kelly pardekooper

kelly pardekooper


a twang-n-bang alt-country rock-n-roll songwriter from iowa city and now in madison, wisconsin via a little east nashville stop-over.


Kelly Pardekooper is a singer/songwriter/housepainter currently based in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. A self-described "guy from Iowa with bad hair and a funny name."

Hailing from Iowa City, he dabbles in alt-country, twang-n-bang rock-n-roll, folk, blues, rock, pop or whatever musical gumbo he’s eating today....

Kelly has released four studio albums from 1998-2005, with a handful of live bootleg recordings from Europe and U.S. tours scattered around the planet and internet. Kelly’s albums have been released and distributed by Trocadero Records in Europe and Trailer Records and Leisure Time Records in the United States. His albums are available to purchase at shows, on his website, Miles of Music, CD Baby, i-Tunes, and select independent record stores. He is currently at work on album number five with Teddy Morgan producing in East Nashville.

Kelly has toured extensively in the United States, Germany, Holland, and Austria. He has performed to thousands at European festivals, and he has also played to tables and chairs on the Iowa chitlin’ circuit...and every kind of gig in between. Currently Kelly is doing 50-75 shows per year, depending on his mood and love life....

Career highlights include: Take Root Festival-Assen, Holland. SXSW showcase-Austin TX. Receiving Jim Beam Whiskey emerging artist grant. Receiving Iowa Arts Council artist grants. Seeing Berlin Wall on tour in Germany. Dancing at basement Goth party in Berlin. Recording House of Mud at Jimmy Buffet’s Shrimpboat Sound recording studio. Touring Holland where his Dutch name isn’t so funny. Performing with Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, and Joe Price at Trailer Records showcase. Haymaker Heart reaching #1 on Euro-Americana radio chart, XM satellite radio etc....

Kelly has had loads of critical praise in national and international publications.

"Not in Iowa suggests a sinuous atmospheric spaghetti-western shootout between Dire Straits and Calexico. “ -No Depression

"Loaded with hooks, high energy, and hummable melodies. Pardekooper is a first-rate vocalist." -All Music Guide

"Haymaker Heart is a jaw-dropping album of hook-laden pop, folk-rock and raucous paint-strippers." -Iowa City Press Citizen

"The sleeper could be the catchy and to-the-point ditty “21st Century Trailer Park” that is a toe-tapper, as is the Blue Rodeo-ish “Down”.” -PopMatters

"Memo to Tim McGraw: Pardekooper's 'Draw the Line' is a hit just waiting to happen. And there's even a harmony part for Faith." -No Depression

"Haymaker Heart is not just the best album released in a 120-mile radius; it’s one of the best things I’ve heard all year. Iowa City native Pardekooper fares well compared to virtually any singer-songwriter out there. " -River Cities' Reader

"Folk This is a hilarious, name-dropping snipe at Alt-Country, No Depression-style posers." -MusicEmissions

"Forced to pick favorites for the year, 'House of Mud' is all grit and guts in the best possibe sense!" -Des Moines Register

"Haymaker Heart moves from Steve Earle to Beatles to Buzzcocks. " -Rockzilla

"A moody alt-country original." -Nashville Scene

"The title track on House of Mud is a slow-driven southern swamp blues that cuts through to the soul." -Miles of Music

"Haymaker Heart goes good with beer, anger or sadness, and looks fine next to some other records you keep close by, just in case... “ -MusicEmissions

“Pardekooper’s art is true Americana. Americana enough to make good fun of the whole genre in “Folk This” - a mocking yet catchy tribute to the alt-country/Americana genre with references, direct and oblique, to Dylan, Mellencamp, Uncle Tupelo, the Old 97’s, Ryan Adams, Robbie Fulks, among others. Really clever and the tune stays with you. It’s surprising “Folk This” hasn’t gotten airplay as a novelty song.”

"Folk This is a straight slap in the face at John Mellencamp and others who try to jump on the folk-roots bandwagon." -Freight Train Boogie

"This Iowa Singer-Songwriter plays a loose combination of narrative songs that range in presentation from stark, acoustic guitar Folk to loud, endearingly sloppy Country Rock."

"Apparently his name - which means 'horse buyer' in Dutch - doesn’t sound as funny to Amsterdam fans, who have embraced him as a prodigal son." -No Depression

"Kelly Pardekooper’s opening tune “Not to Iowa” has a dark, moody tone to it that is somewhere between Tarbox Ramblers, The Mavericks and Handsome Family. The singer nails the niche format to a tee on the first song with a bit of bolero mixed with accordion." -PopMatters

"He must be good if he was featured in the German Glamour magazine!" -the Onion

"Haymaker Heart is an early candidate for one of the top-10 alt. country CDs of the year and a valiant effort that should garner some much deserved recognition for Pardekooper. "


"Haymaker Heart" (2005) #1 on EuroAmericana Chart, #17 XM Satellite X-Country. Released on Leisure Time Records in U.S. and Trocadero Records in Europe.

"House of Mud" (2003) Released on Trailer Records in U.S. and Trocadero Records in Europe.

"Johnson County Snow" (2000) Released on Trailer Records in U.S.