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Kelsey's Woods / Bio

"When the Morning Comes Around" is out now! Stream it and purchase it at KelseysWoods.bandcamp.com!

Here's what they're saying about it:

Kelsey’s Woods is a group that actually could make its way to country radio. The Knoxville-based act has a healthy dose of rock ‘n’ roll and sounds contemporary. There are some songs about drinking, but when it comes to songwriting, the band doesn’t check its brain at the door. The numbers are smart and catchy and could appeal to 50-year-olds as much as teenagers. And, for a nod to tradition, there’s an intriguing trucker story (“The Ballad of the Drifter and the Yellow Cactus Rose”). …Kelsey’s Woods is a fine place to visit.        –Wayne Bledsoe, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Knoxville, Tennessee

Everything you need to know about the vibe of the new Kelsey’s Woods album can be summed up in the opening track, “99 Miles” — “I know it ain’t right, it’s just the way I am with this twisted heart of mine, but one more night and I’ll be a brand new man, got 99 miles ’til the Mexico line …” It’s an anthem of desperation, the sound of an outlaw leaving a string of broken promises, broken girls and broken laws in the dust of his rearview as he red-lines the tachometer for a new start on the other side of the border. But you’d be doing a disservice to yourself and this band if that’s the only song you hear on this record. The band throws itself into every nuanced note, from the train-rhythm rockers to the foot-dragging weepers, as if their collective lives depended on them, and in a way they just might. Country music used to sound like this, and without a band like Kelsey’s Woods making an album like “When the Morning Comes Around,” the future of the genre would be a bleak one indeed. They don’t claim to be anything other than a group of guys with a penchant for country tradition and rebellious hearts full of rock ‘n’ roll, but as long as there are musicians like them making albums like this, fans and critics alike can grin like goofy sumbitches and agree that everything’s gonna be alright.           –Steve Wildsmith, Maryville Daily Times, Maryville, Tennessee

The first time I heard this album, it was playing as background music in a local Knoxville record store. By the third song, I was walking to the counter with money in my hand, fully prepared to purchase this lost Lucero/Isbell/Whiskeytown collaboration that I was sure I was listening to. Turns out it was a pre-release copy of When the Morning Comes Around. The guys in Kelsey’s Woods have stepped up every aspect of their sound on this album to make a record that has been getting just as many plays on my iPod as it has on the air at WDVX.       –Nelson Gullett, Music Director, WDVX, Knoxville, Tennessee

They’ve been working hard, performing and writing, and now it is paying off. It was time for them to make a darn fine record, and that is exactly what they have done. Yet another band that keeps raising the bar every time they play, and now they have done it on record. WUTK is looking forward to spinning this album for their fans, and for their many soon-to-be fans, as “When The Morning Comes Around” will definitely bring many more to their fold!         –Benny Smith, General Manager at WUTK FM, Knoxville, Tennessee

Kelsey’s Woods hasn’t exactly turned into a party band—When the Morning Comes Around is more like the soundtrack to the squinty-eyed hours after the bars have closed but before the whiskey has run out than a screaming good-time record.                             –Matthew Everett, Knoxville Mercury, Knoxville, Tennessee

Dear #Nashville, you haven’t produced a damn bit of music in decades as good as this new @KelseysWoods album. #WTMCA is awesome, #KWBigTime!                                    –Eric Bohlen, KnoxMusicToday.com via twitter @KnoxMusicToday

Make no mistake, When The Morning Comes Around is pure country. In fact, this record is everything that is great about country music.       –Kent Oglesby, Knoxville Music Scene

Kelsey’s Woods is a three/four/more-piece Americana/Roots band hailing from Chattanooga but calling Knoxville home for several years. Rooted in the traditional and true sounds of a forgotten music, Kelsey's Woods harkens back to years past when the story was the song. Combining equal parts of roots, country, folk and a little rock and roll, this concoction boasts three-part harmonies, interchangeable lead singers and all original songs speaking on themes from love, heartbreak, loss, murder, redemption, and the age old tradition of finding salvation in a whiskey glass. Kelsey's Woods hopes that you’ll join them in finding a brand new take on a forgotten but yet old and familiar sound. –kw

Kelsey's Woods is:
Dave Kennedy - singer/songwriter/guitar
Russ Torbett - doghouse bass/vocals
Andrew Bryant - drums/vocals
Stevie Jones - organ/piano
Austin Stepp - guitar/fiddle/vocals

General Info

Band Members
Dave Kennedy, Russ Torbett, Andrew Bryant, Will Carter, Stevie Jones
Artist Name
Kelsey's Woods
Home Page
Active Since
Country / Americana / Roots Rock

Contact Info

Knoxville, TN

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