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Michael Kelsh

WELL OF MERCY • Michael Kelsh

Kelsh is a plain talkin man with strong feelings that he knows as well as most people know their name. His voice is emotional, but not dramatic, just the sound of a compassionate human being who's been around. He's palpably southern, a Carolinan. One of the most interesting things about being a Yankee in Nashville these many years is getting to know all the different kinds of rebel souls, since most of my friends are players, singers and writers. People from Mississippi and Texas or from Louisiana and North Carolina are as different as people from New York and Minnesota.

Michael is from North Carolina, where many of my favorite pickers in town come from. Most of the ones I know are soft spoken, deep feeling guys, maybe that's a coincidence. There are no tales of conquest, there's barely a trace of bravado to be found. But the subject of love does come up, and redemption, and stories of souls wandering. Trains, valleys, wells, restlessness.

Seven very talented close friends took great part in the proceedings. John Cowan sings harmony, though that's kind of like saying Ray Charles plays piano. The other heavenly harmony voice is the inimitable Joy Lynn White. Legendary steel and dobro player Rusty Young is everywhere in the tracks, but never too much. Electric bass is Michael Rhodes, he makes everything sound better and people play better when he's around. Michael's good friend Stu Cole from the Squirrel Nut Zippers plays all the tasty upright bass. Talk about taste, Larry Atamanuik from Union Station plays drums, he's always on the money.

Well of Mercy was made at Executive Producer Rodney Crowell's home studio, with the Honorable Bill Halverson producing, and Donivan Cowart engineering. Rodney has a touching quote on the back cover, and there was a hot one on the front from Steve Earle. I lost it when I threw the plastic away, damn. But check out some clips from this fine record on our Listen page, and buy it here.  • FG

view cover    michael kelsh @ efolkmusic

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