• Christine

Josh Kelley Is Pure Entertainment At The Loft At City Winery!

Updated: Mar 17

Josh Kelley has been writing music and performing for nearly 20 years. Over that 20 year career, he’s explored different genres of music and continually re-invented his sound. Josh’s music has ranged from pop to adult contemporary to country.


Josh’s latest album is due to be released in June of 2020. The music on this album is mostly inspired by his every day life. He’s watching his kids grow up and developing their own personalities. Josh is also continuing to find new reasons to be in love with his wife after 15 years.


Josh Kelley brought some of those new songs, as well as some old songs, to his show at The Loft at City Winery on Sunday night. Keep reading to learn more about Josh and his music!


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THE VENUE

Josh Kelley played The Loft at City Winery, which is the smaller upstairs room in the venue. After seeing just two shows here, City Winery is quickly becoming one of my favorite venues in Philadelphia.

City Winery

City Winery is quickly becoming one of my favorite music venues in the city.

One of my favorite things about The Loft? They actually announce before the show that you need to be quiet during the show out of respect for the artists and your fellow audience members. Love that!


You can read more about City Winery and some of my tips for attending a show there here.


THE SHOW

HARPER GRAE


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Harper Grae was born in Montgomery, AL. Growing up was not easy for Harper. Her mother struggled with drug addiction and her parents divorced when she was young. Harper and her siblings ended up living with their grandparents, who raised them along with one of their aunts.


Despite her difficult childhood, Harper worked hard in school and ended up attending Auburn University. It was during that time that she decided to pursue her passion for singing. Harper competed in a local singing competition – Auburn Idol – and won. In 2012, Harper auditioned for the second season of The Glee Project. While she didn’t win, she made it through to week nine, which was enough to make a name for herself with viewers.


After The Glee Project, Harper moved to Nashville to pursue her professional music career. Since then, Harper has been recording music and performing her version of country pop.


THE PERFORMANCE

Harper Grae took the stage at 8:00 p.m. Wearing a black leather jacket and white sneakers, she was accompanied by her guitarist.

Harper Grae

Harper Grae played an opening set before Josh Kelley took the stage at The Loft at City Winery.

Harper kicked off her set with some new songs, including a brand new one called “Love You Anyway”.


She also played her current single “Wanna Wear A Dress“. Harper’s voice is strong, and the harmonies between her and her guitarist (who is really impressive on the guitar) worked perfectly.


Harper also has a great presence about her on stage. You really quickly feel like you know her personally, as she shares stories about her songs. One of the most touching moments of the show, was when she shared the story of two friends that had passed away during the recent tornadoes in Nashville. Harper shared that one of the tornadoes hit two blocks from her house. She dedicated a beautiful version of Elvis Presley’s classic “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” to her friends. She incorporated “Amazing Grace” in as well.

Harper Grae

Harper Grae performed with a lot of passion. She dedicated a song to her friends that perished in the Nashville tornadoes and you could feel her pain as she sang.

Harper lightened the mood with a cover of the Naughty Boy/Sam Smith song “La la la”. I really loved the arrangement Harper came up with. It had a nice groove to it and proved that Harper is more than a country singer.


Harper wrapped up her set with her original song “Monster“, which is about her Mom’s drug addiction and her eventual passing due to her addictions. She closed with “Young Blood“.

Harper Grae

I really enjoyed Harper Grae. She has a great voice and a great personality!

Harper is on the road supporting Josh Kelley throughout this tour. You can keep up with her on her website.


JOSH KELLEY


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Josh Kelley was born in Augusta, GA. He began playing music at the age of 11. Josh and his brother, Charles, formed a band called Inside Blue when they were teenagers. Eventually, Charles Kelley went on to make up part of the country trio Lady Antebellum.

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley has been playing music since he was a kid. He brought his music to Philadelphia on Sunday night.

Josh released his first independent album – Changing Faces – in 2001. The next year, he signed a record deal with Hollywood Records, and released For The Ride Home in 2003.

By 2005, Josh had moved to Los Angeles and released his next album – Almost Honest. The album contained the hit single “Only You”.


Josh asked to be released from his record label, and released his third album – Just Say The Word – under his own independent label. Over the next few years, Josh continued to release more music under his independent label. During this time, Josh was also a big proponent of independent artists using file sharing applications, such as Napster, to help them find an audience for their work.


In 2009, Josh decided to change directions musically. He signed with MCA Nashville and put out his first country album – Georgia Clay. The single by the same name became a hit on the Hot Country Songs chart.


From a personal perspective, Josh met actress Katherine Heigl in 2005, when she appeared in his “Only You” music video. They were married in 2007, and adopted their first daughter in 2009 and their second in 2012. They also have a son, who was born in 2016.


Josh released the single “Busy Making Memories” in late 2019. The song and the video (which is directed by Heigl) offers a snapshot into Josh’s life on the family’s ranch in Utah. In fact, Josh creates most of his music in a barn on the property that he’s converted into a music studio.


Josh’s most recent single – “Love Her Boy” – just came out and is already finding success on all the streaming services.


THE PERFORMANCE

Josh Kelley took the stage at 8:50 p.m. Right from the beginning, I knew this wasn’t going to be your typical “singer/songwriter” show. First of all, Josh’s voice is amazing. While he used the microphone throughout the show, his voice could have easily filled the room without it.

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley’s voice is strong. It filled the room. He used the microphone, but probably didn’t need to.

Second, Josh is funny. I mean really funny. During Josh’s show, you quickly get the impression that he doesn’t take life – or himself – too seriously. Whether it was joking about using his sleeve – or as he called it, his “corona condom” – to touch things, or telling a funny story as he introduced songs, I found myself laughing out loud throughout the show.


Josh was not afraid to put his personal life out there – both in his stories and his songs. One of the things Josh mentioned a couple of times, was that whenever his wife gets mad at him, he writes her a song. He referred to it as his “get out of jail free” card. You can hear one of his stories related to this at the beginning of this video, as he introduces “Two Cups Of Coffee”.


In addition to Josh’s original songs, he threw in some covers during the show including Bruce Hornsby’s “Mandolin Rain”, a really fun version of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”.

Josh Kelley

Josh used a little keyboard to play the accompanying music for his cover of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”.

Opener Harper Grae joined Josh on stage to cover Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. Josh said that instead of flying to Philly from their last show, they decided to make the 6 hour drive down in the rental car, and they pulled the song together during the drive.

Josh Kelley

Josh and Harper doing a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”.

Another funny part of the show was when Josh played the song “Masterpiece”. He said he used to joke when introducing the song and tell people that it was heavy on sexual content and could “get you pregnant”. Then he said that he found out that a friend had a baby 9 months after hearing him perform the song, so the joke turned out to be true! The song was fun and Josh threw in a bit of the theme song from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, which is always a sure fire way to get a Philly crowd to sing along!

Josh Kelley

Josh did a great job of keeping the audience entertained and involved in the show.

Josh wrapped up his show with his first hit – “Amazing”. He told the story of writing the song and putting it out there on Napster, and how amazed and thankful he was that it took off the way it did. It was a fun way to end a really fun show!


Josh has a great knack for interjecting his humor and his heart into his show. There were times when I felt like I was watching him play a song for his family at home in his home studio. There were other times when I felt like I was watching a Vegas comedy show (Josh does a great impression of Michael McDonald and Al Green). Without a doubt, I was thoroughly entertained!

Josh Kelley

Whether he was on the guitar, the keyboard, or the piano, Josh was a lot of fun the whole show!

Josh Kelley is on tour across the country through the beginning of May. Check out his website for a tour date near you!


Set List (click on any title to purchase the song on Amazon): One Foot In The Grave, Two Cups Of Coffee, Busy Making Memories, Mandolin Rain (Bruce Hornsby & The Range cover), Georgia Clay, Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover), Loves You Like Me, Almost Honest, Masterpiece, Landslide (Fleetwood Mac cover), Love Her Boy, Naleigh Moon, I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover), Tidal Wave, Amazing


Have you seen Josh Kelley before? Have you listened to his music? If so, what did you think? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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