Kelli Rudick
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Kelli Rudick

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"Top Concerts: The Power Female Edition"

Probably one of the most interesting and cutting edge artists as far as guitar work is concerned; Brooklyn-based Kelli Rudick exhibits a talent that is bound to emerge and soar to the masses before you can blink an eye. She explores space within sound utilizing guitars, loop station, array mbira, and a nail violin, sounding much more like a 6-man experimental group than one fierce little lady. If you miss her live finger picking skills, we're sure you'll be sorry. - Julie Dyer - 7x7 Magazine


"Kelli Rudick Comes to Amnesia in the Mission"

Each week, I get a ton of email about music, films, theater and gallery openings. So many in fact, I can't possibly read them all. Once in a while however, I'll get one that intrigues me and just I have to delve deeper. This week, it's the NYC Experimental/Neo Classical artist Kelli Rudick. I'm always amazed by women who are phenomenal instrumentalists and after watching her You Tube videos, Kelli proved she is the real deal. I must credit Adam Baer for sending me the following info on Kelli, who will be playing new material as well as works from her first album at upcoming live performances across the US this Spring and here in San Francisco, where she will headline a stellar line-up of thoughtfully virtuosic musicians at Amnesia in the Mission on June 11th.

Ahead of the curve of New York's burgeoning multi-genre intermix, Kelli's show will feature her virtuosic, complex and inimitable solo guitar work, as well as a one woman sonic immersion created with guitars, loop station, array mbira, and nail violin. The indie / neo-classical artist has played shows across the country, including New York's the Knitting Factory, Blue Note and Joe's Pub; LA's Hotel Cafe; Seattle's Triple Door; and San Francisco's Cafe Du Nord. She recently completed her second US tour as well as an appearance at the Mother Music Festival in Tel Aviv. Kelli returns to California for engagements in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

In her ex-industrial Brooklyn loft strewn with guitars and all manner of odd instruments, Kelli creates beautifully crafted and intensely driven compositions. Born in the states but raised in Israel, she spent endless hours playing in the echoing sound of the bomb shelter just outside the family's house on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. After fulfilling her mandatory military service, Kelli moved back to the US and worked to create alternate playing styles through inventive fingerwork and variant tunings, creating a unique and inimitable musical style. In Brooklyn Kelli continued to develop her unusually powerful and expressive techniques. Using every timbre the instrument has to offer by slapping, tapping, bending, restringing and de-tuning, she causes the instrument to morph and transcend possibility in her hands.

In 2007 Kelli released "No One Knows You're Foreign", a distinctive work introducing her unique way of accentuating emotionally complex compositions by drawing percussive rhythms from the fretboard and body of the guitar while coaxing chordal melodies and harmonics from the strings. The cumulative effect of this soundscape reveals transcendently beautiful dimensions in an anomolous approach to guitarwork. Live shows in support of this record include intricately crafted arrangements for solo guitar as well as looping beats, bass lines and string driven sound progressions, creating captivating atmospheres though multi-layered melodic structures.

Kelli has collaborated with notable artists including Nick Zammuto of the aleatoric electro-folk duo The Books, Alon Leventon of the project Drops of Conciousness and the electro-indie group Zigmat, and recorded and toured with internationally acclaimed guitarist Kaki King. She's scored music for Queer Eye For The Straight Girl, Showtime's hit series "The L Word", and the independent films "A Night in the Sunlight" and "Absolutely I Do". Kelli has toured throughout the United States and Europe, and has played extensively in her adopted hometown including shows on the main stage of The Knitting Factory, Galapagos, the Cutting Room, a month-long residency at the Living Room, and fronting her seven piece band at the Blue Note in New York City.

Supporting Kelli at this show is Sean Smith & the Present Moment. Guitarist, composer and improviser Sean Smith has produced several masterful solo-guitar albums since 2005 with his powerfully emotive instrumental songs. He is heavily rooted in the school of Takoma and John Fahey, but never limited to it. Like Kelli Rudick, Sean Smith's music always pushes the boundaries of instrumental songcraft and technique, speaking profoundly in wordlessness. Sean shows two very different sides of his oeuvre at this show, with one set on solo guitar and another together with his new trio, The Present Moment.

Diego Gonzalez, another stunningly exceptional instrumental artist, joins the bill to perform a solo set on Bass and Oud. He is best known for his work with the noted experimental indie band Citay, as well as the indie / neo classical act The Dry Spells. Gonzalez is an astoundingly talented multi-instrumentalist, who will perform a set of solo material for this evenings show.

Kelli continues writing and recording for her upcoming 2nd release, which adds new dimensions to her work and is a definitive evolution from her earlier record. Accelerating the delicately complex terrain of her first recording, the new songs add precise string arrangements, driving basslines, steely layers of variant guitars, array mbira, nail violin, and powerful drums to her distinctive chordal compositions. Don't miss this one.

E. "Doc" Smith is a musician and recording engineer who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart, Jimmy Cliff, and John Mayall among others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick. He can be reached via myspace.com/edoctorsmith - Doc Smith - BeyondChron SF


"Kelli Rudick Learned to Play in a Bomb Shelter"

As a native of Israel and now a citizen of this country, Kelli Rudick has infused her roots and experiences into a groundbreaking style as a guitar soloist. With broad influences ranging from Steve Reich to Mozart, she's a completely self-taught musician excelling in composition, guitar, array mbira, nail violin (yes, it's made with real nails) and a whole host of eclectic instruments. Looping her sounds into a potent experience of texture, her first release, No One Knows You're Foreign, has gained a diverse audience. With her second release expected sometime this coming winter, Rudick's success should expand and rise in her well-oiled niche. We recently spoke with Rudick about the inspiration, and perspiration, that informs her music.

Westword: What is this I heard about you learning your music in a bomb shelter?

Kelli Rudick: Well, everyone pretty much had one there, part of the house. We cleaned it out and, reluctantly, my father bought me a drum set, and I would practice and stay there and learn music.

Is there something you took with you that speaks through your music now? Something you remember that was part of the culture?

Intimacy. There's this connection to the whole in Israel because of the whole political mass and external pressures. It kept the nation clingy. But there's an intimacy in the culture, a closeness between the people there. There's a depth with Israelis that's been really difficult for me to let go of, and it's not that I don't like America, I love what it's done to me. I was really judgmental when I first moved here, and now I'm able to recognize how it's been great because of this closeness. Israelis don't fear going into depth, to talk about what life means or what you're afraid of. I'm not afraid to dive and explore in my music, either.

What was the biggest challenge of growing up there?

Learning not to hate. Learning how to accept that there's a conflict without involving your own hate or fear. But I grew up in fear. I have to recognize that we're all human and we all have disagreements, and this entity is not out to kill me. It has its own issues and complexities.

Do you think a lot of that fear comes out in your music?

Probably. Everything that's in my music is everything that I am. Everything I grew up with, everything I was born with, my family, my culture everything that's around me is my music. So it has the fear, love, intensity, hate, everything. I'm hyper-sensitive to my environment, and I've been that way since I was a kid. Absorbing everything as an artist has manifested itself in this way. - Cicily Janus - Westword, Denver


"Kelli Rudick: No One Knows She's Foreign"

In a cold, commodious loft, typical to the indistinct borderlands of East Williamsburg and Bushwick, Kelli Rudick has settled into a cozy, creative life. Born and raised in Israel, she is certainly a long way from home. Still, she has forged a path for her truly unique musical style in a community rife with so much stock uniqueness. Impervious to the flotsam and jetsam of this purported Bohemia, she tells me, "I'm here, and I'm doing my thing."

I realize quickly that she has a humility and authenticity to her character, as we sit in her apple-green bedroom chatting about Williamsburg's music scene. She tells me of her affection for Zebulon and Monkeytown, venues she plays as well as frequents. Her last show at Monkeytown, woven through a wild and panoramic video odyssey, was also her first show with a band - a drummer and synth player. It was an event regrettable to have missed.

"I moved here because it was cheap," she laughs, regarding North Brooklyn. "No, not only. First, I lived in a little apartment off the Grand Ave. stop. I was always playing music, and there was this neighbor above me. He would never have the guts to come down and say something. He would just knock his broom brutally on my ceiling, and so finally I realized I had to get out of there."

Now a little farther out on the L train, she shares a loft with other artists and musicians, where she has the space and spoils to play whenever and however loud she wants. "I knew I needed to live in a loft so I could make noise," she exults. One of her roommates is another magnificent recording artist named Heidi Harris, who is currently set to release her first album "Wisdom Teeth on Bended Knee" a mosaic of experimental electro-folk tunes suited for the smart, sentimental ear. Harris is a songwriter to be reckoned with, and she and Kelli have already begun to embark on a few collaborations. Her music can be heard at myspace.com/heidiharris.

Kelli also associates with Cruel Black Dove and Zigmat - bands based out of Bushwick and Greenpoint, respectively - yielding interesting electro-indie pop arrangements. Still, in context with these affiliations, Kelli remains a solitary thread in the drapes of Brooklyn's art and music scene.

As for the noise she speaks so casually of, a less humble person can speak of her remarkable music much more appropriately. Kelli's prodigious style is primarily based around the guitar, which she's been playing since the age of 14. She has developed her own powerful, expressive technique using every timbre the instrument has to offer by slapping, tapping, bending, re-stringing and de-tuning, causing it to come alive in her hands. Her first endeavor, however, was as a drummer, which is all-too-apparent in listening to the crisp and often-complex rhythm structures of her compositions.

Her first album "No One Knows You're Foreign", released in 2007, features a tapestry of intelligent twang and curious melody from start to finish - an absolute must-listen. Currently, she is finishing her second album which will be a definitive evolution from her original.

"I feel like the first album was all these ideas slapped together in experimental guitar pieces, and now it's more fully developed" she explains. "I'm starting to get how to build a piece and not just be all over the fret board."

Kelli and Alon Leventon, a masterful musician and producer out of Greenpoint, conceived of the unique instrumentation. The precise string arrangements and stomping bass lines come from various guitars and drums, mbiras from Zimbabwe, classical European celestas, and the German-invented nail violin. The last few tracks will be recorded at the home studio of Nick Zammuto, the mastermind of Vermont-based synth-folk duo "The Books".

You can check Kelli out at www.kellirudick.com for show dates and samples of her music. - Ryan Keith - Block Magazine, Brooklyn


"Instrumental bliss: Kelli Rudick plays Joe's Pub"

While living in the outskirts of war torn Tel Aviv, Kelli Rudick had only one escape from the sounds of wild gunfire and deafening explosions that surrounded her family’s home: music. With a focus on mastering her craft, Rudick spent hours in the dwelling’s bomb shelter, plucking away at her guitar and surrounding herself with the echoes of her melodies. The indie performer now calls Brooklyn home, and has expanded her instrumental prowess to include the Bohemian-cool nail violin and exotic array mbira. Rudick manipulates her instruments through her frantic finger work by smacking, curving and rapping on the strings to invent a sound that is majestically multi-dimensional and charmingly chordal. She even incorporates the tricky technique of finger tapping (a guitar skill on the fret board, which was made famous by hard rock legend Eddie Van Halen) with ease to create ballads that are like chicken soup for the musical spirit: tranquil and soothing. Rudick released her debut EP, “No One Knows You’re Foreign,� in 2007 and is currently working on her second album. Some noteworthy tracks include: Rudick’s high pitch cords in “If Only Either Could Solve Anything� call to the violinist, who responds with a menacing undertone that chills the soul. Sorrowful riffs seem to whimper in “Unfaithful,� while Rudick teases the fret board to create a sound that’s musically mysterious in “Darling.� Don’t miss Kelli Rudick’s performance at Joe’s Pub in New York City on Sept. 4. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. – Cecilia Martinez - Cecilia Martinez - The Deli Magazine


"The Hardest Strings We've Ever Heard"

Experimental neo-classical Brooklynite Kelli Rudick took the stage and nearly swept us off our feet. We can't even begin to describe the awe-struck faces watching her hands pluck the strings of her guitar while stringing a bass line while tapping out a beat and then looping them all to create these multi-layered, well-structured pieces of music that cannot even dare be defined by a genre. And that was just the first song. She continued to silence the once-chatty crowd by tapping, bending and morphing sounds using bizarre instruments like a nail violin and an Array mbira (think a piano without keys). Overall, we were thoroughly impressed by Kelli's originality and her ability to write so many different types of songs with so many unique instruments and ways to use them. - Julie Dyer - 7x7 Magazine


"Kelli Rudick Will Blow Your Feeble Little Mind"

Let me just get this out of the way now. Yes, Kelli Rudick used to date Kaki King. But fucking a chick who's sold a bunch of records is one the least important things about Kelli. The important thing is the music. Good god is it the music!

If you remember, she played a few months back with Judgement Day at Cafe Du Nord, and yeah, pretty much everyone there lost their shit. And now she's back and she's playing at Amnesia on Thursday night. I'm personally really excited about this because Kelli is one of my favorite musicians around, and I've missed her the past few times she's come through SF.

Kelli seems to be catching on here too; she's even on the front page of the 7x7 site right now. But I know, all that other stuff I said doesn't really mean much. So let me just put it like this: KELLI RUDICK WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!! She plays the guitar in ways you've never seen done before (she plays it like a fucking percussion instrument!) and she plays weird instruments you've never even heard of like the Array Mbira and the Nail Violin. AND she does it all through a loop station thus allowing her to orchestrate entire songs.

I rarely tell you to go to an $8 show right? But how many times have I led you astray (actually don't answer that)? Plus PBR is only $2 at Amnesia. All I'm saying is that, if you don't go to this show, you'll be kicking yourself each time you friend who did go to the show brings up how awesome it was. If you still don't believe me just watch this video below: - Stuart Schuffman - Broke Ass Stuart's Goddamn Website


"SD: In The Clubs"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Much like guitar sorceress and fellow looker Kaki King, Brooklyn's Kelli Rudick absolutely shreds on guitar. But it's one thing to whip off pentatonic solos like anyone else; it's quite another to create a new musical language with your instrument. It truly must be seen to be believed. Local bands Manuok, JFK and Team Abraham will be staring along with you in awe after their sets at Ruby Room. - Todd Kroviak - San Diego CityBeat


"Are 'Bandmates' Electric?"

Who needs friends when you have technology? With the widespread acceptance of looping effects pedals, musicians are finding that bandmates have become expendable and you don't even need to create cold, paranoid, Gary Numan-style synthesizer music to make use of this new electronic wonderbox, either. Witness the songs of Kelli Rudick. This Israel-raised, New York-residing performer weaves gleaming webs of sound using just her hands, some fingerstyle acoustic guitar, and a li'l magic box with metal buttons on top. Rudick's crystalline arpeggios whorl outwards like fractals made of glass, spiraling and building on themselves in loop after loop of resonant notes, while Rudick adds fret-tapping harmonics, percussive body-slaps, and perhaps the occasional electronic flourish. It's a form of post-classical-slash-ambient songcraft that maintains a sense of melody (as opposed to drifting into some vague, misty haze) even as it fools your ears into thinking more than one musician is playing. - John Graham - SFWeekly


"Guitarist Kelli Rudick incorporates unusual instruments into her complex compositions"

We last encountered Kelli Rudick here in Pittsburgh this past spring, as she was weaving gorgeous blankets of sound. Primarily a looping guitarist, she travels with a small arsenal of other instruments that help to create her soundscapes, most notably the nail violin (a soundboard with nails that the player uses to create strange tones) and the mbira, a sort of multi-octave, electronic take on the African thumb piano. On rare occasions, vocals find their place in her work as well.

Rudick's pieces are compositions, not simply songs, and one doesn't so much listen to them as step into them. They defy traditional structures, but also do more: Rather than the classic repetitive build-and-washout, climax-and-denouement of the casual looping artist, Rudick's works deal in nuance and subtle alteration.

Comparisons abound between Rudick and Kaki King, the famous guitarist who introduced her to many fans as a tourmate and onetime partner. It could be said that the two artists are cut from the same cloth, but they diverge where King heads toward rock stardom and Rudick moves in the direction of emotional composition. Sonically, too, they contrast: While King tends toward the percussive finger-tapping guitar, Rudick is instead wont to rely on the staccato of the mbira, the sustain of the nail violin and the illustrative in-betweens of the guitar to create her complex textures.

Rudick plays Garfield Artworks Wed., Oct. 14 (a show organized by frequent CP contributor Manny Theiner); she promises songs from her 2007 debut LP No One Knows You're Foreign and from her forthcoming second album - a hypnotic performance.


Kelli Rudick with Spider, Adam Rauf and The Glass Cube. 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 14. Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $7. All ages. 412-361-2262 - Andy Mulkerin - Pittsburgh City Paper


Discography

1 - No One Knows You're Foreign - Full Length CD - 2007

2 - CD2 due for release in Fall/Winter 2010

Photos

Bio

In a post-industrial Brooklyn loft strewn with guitars, drums, all manner of odd instruments and electronics, Kelli Rudick creates beautifully crafted and intensely driven compositions. Born in the states but raised in Israel, she spent endless hours playing in the echoing sound of the bomb shelter just outside the family’s house on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. After fulfilling her mandatory military service, Kelli moved back to the US and worked to create alternate playing styles through inventive fingerwork and variant tunings, creating a unique and inimitable musical style. In Brooklyn Kelli continued to develop her unusually powerful and expressive techniques. Using every timbre the instrument has to offer by slapping, tapping, bending, restringing and de-tuning, she causes the instrument to morph and transcend possibility in her hands.

In 2007 Kelli released ‘No One Knows You’re Foreign’, a distinctive work introducing her unique way of accentuating emotionally complex compositions by drawing percussive rhythms from the fretboard and body of the guitar while coaxing chordal melodies and harmonics from the strings. The cumulative effect of this soundscape reveals transcendently beautiful dimensions in an anomolous approach to guitarwork. Live shows in support of this record include intricately crafted arrangements for solo guitar as well as looping beats, bass lines and string driven sound progressions, creating captivating atmospheres though multi-layered melodic structures.

Kelli Rudick has collaborated with notable artists including Nick Zammuto of the aleatoric electro-folk duo The Books, Alon Leventon of the project Drops of Conciousness and the electro-indie group Zigmat, and recorded and toured with internationally acclaimed guitarist Kaki King. She’s scored music for Queer Eye For The Straight Girl, Showtime’s ‘The L Word’ fashion show, and the films ‘A Night in the Sunlight’ and ‘Absolutely I Do’. Kelli has toured throughout the United States and Europe, and has played extensively in her adopted hometown including shows on the main stage of The Knitting Factory, the Blue Note, Galapagos, the Cutting Room, a month-long residency at the Living Room, the Rooftop Film Festival and fronting her five-piece band at Joe's Pub in New York City.

Kelli has performed at the Mother Music Festival in Tel Aviv, and recently returned from her third US national tour. Back home in NYC she continues writing and recording for her upcoming 2nd full length release, which adds new dimensions to her work and is a definitive evolution from her earlier record. Accelerating the delicately complex terrain of her first recording, the new songs add precise string arrangements, driving bass lines, steely layers of variant guitars, array mbira, nail violin, powerful percussion, and atmospheric electronics to her distinctive chordal compositions.

Kelli will do short Northeast US tour before performing at the BAM “Sounds Like Brooklyn” Music Festival at the new Knitting Factory and the Mother Music Festival in London. Please visit www.kellirudick.com for updates, tour info and previews of Kelli’s music.