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Singer-songwriter Kelly McFarling, accompanied by Jonathan Kirchner (bass), Andrew Laubacher (drums, percussion) and Tim Marcus (pedal steel, guitars)
Traditionally-minded, sparse yet powerful "original rhythm and bluegrass." Releases include "Distractible Child," "Conspire," "Others," and "Ridgeline."
Homegrown and haunting, Kelly McFarling's voice spirals powerfully and progressively over a bed of oldtimey instrumentation. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, where she learned to sing in church choirs and baseball stadiums, and learned to write through the stories of Flannery O' Connor and Toni Morrison. She has since wandered out West, where she can be found in the back rooms of San Francisco bars plucking her banjo and singing siren songs.
Dubbed "original rhythm and bluegrass," her songs are inspired by hard truths and transitions, with bold honest lyrics and authentic melodies that stay with you long after the song is over. McFarling's outgoing and adventurous spirit comes through in her lyrics, her live performances, and in the music's indulgence in elements outside its clear influences of folk, oldtime, blues and country. Using her distinct percussive style of clawhammer banjo to back up her rich voice, she pays homage to her Southern roots while giving them a new home in her original sound.
Her live performances are versatile and have earned her a rapidly growing and loyal fan base in the Bay Area. She can perform in intimate house concerts, and fill rock clubs with the sound of her full band, featuring rich upright bass, perfectly placed percussion, and lush slide guitar. Songs are to be taken wholeheartedly, preferably on the shirt, outside of sleeves. They accompany a sense of longing, nostalgia, and the urge to sit down with your oldest friends, or your newest love.
Her influences stretch far and wide – “Kate Murray, Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, Laura Goldhamer, Outkast, The Dovekins, Gregory Alan Isakov, Indigo Girls, Neko Case, Ani Difranco, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Lucina Williams, Emmylou Harris, The Everybodyfields, Sarah Harmer, Damien Rice, Radiohead, Wilco, Andrew Bird, Anais Mitchell, Sean Hayes, Deb Talen, Jennifer Nettles, Palestrina, The Avett Brothers, The Be Good Tanya's, Allison Kruass and Union Station, Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, Chris Smither, Taj Mahal, Jose Gonzales, Fiona Apple, Tegan and Sarah, Teddy Thompson, Aretha Franklin ... and the beat goes on and on ... ”