 at 7 p.m.

After taking an evening to complete the song and another week to rehearse it, she sang the song, as promised, at St. Michael’s Church in Iona.

The parishioners loved it so much that word about her lyrical adaptation got out. Soon she was receiving requests to sing Hallelujah at funerals and church services.

When she sang it before 2,000 people at the Charlottetown Civic Centre during the Belfast Revival in 2007, organized by St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Belfast, the audience gave her standing ovation.

“But I didn’t know about it until the next day because I had bolted off the stage,” she says, with a laugh.

Everywhere she went the demand for the song grew.

“Everyone wanted to buy my CD, but I didn’t have one to give them,” she says.

In 2010 she received a request from a voice instructor who was putting on a spring concert with her choir at the Memramcook Institute in New Brunswick. Again she agreed to sing.

But her cousin Brian Cormier had additional plans.

When he heard that Mooney would be performing Hallelujah with the choir, he asked her if he could record it for YouTube.

“I thought it had potential for going viral,” says the Moncton, N.B., man during an interview.

Instead of using the sound from his camera he got the audio from the technician who was working that night.

The superior recording captured Mooney’s voice as well as the sweet harmonies of the choir.

Cormier added the sound and posted the video on YouTube in June 2010.

“The last time I checked it had 354,096 hits. It’s both wonderful and overwhelming,” says Mooney whose decision to finally record a CD with her version of the song was made after securing the lyrical adaption rights from the Cohen through the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA)

“The whole procedure took a year less two days. It cost a mind-blowing $25,” she says.

With the copyright issue settled, she moved forward to finish recording her CD entitled Tomorrow with Jon Matthews of Big Grey Sound Studio.

Last week she sent a copy of the CD and a letter of appreciation to Cohen.

“I wanted to send him a cosmic thank you for writing Hallelujah and then allowing me, through granting the lyrical adaptation to present my re-written effort to the world.

“I hope he gets back to me someday.”

- The Guardian

"Mooney fills up the Olde Dublin"

June 19, 2011 Todd MacLean - The Guardian

Well, what a jam-packed crowd it was at the Olde Dublin Pub this past Sunday evening.

From 6 p.m. onward, folks were filling up the room — all pouring in to see a singer/songwriter who has been turning quite a few heads lately on the Island music scene.

Just after 7 p.m., flanked by an array of some of the best musicians on P.E.I., Kelley Mooney took the stage for the launch of her brand new CD as she turned and faced the pub in excitement.

“Can’t believe the crowd!” she said. “I better not screw things up!”

From this casually laid back and self-deprecating introduction, she spring-boarded into a two-set, two-hour show that was quite the opposite in demeanour. Professional, confident and simply stunning in its delivery, the performance surely left many absolutely blown away by the end of the night.

What strikes you most powerfully upon hearing Mooney is actually the power in itself. It’s a voice that has an energy, depth, range, control, clarity and character in its bright vibrato that is unquestionably one of the best around.

And this power hit home right away, with Mooney’s first tune of the night, Lead Me On — and onward into the next song, which is actually the title track for the CD, Tomorrow.

As Mooney strummed her acoustic and later switched to showcase her good skills on the piano as well, she was supported by just an unbelievable cast of musicians, including backup singers Meaghan Blanchard and Katie McGarry, Jon Matthews, who was the recording engineer for Tomorrow, on acoustic guitar and tambourine, a solid rhythm section of Carl Cormier and Jason Rogerson on bass and then the fierce skills of Brian Langille on electric guitar.

And that was just the core group.

There was also Gordie MacKeeman on fiddle, Thomas Webb on pedal steel and Mark Geddes on standup bass — the Island’s country slam-dunk trio.

And that was just in the first half.

Then there was the show-stopping way in which the second half began, featuring Mooney’s two nephews, Sam and Josh Langille, on bass and drums. The 10- and 12-year-olds played alongside their father, Brian (as their proud auntie looked on), and they were just as rock steady as two old pros up there. It was incredible!

It’s also pretty obvious where their careers are headed.

That was just the beginning of the second half.

Then came the spectacular 11-piece band that sprawled out off the stage and all over the entire corner of the Olde Dublin to finish off the show with a massive bang.

David Gordon on keyboard, with a fantastic four-piece horn section featuring Jessica Willis on baritone sax, Miranda Godkin on trumpet, Dan St. Amand on cornet and Glen Strickey on alto sax, made up the final cast of characters for Mooney’s total of 16 for the night.

And what a sound! It was a kind of original R&B, Tina Turner-esque, soul-groove that has hardly ever been done around here. So refreshing, catchy, and just ... hot damn, she’s gotta’ take this act on the road!

All I can say is this: If only there were a dance floor. It was filled with musicians!

But in all this musical force, the show could not have ended more powerfully than it did — with just Mooney herself onstage, singing her own re-written Christian version of Hallelujah (which now has over 350,000 views on YouTube).

It sent chills up spines, brought tears to eyes, serenaded souls and turned a downtown pub into a glowing sanctuary.

Check out to hear this and more or to buy your own copy of Tomorrow.
- The Guardian


"Tomorrow" released in June, 2011

YouTube video:



I've been music making for going on 30 years now, and I grew up listening to quite a mishmash of styles... Dan Fogelberg, Dolly Parton, Martina MacBride, ABBA, not to mention White Snake and Foreigner screaming out of my brother's rooms. Throw in gospel from church and celtic from the kitchen parties, and voila... you got me.

I always go back to country, though, and there you can hear influences of Martina McBride, some Eva Cassidy (whom I've had the lovely compliment of being compared to) and lately, a little bit of pop via Katy Perry!

I'm grateful, to say the least, to be having this time in my life at this moment; I wasn't ready before, and well, it wasn't so long ago that things weren't going so great, and if I hadn't changed the path I was on, well, let's just say, I probably wouldn't be around to discuss paths of any kind.

So I'm giving it the works and hoping for the best. I just want to sing. So I'm gonna!