Dave Kelly: Solo Performances Live In Germany 1986-1989

Dave Kelly Solo Performances Live In Germany  1986-1989.jpeg

Submitted by Iain Patience

If ever there was a UK bluesman needing no introduction it must surely be Dave Kelly. If anyone has paid his blues dues in this country, and beyond as this release proves, it must be him.  Always in total control of his music, Kelly has been packing them into small, sweaty clubs and bars alongside bigger venues across Europe and the UK for more years than even he might want to remember.

As this double-disc set shows, he has been touring Germany for many years now, a country with a strong blues-fan base and where his style of intimate acoustic mastery and anecdotal sidetracks and wisecracks slip down with absolute ease, despite language differences.

All of the 35 - yes, 35 - tracks here in this double album come from soundboard recordings made by Kelly's on-the-road soundman back in the late-eighties when the bluesman was a regular annual feature at clubs and bars across Germany. They only came to light relatively recently when Kelly was again on the German road and his old soundman turned up at a gig bearing boxes of tapes he'd made back in the day.

The resulting mass of material has been gradually whittled down to 35 - to date - tracks that Kelly himself feels worthy of release and that reflect well his talent, ability and downright command of acoustic blues guitar, with electric forays and flourishes as we'd expect, captured live and featuring a pretty comprehensive range of his touring menu with diverse covers of Ray Davies's Sunny Afternoon, Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue Got Married, Willie McTells' Statesboro Blues, Jesse Fuller's old favourite San Francisco Bay Blues and Son House's  Death Letter. Add a side of Willie Dixon, Arthur Crudup, Broonzy, Muddy and Robert Johnson to the mix and you have an excellent, little short of astonishing collection and live album, reflecting Kelly's own love of and immersion in the traditional blues.