Paul Austin Kelly
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Paul Austin Kelly

Band Folk Children's Music

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


George Edward Burles
Public Relations
43-10 48th Avenue, Apt. 2U Tel/Fax: (718) 706-1105
Woodside, New York, 11377 georgeburles@hotmail.com

For immediate release:

Paul Austin Kelly and Richard Durrant perform the best of British folk music and more on Saturday 15 May 2004 at the All Saints Centre in Lewes, East Sussex - a musical event for the whole family.

Performing music from their new CD Unleashed On British Isles, American singer Paul Austin Kelly and British guitar icon Richard Durrant present their new band in its first live appearance at the All Saints Centre in Lewes, East Sussex on Saturday 15 May at 4:00 PM. Presented by the Lewes Live Literature Festival in conjunction with the Brighton Fringe Festival, the show offers quality musical entertainment for all ages. Tickets can be purchased at the Brighton Dome Box Office (Tel: 01273 709 709) or at the Cliffe Bookshop (Cliffe High Street, Lewes.) Admission is £6 adults, £3 children.

Hailing from dramatically different musical worlds– Paul Austin Kelly is a renowned opera tenor and Richard Durrant is a virtuoso guitarist and composer of children’s music for the BBC– both artists share a common devotion to traditional folk music. On the Walking Oliver CD release Unleashed On British Isles, the unlikely yet perfectly matched duo of Kelly and Durrant bring new life to such beloved classics as Widdecombe Fair, Geordie, My Bonny, Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, The Gypsy Rover, Henry My Son, and Cockles and Mussels among others.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Paul Austin Kelly became enchanted with Britain, its lifestyle, culture and countryside whilst performing at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival nearly a decade ago. Shortly thereafter he decided to settle in the UK with his wife Carol and young son Zack. Paul and Carol Kelly now run the Walking Oliver family music label together from their home in Lewes with valued contributions and inspiration from Zack as well as their family dog Oliver who graciously lent his name to the company.

Richard Durrant is renowned for his extraordinary guitar playing, equally at home with traditional folk and pop music as well as the classical repertoire. He is also an accomplished music composer, producer and recipient of the 2002 Daily Mail Golden Jubilee Award by HRH Prince Charles for his work promoting art in the community. Owner of the LongMan Records label, he is the producer of the very successful Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Exciting future projects for Paul Austin Kelly include the first Walking Oliver Poetry In Song competition for children to mark National Poetry Day 2004. The winning poems will be set to music by Paul Austin Kelly and recorded on a future Walking Oliver CD. Oliver Sets Sail, A Musical Adventure In Three Acts is a groundbreaking illustrated children's book and CD that offers a unique combination of visual, literal and musical elements with original music by Paul Austin Kelly, story by author Marion Roach and illustrations by the famed cartoonist Korky Paul.

For more information regarding Paul Austin Kelly and Walking Oliver, please visit the label's official website: www.walkingoliver.com. News and information on Richard Durrant can be found at www.richard-durrant.com
- George Burles, Public Relations


Sweet Dreams are made of these

By Gerald Haigh
TES Teacher Oct 8 2004

Something remarkable has happened here. Paul Austin Kelly and Richard Durrant of Walking Oliver––producers of classy and beautifully recorded performances of songs for children–– have applied their considerable talents to 15 wonderful poems by children. The poems were entered for the Walking Oliver Poetry in Song Competition 2004, supported by the TES, and the result is always excellent, and often truly beautiful.

For Paul and Richard, composers and performers, it’s been a challenging task. Children’s poems come in widely differing styles and those chosen, thought they show genuine understanding of rhythm, are mostly too subtle to just go tum-ti-tum.

Paul and Richard, though, are well up to the task. Using a combination of live playing and singing with a lot of clever studio work on a synthesizer, they pay respect to every poem.

As a singer, Paul Austin Kelly seems able to switch on anything from grand opera to country and western, with engaging warmth and clarity.

So, “Flying in My Head�, by seven-year-old Lucy Humphries, a jolly number about mentally escaping from maths, gets a bouncy tune and rhythm that eventually soars freely on a big ensemble sound:

“Chase the wind and dancing, All across the ground, Always in my head it seems, Such joy is to be found.�

The really hard ones to set, however, were surely those in which children poured out inner feelings that sometimes seem almost too private and too painful to touch. How, for example, to set about writing a tune to 10-year-old Lucie Shaw’s “Split (You’ve Fractured My Heart)�, about dad leaving the family home.

When everything is over
You’ll be on your own.
Dad is like the gardener
Now the seeds are sown.�

Paul Austin Kelly’s response is to make the poem become, effectively, the lyric of a major number in an unwritten modern musical––shades of Sondheim, perhaps––and he sings it with the passion it deserves.

There are so many delights––“Maya and I�, 11-year-old Katie Ebner Landy’s crazy dream about a bamboo airport, turns Paul and Richard into Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, while “The Bus that has No Sheep In�, by Laura Hoath, aged 10––a dream in more poignant mood––gets the jazz-funk treatment.

This isn’t a singalong product (although experience tells me that when children really like a song they’ll always give it a go) but it is a delight to listen to, especially with the texts to hand.
- Times Educational Supplement (London)


Times Educational Supplement
Teacher Magazine
March 26, 2004


Full Barks
Gerald Haigh listens to old favourites with canine accompaniment

The Walking Oliver Sing-A-Long
Hello, Michael Rosen!
Paul Austin Kelly
Walking Oliver


Forget the Today programme and give Terry Wogan a break and play these in your car on the way to school. I promise you that you’ll arrive with a smile big enough to survive the news that you have to cover 9W for RE in the hut at the other end of the playground.

Walking Oliver started in 2002 as a company devoted to what it calls “quality music for kids.� These two CDs-—there are others on their list, all aimed at children—bear that claim out triumphantly. Sing-A-Long has 25 favourites, from “This Old Man,� through “Hush Little Baby� to “Polly Wolly Doodle.� All those songs, in fact, that you vaguely know and wish you could find. Look no further, for here they are, beautifully sung by Paul Austin Kelly (with a little help from his friends and Oliver the dog) and immaculately recorded.

Hello, Michael Rosen! is a collection of setting of a dozen Michael Rosen poems. You wonder how some of them will work, for although Rosen’s poems have powerful internal rhythms, they don’t all go “tum-ti-tum� by any means. Kelly brings the trick off, though, and the result is, for example, a song like “Shmutter� (“OK, so laugh� OK, so I thought it was an English word. How should I know it isn’t English?�) which he renders in a wonderfully mock-apocalyptic style slightly, and appropriately, reminiscent of the synagogue. My favourite here, though, is “Mike’s Wedding� –“My brother got married in an old Wimpy bar� that’s performed as a joyful country-style romp.

The huge strength of these productions lies in the sheer musicianship that’s on display. Kelly is a trained singer, but he has the facility, which many professionals do not, to use his voice in a range of styles from operatic to several versions of Country and Western. His “blue grass� sound, for example, is a delight—you can practically see the hand behind his ear. Accompaniments are a combination of instruments and clever studio work, and every song is treated with originality and sheer good taste.

You can use these songs in all sorts of ways—put the words up on the whiteboard or projector for example, and use them as motivators for reading. And if you already use Mike Rosen poems, then here’s a completely new and fresh dimension to add to them.

Most of all, though, just enjoy the recordings. Keep playing them to the children, because there’s enough inventiveness here to bear any amount of repetition.
- Gerald Haigh (TES, London)


George Edward Burles
Public Relations, New York City
Tel/Fax: (718) 706-1105 georgeburles@hotmail.com


For immediate release:

Paul Austin Kelly and Walking Oliver win a 2004 National Parenting Publications Honors Award.

The National Parenting Publications Award organization (NAPPA) has announced that Paul Austin Kelly and the Walking Oliver music label are to receive their 2004 Honors Award in the children’s music category for the acclaimed CD Hello, Michael Rosen!

Bringing children’s music to a new and exciting level that parents will also enjoy, Hello, Michael Rosen! showcases the poetry of famed children’s author Michael Rosen set to original music and performed by renowned vocalist Paul Austin Kelly. The CD cover and booklet feature original artwork by celebrated children’s illustrator Korky Paul.

Carol Kelly of Walking Oliver expresses her delight at the latest accolade: “Even though we get so much positive feedback from parents, kids and the media about our CD’s, it is so gratifying to receive this official recognition of our work from the wonderful people at NAPPA.�

The NAPPA review of Hello, Michael Rosen! will be featured on www.parenthood.com in November 2004 and as part of their on-line holiday gift guide. For more information on Hello, Michael Rosen! and other Walking Oliver CD releases featuring Paul Austin Kelly, please visit www.walkingoliver.com. Music from the Walking Oliver catalogue can also be purchased at www.itunes.com the world’s best on-line jukebox.
- George Edward Burles, Public Relations


Discography

With Richard and Unleashed:
Unleashed on British Isles
Through Tenderwood
Dreams

Paul Austin Kelly, solo:
The Walking Oliver Sing-A-Long
Hello, Michael Rosen!
Don't Want No Bones for Christmas
Howlin' at the Moon
Rap 'N Roll
Sing-a-Long 2
Unleashed on America

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

I've had an international career as an opera and concert singer for the last 20 years. My roots, though, are folk, pop and jazz. That's what I'm happiest performing. When I met these guys I knew I could at last get back to my roots. We clicked. Richard and I started writing new songs together and arranging old ones to suit our sound, which is a unique blend of American and British. The stage show is dynamic with lots of audience interaction and interaction between the band members, sound effects and bizarre instruments. We laugh a lot.