The Blues has a future - Vance Kelly !!!
Vance Kelly - The Candylicker - was born on January 24, 1954, to parents who had moved to Chicago from Missouri and Mississippi. In the early 1960s, the couple noticed their son was developing an interest in music, and they presented him with his first guitar when he was seven years old. Kelley became proficient on the instrument after a short period of practice. He never took a lesson.
Kelly's introduction to the blues as a musical form came in the early 60s, when he sat at the feet of his uncle, mechanic and part-time blues musician LeRoy McCauley. Kelly's father was a gospel musician and he encouraged his son in his attempts at playing that form of Christian music.
Kelly played his first blues gig at the age of ten at a city school. He was noticed by singer Mary Lane, who saw promise in the boy's playing. When he was 15, Lane asked Kelly to sit in with her at one of her club dates.
Kelly almost lost his direction in the blues when disco became popular in the 70s. He came back to the blues in 1979.
Kelly counts Lane among his most important teachers, as well as Chicago's Buddy Scott and Johnny Christian. His other influences include Albert Collins, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters. It was saxman A. C. Reed, however, who exposed Kelly to three years of life on the blues road - and the larger audiences he may one day face on his own.
Kelly's musical style is a mix of his blues, funk, and disco roots. His guitar solos are multinoted and precise, and though he is quite fast, he still manages to squeeze a great amount of feeling from every note.
In 1995 Kelly won the "Living Blues Award for the Best Contemporary Blues Album" with his Wolf Records' CD "Call Me". One song of this CD even got into the US radio charts: "Wall to Wall". Kelly has already played at various blues festivals like e.g. at the Chicago Blues Festival 1998 and in the best blues clubs in the US like e.g. in Buddy Guy's club "Buddy Guy's Legends". Wolf Records has also released his third CD (after "Call Me" and "Joyridin' in the Subway") with the title "Hands Off".
He has also done three concert tours in Europe between 1999 and 2002 and released his fourth Wolf CD in 2000, "What three old Ladies can do". Last not least Vance Kelly is the two-times Chicago Music Awards-winner for being the best blues entertainer 2000 & 2001!!