★ About ★
With a rafter reaching voice and crazily charismatic stage presence, Kelley Swindall has toured the country solo with her fiercely unique sound, for the better part of the decade. Equally, at home in a biker bar or under a proscenium arch, the Georgia born/NYC based artist seamlessly blends classic country, blues, roots, and folk.and instantly became a songwriter is almost a country song in itself. But that’s the dark miracle of heartbreak.
A born storyteller with a sensibility that’s both hilarious and heart-on-sleeve sincere, her songs posit strong personalities against a world of misogyny, heartbreak, and hilarious absurdity; celebrating resilient spirits in all their flaws and prowess.
Part Patsy, Part Dolly, and all Heart, her idiosyncratic debut studio album, You Can Call Me Darlin’ If You Want, is out digitally via Velvet Elk Records, w/ physical copies available for Pre-Order Now.
She’s opened for the likes of David Allan Coe, Aaron Lee Tasjen, & Joseph Arthur, dueted with Wheeler Walker Junior, and toured as support for Jesse Malin & Tuk Smith. Until a tour can safely happen again, catch her on her LiveStream "Bathroom Ballads", broadcast from the room in her downtown NYC apartment with the best acoustics: The Bathroom.
The oldest of 7 children, born in Atlanta, and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Swindall grew up in a strict evangelical school & household, where her exposure to secular culture and music was limited. “Christian, Country, & ‘Oldies, that was pretty much it. My Dad loved Kris Kristofferson, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash, and by proxy, so did I. He’d play ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ on the way to church every week. The irony is not not lost on me.” After high school she studied Theater at the University of Miami, before dropping out to move to New York City, where she performed off-Broadway for several years as an ensemble member of The Amoralists Theater Company, but after a break up with a musician, she set her sights on writing her own music, and found her calling along the way.
A storyteller with a sensibility that’s both hilarious and heart-on-sleeve sincere, the characters in her songs are strong female leads nursing heartbreak and breaking hearts, and boldly defying the docile image of Southern femininity that she grew up with. “I was raised in a culture where I was taught to “be nice”, “don’t make a fuss”, and “don’t act out”, especially when it came to men. I think it’s a Southern lady thing: smile and be gracious, always act like you’re okay, even when you’re not. I think it was my songwriting that helped me realize it’s not only okay but it’s necessary to be open, honest, and real, especially with those emotions & desires that might be deemed “unsavory”. To express how you’re really feeling and what you want and need, doesn’t make you crazy or needy, It just makes you human.”