January 28, 2011
Born in Streatham, South London, and with her brother, Dave Kelly, became blues fans in their teens. Few women were singing or playing the blues during the 1960s, let alone with her skill or understanding of early blues styles. Kelly had a voice far bigger than her slight frame would suggest; with a rich, deep, tonal quality that could easily have come from Dinah Washington. She first came to the attention of the nation at large when she joined forces with Tony McPhee's Groundhogs. In 1969 she appeared live with Mississippi Fred McDowell and later made many US tours. Back in the UK she became a major player on the blues circuit, recording with the John Dummer Blues Band and Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, as well as Stefan Grossman. In 1972 she completed an album with Woody Mann, John Miller and John Fahey.
Posted by Stiles