Kirby Kelley is a Dallas based performer with the ability to delve effortlessly into the musical wellsprings of either solo acoustic virtuosity or electric band settings with parallel prowess. His lengthy sets purvey the raw power and emotion drawn from his predecessors while balancing on a frog's hair line between the past and his own innate sense of the future of the blues. His skills as a slide guitarist set him apart, and are extracted from a myriad of influences that ultimately culminate into a rich gumbo of blues based musical soul food. Kirby excels at acoustic finger style Delta, Texas, and Piedmont blues stylings - again, placing his own indelible stamp on the presentation of each. His soulful vocals are deeply set in the origins of the blues and are a perfect springboard for his virtuosity as a guitarist.
While performing his solo acoustic act, Kirby revels in going the extra mile to to provide an intimate setting during his performances. Space permitting, he is often accompanied by a living room of antiques and warm furnishings that pull the listener in to make them feel at home and a part of the show.
As a sideman and studio artist, Kirby is known far and wide for his ability to pull from a broad palette, to adjust with deftness, and to rise to the needs of the occasion and / or genre'. His skills set include, but are not limited to: Standard Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Slide Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Dobro, Bass, Baritone Guitar, and Slack Key Guitar. Although he predominantly performs as a solo act, he may also be found performing in an electric band setting and often performs as an integral component of Jr. Clark and The Journeymen in and around the Dallas / Ft. Worth Metroplex.
Kirby is also an avid educator. He has taught at the prestigious National Guitar Workshop for several years, and has taught at home, in the schools, and abroad. A great passion of his is that of mentoring and guiding wounded and disabled vets with the therapeutic gift of guitar, songwriting, and music through the Austin Veteran's Guitar Project at The Armstrong Community School Of Music based there. He is often found performing clinics throughout the U.S. for Paul Reed Smith Guitars and Amplification, and is an endorsee for Paul's products as well as those of many other companies and distributors. It is imperative to him that the art of Slide Guitar and of Blues Guitar be presented to others and for it to carry on through education.