VANCE 'GUITAR' KELLY
June 13, 2010
Chicago Blues Festival
Petrillo Band Shell, Grant Park, Chicago, IL
Recorded by Roy Martin using a Zoom H2 with a set of Core Sound Cardioid Microphones
from the front row stage right of the Petrillo Band Shell, Grant Park, Chicago.
Cool Edit Pro used for fades edits only. No EQ or other manipulation to the
sound occurred. Salt & pepper to taste.
Split into individual tracks using CD Wave Editor.
SBEs corrected using Trader's Little Helper ("-fixed" removed from the filenames).
Encoded to FLAC (Level 7) using Trader's Little Helper.
Sorry, but I need help with the setlist. The last song is a cover of Prince's "Purple Rain."
From Vance's website:
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
taught 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.