Kelly Joe Phelps
As the audience started to trickle out of the venue, I heard someone mutter "I thought I could play guitar, but now I feel like I just suck." It's easy to have that reaction after hearing Kelly Joe Phelps ravage an acoustic guitar - from the bluesy treatment of his smoothly zippy slide work (somewhat reminiscent of Ben Harper), to the downpour of plucked notes with guitar snugly under arm. He plays a wonderful array of tunes of his own penning and of traditional songs from the past - like a fantastic version of 'I am the light of the world' perhaps most famously performed by the Reverend Gary Davis. Look for his acoustic slide work also on Jay Farrar's solo album "Sebastapol".
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