Venue Details

Alberta Rose Theatre
at the corner of NE Alberta and NE 30th Ave. 3000 NE Alberta Street Portland, OR 97211
503-719-6055
Website Get directions
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Description

Phelps is well-respected among his peers: 

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Roots rocker Steve Earle says:* “Kelly Joe Phelps plays, sings, and writes the blues. HOLD UP before you lock that in – forget about songs in a twelve bar three chord progression with a two line repeat and answer rhyme structure – though he can certainly do that when he wants to. I’m talking about a feeling, a smoky, lonesome, painful – yet somehow comforting groove that lets you know that you are not alone – even when you’re blue. Play on brother.”

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Progressive jazz artist Bill Frisell says:* "I first became aware of Kelly Joe Phelps when my daughter (who was 9 or 10 at the time) brought home a CD (Lead Me On) from the Vancouver Folk Festival. “You might like this, Dad” she said. Boy was she right. I’ve heard Kelly Joe mention that he’s been inspired by people like Roscoe Holcomb, Robert Pete Williams, Dock Boggs, Mississipi Fred McDowell, and others. He seems to have absorbed all this (and all kinds of other stuff as well) and come back with something all his own. Sounds like he’s coming from the inside out. The bottom up. He’s not just playing ‘AT’ the music or trying to recreate or imitate something that’s happened in the past. He seems to have tapped into the artery somehow. There’s a lot going on in between and behind the notes. Mystery. He’s been an inspiration to me."

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Contemporary bluegrass musician Tim O’Brien says:* “When I heard Kelly Joe the first time, I was amazed how it all made so much sense. His music is a wide world with three hundred and sixty degrees of influence, cleverly disguised as country blues. Kelly Joe is a musical slight of hand master. He pulls world wide sounds out of his guitar.”

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