MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Country Artist to Watch: Kristen Kelly

Last year, a relative unknown country artist from central Texas named Kristen Kelly signed with Arista Nashville and released a catchy single “Ex-Old Man”, followed by an eponymous EP toward the end of the year. With all the noise surrounding bigger-than-life acts like Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift and The Band Perry, Kelly’s release went unnoticed by a lot of country fans, but it is an EP that shouldn’t be ignored. This artist has a spark that could very well set her into the next round of big-name up-and-comers.

Co-produced by country veteran Paul Overstreet, who met Kelly in 2010 and was impressed enough to start writing songs with her, the Kristen Kelly EP reveals a singer with a contagious passion, a bluesy country style, and a strength in her voice reminiscent of Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles. “Ex-Old Man” is a simple, catchy, radio-worthy single that could keep up with country’s finest, and Kelly’s blues-infused brand of country could easily create a niche if it is played into the right set of ears. And that seems to be happening, because Kelly’s tour schedule includes performing at the Grand Ole Opry and sharing the stage with the likes of Gary Allen and Rascal Flatts in the months ahead.

Right now, all we’ve got to by is this four-song EP, but these four songs show a great deal of promise. I have a feeling we’re going to hear a lot more from Kristen Kelly in the days ahead.




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About the Author


Music blogger Rob Burkhardt has been a fan of country music since he was a child, cutting his teeth on the sounds of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Reba McIntyre and George Jones. In the words of the now-legendary Barbara Mandrell song, he was "country when country wasn't cool." Nowadays, Rob is both intrigued and excited about the mainstream crossover appeal of modern country, as seen in the success of artists like Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum. Even so, Rob's personal tastes in country music remain "old school," tied to the great legends of country. When he's not blogging about country music, Rob Burkhardt holds a day job as a middle school teacher, and is an avid sports fan. He lives with his wife and two teenage girls in southern Ohio.

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Posted in: Country Music, Featured


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