Vance Kelly & The BackStreet Blues Band
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Vance Kelly & The BackStreet Blues Band

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Soul


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"From Chicago's WestSide, USA"

Vance Kelly, geb.1954 in Chicago, gab sein Debut beim Bluesfest 2000 und es wurde vor ausverkauftem Haus zu einem snsationellen Erfolg. Man fulte sich an die alten Zeiten von Ike & Tina Turner erinnert wenn Tochter Vivian die Musik der Klasseband stimmgewaltig zu Hochstleistungen antrieb. Vance kombiniert den alten Chicagoblues mit Soul und Funk, er spielt Muddy Waters ebenso wie moderne Blues Hits von Bobby Rush, Little Milton oder Bobby Blue Bland. Der Motownblock mit Tochter Vivian reisst ubrall das Publikum zu Begeisterungssturmen hin.
Echter Downhome Blues aus den Chicagoer Ghettos mit einem ganz grossen Guitarristen. Erst 1979 fand er vom Discosoul zum Blues und Saxman A.C. Reed war es, der ihm dasBluesben on the road einimpfte. 1995 gewann er den "Living Blues Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album" mit "Call Me". Mit seiner aktuellen, vierten CD ist er zu Chicagos Top Blues Artist avanciert!
- DonauKurier

"Beloit Riverfest"

Friday, July 10, 1998

When South Side Chicago's hottest blues commodity, Vance Kelly, plays live, he's used to seeing the dance floor in front of his stage packed with dancers, butts shaking. Unfortunately for Kelly, who performed an hour-long twilight set at Beloit's Riverfest Friday, all he saw in front of him was a barren stretch of grass and concrete, and beyond that, a sparse and apathetic audience.

As a result, Kelly gave what, for most others, would have been a sterling performance. For him, however, it was merely average. In fact, it was nothing that Kelly probably couldn't have done in his sleep. Maybe he was asleep. Who could have blamed him?

Most of the early part of the night for Kelly and his Backstreet Candy Lickin' Blues Band was fraught with difficulties. Upon arriving at the fest's scenic Pavilion Stage, Kelly and his manager, Delores Scott, were left searching for a drum kit. Eventually they found one and the show went on approximately one hour late.

After soundchecking in front of their audience, Kelly and the band slid into a soulful version of B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone." Later in the show, they presented takes on Albert King's "I'll Play the Blues for You" and "Steal Away."

Unfortunately, Kelly spent most of his set delivering interpretations of blues and R&B classics. He did a wonderful job with each. However, it would have been nice, considering he now has three albums out -- including the brand new "Hands Off" -- to hear some originals. In one last attempt to reach the crowd three-quarters of the way through his show, Kelly pandered with the Ray Charles hit "What'd I Say," but to no avail.

Overall, Kelly, very much a professional, was able to entertain most in his small audience at Riverfest. However, it was by no means one of the young master's most inspired performances. - Steve Sharp


"Call Me" 1994 (won the 1995 living blues award)
"Joyriding In The Subway" 1996
"Hands Off" 1998
"What Three Old Ladies Can Do" 2000
"Live At Lee's Unleaded Blues" 2003
"Nobody Has The Power" 2005
"Little Blue Bird" 2009



The Blues has a future - Vance Kelly !!!

Vance “Guitar” Kelly was born on January 24, 1954, to Andrew and Lorine Kelly who had moved to Chicago from Missouri and Mississippi. In the early 1960’s the couple had noticed that their son was developing an interest in music and they presented him with his first guitar when he was seven years old. Vance became proficient with the guitar after a short period of practice never taking one professional lesson.

His introduction to the blues as a musical form came in the early 60’s, when he sat at the feet of his uncle, mechanic and part-time blues musician, LeRoy McCauley. Vance’s father and siblings however were gospel singers and musicians and his father and mother encouraged him to play that form of music. He and his sisters and brothers got together at a very young age and formed a Gospel group called "Terry & The Kelly Singers" and were performing together for many years. But his ear and interest for playing the blues became more inevitable.

Kelly played his first blues performance at the age of ten at a Chicago city school and there he was noticed by west side singer Mary Lane, who saw a promising talent in the boy’s playing. When he turned fifteen, Mary asked him to sit in on one of her performances on the west side of Chicago. Vance counts Mary Lane among his important teachers, as well as Chicago’s Buddy Scott and Johnny Christian. His influences include B.B. King, Albert Collins and Howling Wolf.

In 1981 to 1985 Vance formed his first band called the “Treacherous Wind” in which they performed for small clubs on the west side of Chicago. It was the late sax man A.C. Reed however, who saw Vance perform on one of those nights and saw a talent that was so extraordinary that on the same night he asked Vance to join his band.

From 1985 to 1990 Vance played with A.C. Reed who exposed him to five years on the blues. A.C. Reed taugth him to play for and introduced him to a much larger audience which Vance would face one day on his own. In the late 90’s Vance departed from A.C. Reed to venture out on his own and he formed his second band “The Backstreet Blues Band”.

Vance was given the nickname of “Guitar” Kelly because of his precise, fast and multi-noted guitar solos. When performing for his audiences he always seems to squeeze in a great amount of feeling into every single note and tune of a song. After completing a performance for his audiences he is shown their appreciation through standing ovations, requested return performances and highly spoken praises and reviews from music critics.

In 1992 Vance signed with the Austria-Europe’s Record Label, "Wolf Records". Since his signing with their label he has produced six CD’s and the CD titles are "Call Me", " “Joyriding In The Subway" (in which his daughter Vivian Vance Kelly worked on this CD project with her father) " “Hands Off", "What Three Old Ladies Can Do", "Live at Lee’s Unleaded Blues" and "Nobody Has The Power". He is currently working on his seventh CD.

Since 1988 Vance has performed for festivals here in the United States and overseas. Some of his Life accomplishments for his dedication to the music industry are as follows; the 1995 recipient for the "Living Blues Award" for the "Best Contemporary Blues Album" and the recipient of Chicago’s "Best Entertainer of the Year" for 2000, 2001 and 2003.

Mr. Kelly has performed in a father and daughter reunion at the "Chicago Blues Festival 2010" along with his daughter, "Vivian Vance Kelly.