Kirk Kelly
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Kirk Kelly


Band Alternative Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


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"Downbound Train" (Bruce Springsteen)
Various Artists - LIGHT of DAY,
A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
Revolver Records (UK) 2004
Schoolhouse Records (USA) 2003
Buffalo Records (Spain) 2003

MUGSY Records 1998

"Go Man Go"
Various Artists - LEGACY,
A Collection of New Folk
Windham Hill 1992

"Stephen Foster" (Kind Friends and Gentle Hearts) Various Artists - Detours
Fast Folk Musical Magazine May 1991

"Dead Aid"
Various Artists - Cross Country
Fast Folk Musical Magazine February 1989

SST Records 1988

"I Pity the Poor British Soldier"
Various Artists - Quixotic
Fast Folk Musical Magazine Spring 1984

"19 Miles from Shoreham Town"
Various Artists - The Political Song
Fast Folk Musical Magazine May 1983


Feeling a bit camera shy


Although he has only recorded sporadically, folk-rocker KIRK KELLY has been a fixture on Manhattan's Lower East Side since the 1980s. The Greenwich Village resident first received a taste of national exposure in 1988, when he recorded his debut solo album,

Go Man Go, for SST. At the time, some people were surprised to see a Bob Dylan-influenced folk-rocker recording for a label that was best known for punk and alternative rock. But when you really think about it, KELLY's brief association with SST makes perfect sense. KELLY (who plays acoustic guitar and harmonica) writes a lot of angry political songs; that's something he has in common with Dylan, but it's also something he has in common with agitators like the Clash, the Sex Pistols, and the Dead Kennedys. Further, KELLY has been part of an East Coast movement known as anti-folk essentially, anti-folk is folk-rock with a punk attitude.

New York singer/songwriter Lach is considered the king of anti-folk, and KELLY has been among his Lower East Side allies. In fact, Lach and Kelly recorded together as the Folk Brothers in 1985, providing a cassette-only release titled All Folked-Up With Nowhere to Go. But it wasn't until 1988's Go Man Go that Kelly recorded an album as a solo artist. Go Man Go turned out to be KELLY's only SST release; the singer/songwriter didn't record another solo album until 1997, when the very sociopolitical NEW CITY came out on mugsy Records. The early 2000's found Kelly continuing to perform regularly in New York.

-Alex Henderson, ALL MUSIC GUIDE