One To Watch: Country Singer Kristen Kelly

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(Nashville, TN) Kristen Kelly’s debut country music single is one that comes from the heart and  the hip.

Ex-Old Man” tells the story of Kelly catching her husband cheating with her best friend. Like many artists, Kelly turned her pain into a project and ended up with what could be a hit song, “You can hear a song that can take you back to a place in your life, be it good or bad.”

While Kelly’s music is listed as “country,” she says it goes beyond that, “My music would best be described as having a bit more grease than polish. I grew up loving country music, my dad introduced me to classic rock and somewhere along the way I fell in love with blues. I feel like all that comes out in my music.”

Growing up in Lorena, Texas, Kelly has paid her dues playing in honky tonks and almost every other place you can name, “Not everyone is gonna get what I do and that’s OK. That doesn’t mean I’m going to quit doing what I do. The ones that do get it are the ones that keep me going.”

Someone liked her music, because Kelly is signed to the Arista Nashville label and has a CD coming this fall. She’s also part Brad Paisley’s 2012 Virtual Reality World Tour, “Brad is so nice. He’s really supportive. He has us all come out when he sings his song Alcohol.” Paisley and Kelly will play the Snowden Grove Amphitheater in Southaven August 17.

Another song on her forthcoming album, “Turn and Face Memphis,” is not so much a tribute to the city, as it is telling an ex to hit the road, “It’s telling somebody, ‘you know, you can turn and face Memphis. Your ultimatum of ‘my way or the highway’ I didn’t put up with it.”

Kelly got her first break while bartending in 2001 when she was invited to join a local cover band after a performance she hadn’t planned to make. She spent three years singing with the group part-time, then moved onto song writing.

I first heard Kelly while she performed on the new BMI stage outside LP Field during the CMA Music Festival in Nashville last June. The mission of the stage is to give new artists a place to shine during a week when country music fans descend on Nashville. It didn’t take long before Kelly’s fun on stage spread to the audience and people started asking, “What’s her name?”

While she’s excited about her current success, Kelly remains grounded and hopeful, “If you’ve got a dream, follow it. Dreams are powerful things.”

“Ex-Old Man” is currently available on iTunes.

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