While travelling in Rio in 2013 Kelly Oliver made a life changing decision. She decided to pursue a career performing her own material, and on her return to the UK set to making this a reality.
Looking into the local singer songwriting scene, Kelly was immediately offered a slot at the Hitchin Folk Club, and soon after, a place in their club tent at the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Kelly released her debut album, ‘This Land’ in 2014 on Folkstock Records, with assistance from Help Musicians UK, whose Emerging Excellence Award funded the album’s recording and manufacture. The Telegraph gave the album a 4* review, and said it was a vindication of the funding, also adding it to their top folk albums of that year.
Additionally, ‘This Land’ won Best Album By A Female Artist 2014 from Folkwords, and Kelly won Solo Singer of the Year from NMG Awards. Kelly’s also had support from Bob Harris, who’s not only interviewed her for his ‘Under The Apple Tree’ sessions, but has played her last four single releases on his Sunday show on BBC Radio 2, as has Mark Radcliffe, on his Radio 2 Folk Show.
Not bad for her first year out!
2015 has seen Kelly travel the country as tour support for Thea Gilmore, and has also supported Barbara Dickson. She’s performed live on over 20 BBC Radio shows across the country, and was recently on Mark Forrest’s show, in a live interview broadcast across all 40 regional BBC stations. Kelly has sung duets with Luke Jackson, Will Pound, Ciaran Algar, Lukas Drinkwater, and Dave Swarbrick. Dave had this to say about her:
“Kelly has the vocal skills and an exquisite voice to boot. For one so young to have such a grasp of life’s travails is unusual, I like Kelly Oliver’s approach to the present and the past and I predict a glittering future for her.”
Playing both guitar and harmonica (Kelly is sponsored by Hohner, giving her access to a wide range of instruments with which to create her music), she brings a modern twist to folk, and is widely regarded as a rising star of the genre.
Kelly’s single, ‘Miles To Tralee’, which features on her new album, was the opening track on the latest Folkstock compilation, which was recommended by The Sunday Times Culture magazine as an, “Essential new release” – with special mention for Kelly.
Kelly Oliver’s new album, ‘Bedlam’, is set for release on March 6, and she shall be touring to promote it during February and March 2016.
We will review ‘Bedlam’ closer to the release.