Kellie Rucker
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Kellie Rucker

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Last week I found the new Kellie Rucker CD on my door mat, titled “Church Of Texas”. Since I was, mildy said, taken by her first CD, expectations of her new album were high. My curiosity was soon to be satisfied, this album proves again what kind of a skilled and high class lady this Kellie Rucker is. The opening track, “I Ain’t Scared Of Nothing But Love” is a nice piece of Texas-blues. A song which will make you discover the skills Kellie has on harmonica. But it’s not only the bluesharp that Kellie has to offer, she a great voice too! A voice that reminds you of Bonnie Raitt and Ilse DeLange. Just listen to “Elysium” or “Take Me As I Am”.
With this second CD, “Church Of Texas” she proves she can do a lot more than just play and sing the blues. On this CD you’ll also find easygoing singer/songwriter songs, like “Mississippi Rain” and the title track “Church Of Texas”, dedicated to her mother. On “Shrimp Cocktail” once again, she shows what Miss Killerharmonica can do on the Mississippi Saxophone. Wild and rockin’ hard she’ll lead you to the “Wild Wild West”. Variation pur song, without loosing the obvious link with the blues.
As said, Kellie does all the vocals and harmonica on “Church Of Texas”, all the guitars were done by Jon Butcher. Ben Schultz lend a hand on the lapsteel, Dobro and squareneck, Kevin McCourt manned the piano and John Gillotin swamped it up with his Hammond B3. One thing is for sure: this lady won’t go by unnoticed in Europe and hopefully she’ll spread her wings over the Low Lands of Belgium and the Netherlands very soon. She stands a mere 5 feet, but she’ll manage to stay put amongst all the big names in the blues scene.
For 2008, Kellie will be touring Belgium and the Netherlands. Don’t hesitate and go and see Kellie in a venue near you. - Rootstime Magazine: Belgium


Singer, harmonica player and song writer, Kellie Rucker is a true entertainer and a deep lover of her profession. Naturally wild and indomitable. Kelly gives the best of herself in every song included on “Church Of Texas”, perfectly backed by a good bunch of musicians. You will find a variety of different blues approaches along the eleven cd songs, all them spiced with some rock, country and ‘hard blues’ drops with harmonica and guitar overdrived solos. I dare say Kelly Rucker will gradually and step by step consolidate herself as one of the most interesting up-and-coming values of the blues scene. VERY GOOD. - SPAIN: LA Hora Del Blues


24 bluesnews Magazin
Kellie Rucker
Kellie Rucker reist viel – der Musik wegen. Die US-amerikanische Sängerin und Harpspielerin
pendelt beständig zwischen ihrem Heimatland und Europa, immer auf der Suche nach neuen,
interessanten Projekten. Aktuelles Beispiel ist die Zusammenarbeit mit J.J. Holiday, Michael
Barsimanto und Keith Karman – drei Viertel der Imperial Crowns. Als „Soul Return“ haben die vier
im Juni in Los Angeles das rockin zierte Album „In The Meantime“ aufgenommen.
Von Ralf Bauer (Text) und Manfred Pollert (Fotos)
Manchmal überschlagen sich die Ereignisse und Interviewinhalte
werden obsolet. So geschehen bei Kellie Rucker. Beim Gespräch
im Mai in der Osnabrücker Lagerhalle sagte die sympathische USAmerikanerin
kein Wort über ihr neustes Projekt „Soul Return“. Umso
größer war die Überraschung, als am 6. Juli eine E-Mail im Postfach
mit dem Betreff „New CD recorded in L.A. with Imperial Crowns
Band: ‚Soul Return‘“ landete. Eine Zusammenarbeit ausgerechnet mit
der Band, deren erstes Album „Hymn Book“ 2005 wie eine Bombe
einschlug und von der Fachpresse bejubelt wurde. So war in bluesnews
zu lesen: „Eine der fantastischsten rockigen Bluesscheiben der letzten
Jahre.“ Und der Rolling Stone beschrieb den musikalischen Korpus
so: „Böser Swamp-Funk, hitziger Rhythm & Blues, soulige Shuf es
und Boogie-Geschepper.“ Grund genug also, die Interviewaussagen
in den Papierkorb zu schmeißen und Kellie Rucker zu ihrem neusten
Baby zu befragen.
Am Anfang stellt sie gleich klar: „Trotz des Projektes existieren
die Imperial Crowns nach wie vor – nur hat die Band gerade eine
Pause eingelegt.“ Und in der Zwischenzeit – so lautet auch der
augenzwinkernde Albumtitel („In The Meantime“) – wollen die vier
„Soul Return“ kräftig puschen. Denn alle reize die Zusammenarbeit
ungemein. „Soul Return ist das erste Bandprojekt, das ich als sehr,
sehr aufregend emp nde“, so Kellie Rucker voller Enthusiasmus.
Sie seien eine Einheit. „Das ist die Band, auf die ich gewartet habe.“
Zwischen den einzelnen Musikern gebe es eine besondere Magie,
nach der sie immer gesucht habe. Und wie so oft war es eher ein Zufall,
der sie zusammenbrachte: „Ich kenne Mike Barsimanto schon eine
ganze Weile, aber wir hatten uns in den letzten Jahren aus den Augen
verloren. Über einen gemeinsamen Freund frischten wir per MySpace
unseren alten Kontakt wieder auf. Und dann ist einer der beiden auf
die Idee gekommen, dass ich mit der Band etwas zusammen machen
sollte.“ Nach einer Telefonkonferenz mit allen Beteiligten via Skype war
klar: Es wird ein gemeinsames Projekt geben. „Obwohl ich nur Mike
kannte, hatte ich sofort das Gefühl, dass sich sehr, sehr alte Freunde
wiedergefunden hatten.“
So  og Kellie Rucker im Juni zurück nach L.A., um mit ihnen ein
Demo für die Auftrittsakquise aufzunehmen. Zuerst wollten sie
nur altes Material der Imperial Crowns und von Kellie Rucker neu
vertonen, aber dies wurde schnell zugunsten neuer eigener Songs
fallengelassen. Diese entstanden zunächst via Internet. J.J. Holiday,
Michael Barsimanto und Keith Karman schickten ihre Ideen als MP3-
Files an Kellie Rucker, die die Texte schreiben sollte. „Ich hatte zwar
einige gute Einfälle, aber ich kam nicht voran. Ich hatte ein wenig
Panik“, gesteht sie ein. Erst als sie J.J. Holiday in L.A. traf, sei es ein
einziger Fluss gewesen. Im Studio brachten dann Michael Barsimanto
und Keith Karman ihre Ideen ein, Arrangements wurden verworfen,
neu geschrieben und und und ... Doch dies ging alles sehr  ott: In
nur zehn Tagen entstand ein 38-minütiges Werk, auf dem sich die
„Das ist die Band, auf die ich gewartet habe“
vier leichtfüßig und mit einem leicht ungehobelten Gestus auf dem
weiten Feld des rockin zierten Blues bewegen. Sie variieren geschickt
das Tempo und die Lautstärke. Hier sind die Töne leise und langsam
und da sind sie laut und schnell. Der Grundton ist dabei immer der
Blues. Mal schimmert er nur blass durch. Mal vibriert er stark an der
Ober äche. Sicher, es gibt mit „FYI“ und „These Walls“ auch zwei
schwächere Kompositionen auf dem Album, aber insgesamt ist „In The
Meantime“ ein kraftvolles und spannendes Werk. Vor allem passen
Kellie Ruckers rauer Gesang und kraftvoller Harpton wunderbar zu
J.J. Holidays nuanciertem und coolem Gitarrenspiel. Besonders stark
kommt dies bei „You’re Leavin’ Me“, „In The Meantime“ und „Talk To
Me“ zum Ausdruck.
Im Moment ist die CD nur über das Internet, z. B. über die MySpace-
Seite www.myspace.com/soulreturn, und bei den Konzerten erhältlich.
Einen weltweiten Vertrieb über eine Platten rma gibt es derzeit nicht.
Schade eigentlich. Kellie Rucker sieht dies anders: „Wir gehen mit
diesem Album die Sache etwas anders an. Denn Plattenverträge sind
bn55.indd 24 09.09.2008 12:28:49
bluesnews Magazin 25
KELLIE RUCKER
nicht immer die ultimative Lösung. Sie sind
großartig, weil sie eine gute Außenwirkung
haben. Doch die Firmen halten nicht immer
ihre Versprechen. Man - German



KELLIE RUCKER
CHURCH OF TEXAS
Website: myspace
Label : Eigen Beheer
Info:killerharmonica@yahoo.com
vids.myspace.com
myspace.com/richiearndt
Exil Galerie

Now, it’s apparently the latest in certain musician’s circles to make yourself feel important just walking beside the artist’s shoes. This simple boy is only “just ok” about the album "Church of Texas" from our friend Kellie Rucker makes it’s European- and possibly world premiere at Rootstime. The debut album "Ain't Hit Bottom" got the same fate - immediately, the green light was on for yours truly to put this little morsel of natural talent (1m.52) in the spotlight (see: June '06). In the meantime, the American blues/roots/rock, female harmonica player/singer Kellie Rucker has become a well liked guest in Ger-many (see Richie Arndt feat. Kellie Rucker (04/2007) - Photos by Hans Abry // MySpaceTV: Richie Arndt & The Bluenatics - Live in Osnabrück 2005 ). For those who’ll be in Italy at end of July on holiday, you can pick up some of of this lady in concert. For the moment, we just need to be happy with "Church of Texas" - the excellent level that Kellie reaches under the guidance of legendary blues guitarist/producer/Grammy Nominee, Jon Butcher (myspace). We don’t see many candidates here in ‘small-frog country’ who are capable of expertly accompanying this musical phenomenon. The opener "I Ain't Scared of Nothin' But Love", the beautiful songs, "Never Going home" (John Gillotin/Hammond B3/piano), "Take Me As I Am", Elysium" (Ben Schultz/lap steel/squareneck/dobro) and title track, "Church of Texas" put Rucker in competition with Susan Tedeshi & Bonnie Raitt - definitely a far-fetched position for the small Belgium bluesband that, through MySpace Music attempted to get in favour with "Miss Killerharmonica".

"Mississippi Rain" also has its place, and once again confirms that Jon Butcher was not exaggerating when he rightfully remarked: "And I play with this woman Kellie Rucker who plays blues harmonica to blow your mind. She always causes a stir 'cause she looks good but nobody expects her...".
If you’re still not convinced, listen to the jazzy "Love and War" (Kevin Mc Court - piano) where it appears that our own Jean "Toots" Thielemans is peeping around the corner - or the mini harp-fest "Shrimp Cocktail" (correctly timed at just a minute) - the prelude for a bluesrock adventure in "The Wild Wild West".
Not meaning to take the wind out of anyone’s (Belgium) sails ("Took the Wind Out Of My Sails"), but Kellie Rucker states again with this album that she, after more than twenty years of watching from the side, is in 2008 fully qualified to be in in the running to take her place under the spotlights of the Moulin Blues/Belgium Rhythm & Blues Festival, etc.
"The Heart's Got a Mind of its Own" ... are we hoping our wishes become reality? Kellie Rucker is a fantastic blues/roots-madame who is literally as figuratively present in the eleven songs on "Church of Texas”.

- Belgium


FOR COMPLETE REVIEW AND VIDEO: http://www.billysbunker.com/view.php?nID=161&sort=genre&cat=All


Kellie Rucker & Soul Return
"In The Meantime"
A Soul Returns in Blues
"Soul Return came about as if by magic. There is a lot to be said about reunions of long-lost souls, coming together again as though time stood still and old friends just pick up where they left off . . . such was the creation of these recordings. Pre-connected with Michael Barsimanto and everything just fell into place. I jumped on a plane to L.A., we jumped into the studio . . . the songs wrote themselves. A serious, warp-speed, good time was had making this CD. Suddenly, I was back on a plane wondering what happened."
~ Kellie Rucker

Kellie Rucker is a hot Texas rocker with fire and brimstone in her voice and a heart full of blues. I tried to cobble together a description of Kellie's voice out of Janice Joplin, Macy Gray, Big Momma Thornton and Alberta Hunter. Kellie's voice can infuse the grit and immediacy of the blues into a folk song, and I haven't heard that since "Been Too Long At The Fair" sung by Joe Cocker back in the early 1970's. Something about this album has me thinking of old VU meters in the red and a band booking an hour and a half to record a 50-minute album. The one thing you can't fix in post-production is the feeling.

Soul Return is a reunion of Kellie with Michael Barsimanto, Keith Karman and J.J. Holiday in a "warp-speed" recording session that left no time for fiddling knobs, studio magic, or other nonsense. What they had was a boatload of talent and just about the same amount of recording time Sun, King or Okey might have given a road tested blues band back in the day. As a result, "In The Meantime" has the focus and presence of a road-tested live band. Kellie plays a lean mean harp inspired by James Cotton with gut wrench passion like a monkey bar chucked at The Machine. These are blues songs before they get Disneyfied for the marketplace. I've heard this sort of thing before, but usually on vinyl from some prized collection rare and raw. J.J. and Kellie have hit the nerve where real things hurt with physical sex, and what must be done to survive is right enough. This is roots music written against all odds, agin' the machine, and akin to the roadhouse shunned by a preacher in a sermon, from where that holy man in black likely lost his wife or maybe found her. It's from where Good Night Irene is sung intact, "I'll GET you in my dreams." It's no place for the parson or the popo. That this five foot worth of Texas can summon up the devil in a song from this forbidden source makes this a new chapter for Marty Scorsese's holy series on The Blues. This is an essential oil sold undiluted for adults late at night when it's safe to sing what isn't right but it's real. Hell, I repent fast each time "In The Meantime" cycles through before the repeat.

The songs may have "wrote themselves," but it took me a half day of searching the Internet to realize the only standard on this disc is Muddy Waters' Rollin' and Tumblin'. Kellie Rucker and J.J. Holiday's nine originals on this album are worthy of the secret standards Fake Book kept hidden behind the counter and sold off the record. "In The Meantime" has the sound of a great, lost roadhouse band with classic songs found in some field recordings vault in The Delta, Louisiana or out back of some juke joint in Texas. Homer Simpson said it best: "Play the blues if it makes you happy!" Word! Kellie Rucker might be a national treasure when she's dead — a collector's trophy when CDs are obsolete and the new protected compression don't come cheap. Consider this album an investment. You can leave it to the grandkids. She's too good to be properly appreciated in the States where music can make a killing but you can't make a living. This band and that singer have done something right while the usual A&R shits were snorting coke from their C-notes in some other studio producing the next Free Smooth Stairway to Heaven Bird album with some soulless half naked teenager trying to sing the lead. "In The Meantime" is a swamp baptism naked on a Saturday Night, spells and medicine from the lock box in the back room, wisdom from Mean Street. It's all about survival, sex and love against the machine. "If we are strong we will survive 'til the moon blocks out the sun. Feel it in my soul, shining from above, only love can save us now." Get yours before they figure it out and take it away. It may not save you, but it just might set you free. Armageddon may come with it's horses and blood, earthquakes, floods, famine and war. "In The Meantime" is the music you feel while waiting. The end is always near. What are you doing after the show?

THE SONGS

1. YOU'RE LEAVIN' ME

"Two ships passing in the night" begins this love song "one on the left and one on the right." It's a slide guitar rocker with Kellie's blues harp filling in the emotional details. Kellie wants to abandon her sinki - Billys Bunker


Discography

"Ain't Hit Bottom", "Church of Texas",
SOUL RETURN, "In the Meantime", "Trainsongs" Recorded in Germany

Photos

Bio

She stands a mere five feet tall, but don't let her tiny stature fool you, Kellie Rucker is a very BIG talent. Over the course of a professional career that has spanned more than 25 years, she has appeared on the bill or onstage with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Stephen Stills, Albert Collins, James Cotton, ZZ Top, Dan Hicks, Warren Zevon, Little Feat and B.B. King. Kellie has become a recording artist in her own right, with two CD releases, "Ain't Hit Bottom" and "Church of Texas", that have proven to be strong representations of her talent as a writer, singer and harmonica player. Her command of the blues harp and her powerful singing voice have made her a key ingredient in recordings and live shows of legendary Los Angeles blues guitarist, B.B. Chung King and Grammy nominee, Jon Butcher. Her work can also be found on discs by L.A. Guns, most recently on her SOUL RETURN project, TV Commercials and film. Born in Oklahoma City, Rucker and her family moved often, making stops in Texas, Virginia and the Florida Keys before settling in Mystic, CT. She took up guitar and harmonica at the age of twelve, and as a teenager had the habit of sneaking into blues clubs to see influential performances by Johnny Winter, James Cotton, James Montgomery, and Roomful of Blues. At age seventeen, she headed west and set up shop in Denver, where she formed her first blues band, Blues for Breakfast. She loved the Rocky Mountains, but longed for the warmth of the Southeast and returned to the Florida Keys. There she happened to join forces with the Bill Blue Band, with whom she eventually toured in Scandinavia. In 1985, Rucker came to Southern California and settled briefly in the San Diego scene before migrating north to Los Angeles, where she played with various blues bands and studio sessions. As her harmonica playing evolved, Rucker began to feel limited by her role in a traditional blues bands and she sought to expand her musical horizons. She caught the attention of noted electric blues guitarist, B.B. Chung King, and after sitting in a few times was invited to join his band, The Screaming Buddaheads. She recorded and toured with BBCK for over five years, becoming a sought after 'gun-for-hire' harmonica player and singer. These days, Kellie continues to perform in concerts all over Europe performing her own material from two CDs to date - in 2008, she appears in Italy, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Sweden, winning over even more music fans. She has just completed a new recording project in Los Angeles in between European tour dates. Miss Rucker is one busy lady! Kellie is seeking distribution, representation and is available for sessions when available. For booking email kellierucker@hotmail.com.