Paul Kelly
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Paul Kelly

Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia

Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Paul Kelly: Live Apples"

Rolling Stone Australia
June 2008
Paul Kelly: Live Apples

Packaged in a beautifully illustrated book-like format with a bonus live-CD, this collection should be a lesson to the music industry on how to ensure people buy - rather than illegally download - your product. The DVD features Kelly live at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba in late 2007, performing his entire new album Stolen Apples, start to finish, followed by a stunning, shambolic run through sixteen of his career favourites. The performance is breathtaking, the Bard proudly leading his phenomenal band through the old and the new (which is every bit the equal of the classics). Sound quality is excellent (the Stolen Apples tunes sound very nearly as good as the original studio recordings), and while there is little in the way of onstage theatrics, Kelly's steely glaze is ominously engaging, and his band's presence perfectly understated, making this another mature , classy release from Kelly.

Dan Lander - Rolling Stone Australia

"In Australia, From Apology, a Hit Song Grows"

The New York Times
29th April 2008
In Australia, From Apology, a Hit Song Grows

A song about racial reconciliation with the Aboriginal minority has become the fourth-biggest-selling recording in Australia, even though it is available only as a download from the Web.

The song, “From Little Things Big Things Grow,” begins with a recording of the words of Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, from his February apology for the country’s history of mistreatment of its indigenous peoples. “As prime minister, I am sorry,” Mr. Rudd says on the recording. “On behalf of the government, I am sorry.”

From Mr. Rudd’s words the song later moves on to these lyrics: “There are moments in the lives of nations where hope and history rhyme. Now’s one of those times. Let’s close the gap, and if we truly mean it, we can stare down our future and find we can see through those eyes. Let us not stand with those who deny.”

The song, which also takes lines from comments made by indigenous leaders after Mr. Rudd’s apology, combines hip-hop rhythms with more conventional instrumentation. It is a remake and rewording of a song written about 20 years ago to celebrate one of the most famous of Australia’s campaigns for racial equality, the drive for equal pay for indigenous farm workers. “This follows a long history of being a significant song, but it has been given a new meaning because of the apology,” said Richard Kingsmill, music director at Triple J, one of Australia’s most popular music radio stations. “This is one of those times when politically conscious music will sell.”

The new version of the song was designed by the Internet-based political action group GetUp, along with Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody, who were the original song’s authors, to capitalize on the new mood in Australia since Mr. Rudd’s apology. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Carmody perform on the recording as part of a group called the GetUp Mob. “In the past, every time indigenous affairs hits the front pages, it disappears almost immediately,” said Brett Solomon, the executive director of GetUp, which offers the song on its Web site for download for $1.69 in Australian dollars (about $1.60). The song is also available on the iTunes online music store. “We wanted to magnify the momentum toward a reconciled future,” Mr. Solomon said. Mr. Solomon said that all the profits from the song will go to three charities that help the Aborigines. - The New York Times

"Paul Kelly's Second Best-of Cements His Reputation"

Paul Kelly's Second Best-of Cements His Reputation
November 12, 2008 11:00pm
The Courier-Mail
Article by Noel Mengel

ABOUT half-way through Volume 2, when one of the most heartbreaking songs of regret you could ever hear (If I Could Start Today Again) meets a sweetly sighing pop song (The Oldest Story In The Book), and then a feel-good rocker (Won't You Come Around), and then a 1960s surf-rock instrumental (Gunnamatta) . . .

Then it hits home what we have here. A best-of Volume 2 that's just as rich and profound, and even more wide-ranging, than the first.

As a collection, and as a soundtrack to and commentary on Australian life, Volume 1, which featured songs from 1985 to 1997, is indispensable for anyone interested in the country and its popular music.

Volume 2, which collects songs from 1998 to now, the period when Paul Kelly went from his early 40s to his early 50s, shows he is a rare gem. That is, a songwriter for whom the well keeps replenishing and who is just as capable of writing a classic today as he was 20 years ago.

Sure, From St Kilda to Kings Cross and Deeper Water and How to Make Gravy – to pick just three of the extraordinary songs on Volume 1 – have earned their place as highpoints in Australian songwriting. Songs like these paint pictures as vividly as Tim Winton does with his pen, as surely as John Olsen with a brush.

And the really great writers keep writing, the great painters keep painting, and the great songwriters keep going, too. That's what Kelly has continued to do at an age when most popular songwriters struggle to maintain their muse, their relevance and their commercial success.
Watch the video clip for Paul Kelly's God Told Me To

The musical explorations of the past 10 years, from collaboration bands Professor Ratbaggy and The Stardust Five to bluegrass (see Kelly and the Stormwater Boys on the superb Gathering Storm) to the A-Z concert project, didn't dilute Kelly's juices but revitalise them.

The release of Volume 2 (available separately or in a double pack with Volume 1) underlines the strength of the later phase, whether alone on the acoustic guitar and harmonica, such as the childhood incident recalled in They Thought I Was Asleep, to roaring rock songs like God Told Me To, a story told from the terrorist's point of view.

A song like that couldn't be more serious, and yet it sits near the hilarious new song, Shane Warne, which provides Volume 2's partner to the earlier album's Bradman. Among the rhymes to savour: "In Manchester England 1993, he bowled what they called the ball of the century/Mike Gatting looked up struck dumb as a post/Walked from the crease like he'd just seen a ghost."

An anecdote: in another life as a sports writer, I was sitting chatting to Australian leg-spin legend Bill O'Reilly high in the press box in the SCG. He watched a young batsman swing bravely across the line without bothering to move his feet. He said with a grin: "You can smell the gum leaves on him."

The same can be said of Kelly's music too, the way it sounds, feels, the way it captures not just the stories but the space and the light. This is music written by someone who knows and understands all of Australia, from the baking bitumen streets of Darlinghurst to nights by the campfire deep in the scrub.

Yet, human nature being what it is, the listener need never have set foot in this country to understand the art and depth and emotion of our greatest songwriter.

And Volume 1? From Leaps and Bounds to To Her Door and Winter Coat and all the rest: who would want to be without it? - The Courier-Mail


Songs From The South Volume 1 & 2 - 2008

Stolen Apples - 2007

Stardust Five - 2006

Foggy Highway - 2005

Ways and Means - 2004

Nothing But a Dream - 2001

Professor Ratbaggy - 1999

Smoke - 1999

Words and Music - 1998

Songs From the South - Greatest Hits - 1997

Deeper Water - 1995

Wanted Man - 1994

Hidden Things - 1992

Comedy - 1991

So Much Water So Close To Home - 1989

Under the Sun - 1987

Gossip - 1986

Post - 1985



Imagine a new visitor to Australia looking to get a flavour of the country and its people. The perfect place to start is with the music of one of the world's great songwriters, the man who has chronicled our country's beauty and scars and desires, as well as the personal insights which know no borders, in an extraordinary song-writing career that now spans more than 30 years.

Since the early eighties, Paul Kelly has issued an enduring and wide ranging body of work with his own bands, written film scores (Lantana and the Cannes 2006 highlight, Jindabyne), and produced albums for and written songs with some of Australia and New Zealand's finest artists. Recent albums include the bluegrass inspired Foggy Highway and the extraordinary double set, Ways & Means, produced by Tchad Blake.

Kelly’s latest album Stolen Apples has received some of the best reviews of his three decade career, and had the third highest chart debut of any of his 25 albums.

In 1997, Kelly released the Songs From The South, a dazzling collection, assembling songs that had already lodged deep in the Australian soundtrack, from ‘Before Too Long’ and ‘From St Kilda To Kings Cross’ to ‘When I First Met Your Ma’, ‘To Her Door’ and ‘How to Make Gravy’.

Now, comes Songs From The South Vol 2, a new 20-track collection that dips into the past 10 years of Kelly's life. Remarkably for a songwriter going from his early 40s to his early 50s, this period has been just as creative and even more adventurous than the first.

At an age when many songwriters struggle to keep the juices flowing, the songs keep pouring from Kelly as he continues to explore fresh musical terrain, from classic albums recorded with his band, The Boon Companions, to acoustic bluegrass (with Uncle Bill on Smoke and the Storm Water Boys on Foggy Highway), the playful collaborative records, Professor Ratbaggy and The Stardust Five and the massive Paul Kelly A-Z concert project, being released online, a letter a month, at Kelly's website.

Evidence that writers of Kelly's talent don't let the fire burn out, the songs on Vol 2 range from the 1998 album Words and Music to last year's Stolen Apples, and confirm that Kelly is still writing songs as powerful as anything he did in his 20s and 30s.

The first release in a series of CD reissues of every Kelly album under the EMI banner, Songs From The South Vol 2 reveals that the flame burns as brightly as ever across the past 10 years.

Songs From The South and Songs From The South Vol 2, available now through EMI.