Old Man Kelly: Songs, Stories, Shanties and Shenanigans

Don’t Tell Darlings on CD Baby

The Don't Tell Darlings: Sugar for Sugar

Jugbusters on CD Baby


Summertime Is Funnertime!

Summertime is funnertime here in the mountains of Virginia, the garden is already a jungle, and my gig schedule is ramping up accordingly.  Here are a few of the highlights:

This Saturday, June 7, I’ll be calling the River City Barn Dance at Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, with tunes provided by my old friends from The Beer Ticks.  (These ticks don’t suck!)  On either side of that, I’ll be providing accompaniment for Alison Self — Friday night at the Hippodrome Theater in Richmond, and Sunday night at Marty’s Grill in Mechanicsville.  It will be a delicious square dance sandwich between two slices of classic country bread.  If you’re near RVA, come out and say hello.

On Wednesday, June 11, Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers will be bringing our unique blend of country swing dance music to Mingle At the Market in Blacksburg.  Local beer, local produce, and live dance music at an outdoor venue with an early enough start time to bring the family.  If you stay home for this one, you’re crazy.  Or boring.  Don’t be crazy or boring.

Sunday, June 15, I’ll be doing a solo set at the annual Father’s Day brunch put on by the Palisades Restaurant at the old schoolhouse in Eggleston, VA.  This was an amazing event last year, featuring a former White House chef, an alien visitation, and a whole day worth of bands in one of the prettiest parts of the state.  I’m very much looking forward to doing it again this year!

Speaking of the Palisades Restaurant, on Friday, June 27, I’m thrilled to announce a reunion show of The Don’t Tell Darlings.  This will be a one-night-stand, featuring the full four-piece band that captured the hearts of central Virginia a few years ago.  A couple of albums, a few marriages, and one and a half babies later, we’re getting back together for one night only.  If you miss this one, maybe we’ll see you again in three or four years.  Maybe.

And that’s just the highlights.  My full schedule for the next two months is below.  You know the rules: Get off my lawn.  Come out to a show.  And thanks for supporting non-corporate, home-grown music!

  • 6/06 Fri, 7pm: Hippodrome Theater, Richmond, VA (with Alison Self)
  • 6/07 Sat, 4pm: River City Barn Dance, Hardywood Brewery, Richmond, VA (Square Dance)
  • 6/08 Sun, 6pm: Marty’s Grill, Mechanicsville, VA (with Alison Self)
  • 6/11 Wed, 5pm: Mingle at the Market, Blacksburg, VA (Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers)
  • 6/13 Fri, 6pm: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
  • 6/15 Sun, 11am: Palisades Father’s Day Brunch, Eggleston, VA (Old Man Kelly)
  • 6/19 Thu, 6pm: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
  • 6/21 Sat, 9am: Blacksburg Farmer’s Market, Blacksburg, VA (Old Man Kelly)
  • 6/21 Sat, 7pm: Private Event, Mountain Lake, VA (Square Dance)
  • 6/27 Fri, 6pm: Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston, VA (with The Don’t Tell Darlings)
  • 6/28 Sat, 12pm: Private Event, Blacksburg, VA (with The Don’t Tell Darlings)
  • 7/04 Fri, 1pm: Independence Day Parade, Newport, VA (Old Man Kelly)
  • 7/11 Fri, 6pm: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, VA (with Bob Chew)
  • 7/16 Wed, 7pm: Market Square Jam, Blacksburg, VA (with The Hoyt Street Hotshots)
  • 7/17 Thu, 7pm: Jake’s Place, Smith Mountain Lake, VA (with The Fat Tuesdays Band)
  • 7/26 Sat, 7pm: Roanoke Contra Dance, Kirk Ave YMCA, Roanoke, VA (Contra Dance)

Streetsweepers show in Radford CANCELLED

I’m sorry to say that due to the snow removal situation, the Streetsweepers show in Radford is cancelled for tonight.  We’ll reschedule for some time in the coming months!

February and March shows with Old Man Kelly

Winter blues got you down? Tired of staring at your living room walls waiting for the thaw? Have I got a deal for you!

In partnership with the Side Door crew, Old Man Kelly And The Streetsweepers will be bringing honky-tonk and country swing music to
Radford on Saturday, Feb. 15. Come with friends, bring a date, or come alone and leave with new friends. This is a BYOB, open to the public,
no-holds-barred winter-blues-busting throw-down. This ain’t no seated show: plenty of room to dance, or just socialize with your crew!

Venue: Grace Episcopal Church, 210 4th St., Radford, VA
Date: Saturday, Feb. 15
Time: Doors at 6:30; music at 7:00
Cost: $8/person

Also, mark your calendars for Mardi Gras, March 4. I’ll be joining the Fat Tuesdays Band on tenor banjo for not one, but two shows of great New Orleans jazz:

Venue: The Quarter, Roanoke, VA
Date: Tuesday, Mar. 4
Time: 8:00pm

Venue: Martin’s Downtown, Roanoke, VA
Date: Tuesday, Mar. 4
Time: 11:00pm


On March 29, I’ll be calling square dances with Farm Use Only at the Marginal Arts Festival, Roanoke’s premiere event of marginal and outsider art:


And those are just the highlights — check out the web site and Facebook page for the full February/March schedule. And get off my lawn! And come to a show!

New Year Love Letter to My Friends and Fans

As we put 2013 up on the shelf and dust off our shiny new 2014, I want to take the opportunity to say Thank You.

Thank you to all of my fans and friends who came out to support my music this year.  Since the last time we tore the calendar from the wall, I’ve done nearly 120 performances — about one every three days.  Thanks to my friends from Welcome to Hoonah, my friends from The Fat Tuesdays Band, my friends from The Streetsweepers, my friends from The Jugbusters, my friend Bob Chew, my friends from all of the dances that we’ve put on, the pies we’ve auctioned, and the shenanigans we’ve raised.  Thanks to everyone who has helped with booking and organizing all of these shows and events.  It’s been a hell of a ride.

This year saw me produce and release not one, but two new albums.  Thanks to everyone who helped to make Old Man Kelly’s Songs, Stories, Shanties and Shenanigans a success.  Thank you, Nancy Jurek for the photography; Chris Printz, Nathan Bowles, Mark Barbour, Hugh Crumley for the musical contributions; and all of the Blacksburg rabble for the shanty vocals (see liner notes for the complete list!)  Thank you to The Don’t Tell Darlings for Salt for Salt, the finest accidental album ever made in a beach house.  Not everybody gets to go on vacation with their best friends and make a record in between blender drinks and mini golf, but I do.  Thank you.

Of course, 2013 was just the warm-up.  The new year is looking pretty good.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Saturday, January 4: Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers at Fatso Ballroom in Blacksburg.  Potluck starts at 6:30; dance starts at 8:00.  If you’ve been waiting for your chance to dance to honky-tonk and country swing in the New River Valley, wait no longer.
  • Saturday, January 25: Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers at Sapphire Ballroom in Christiansburg.  The dance studio staff will be teaching a swing dance lesson at 7:30, and the band will cut loose at 8:30.  Come alone, bring a date, or bring a group of 5 or more to get a group discount!
  • Thursday, January 30: Old Man Kelly solo set at Gillie’s in Blacksburg.  Haul away, Joe!

As ever, you’ll find the full schedule at http://oldmankelly.com.  And as ever:

You kids get off my lawn and come out to the show!

Old Man Kelly Fall 2013 News

First off, big thanks to everybody who has supported Old Man Kelly in various ways throughout this whirlwind of a year.  For those who’ve missed out, this year has seen two album releases (one from Old Man Kelly and one from The Don’t Tell Darlings) and over 100 live performances so far.  That’s a whole lot of music and dancing, and it’s only October.  But there’s lots more to come.  In collaboration with the River Laker Cultural Center, I’ve been assembling a monthly square dance at the Marketplace at 16 West in Roanoke.  The next dance is tonight, starring Northern Roots String Band, a bunch of young musicians from Sweden and Vermont:


The following dance at 16 West will be Friday, Nov. 22, with Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers.  Speaking of the Streetsweepers, we’ll be participating in the Land Jam, a benefit concert for the New River Land Trust, at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Nov. 9, sharing a bill with Laura Beth and Clover Hollow.  And speaking of dances, I’ll be calling dances this Saturday at the Glade Road Growing Harvest Dance (2351 Glade Road, Blacksburg) with string band Farm Use Only.  An amazing farm dinner will proceed the dance at 6pm!

If you missed the Old Man Kelly album release, you can still get a CD at a live show, or online:


You can also buy a digital copy via CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, and the other usual suspects.  The album is twelve songs of original and traditional music, and I’ve been pretty excited about the response it’s been getting so far.

Also exciting is the new Don’t Tell Darlings album, “Salt for Salt”:


This is a digital-only release of nine new songs recorded on our farewell beach vacation before the band parted ways to get married and have babies and such.  It contains some of my favorite Darlings cuts to date, and is not to be missed.

That’s it for now.  Hope fall finds you well, and remember: get off my lawn and come out to a show!

Old Man Kelly Fall 2013 Dates:

  •     Thu 10/17/2013: Roanoke Urban Barn Dance (with Northern Roots String Band), Marketplace at 16 West, Roanoke, VA
  •     Sat 10/19/2013: Harvest Dance, Glade Road Farm (with Farm Use Only), Blacksburg, VA
  •     Thu 10/31/2013: Gillie’s (as Old Man Kelly), Blacksburg, VA
  •     Sat 11/2/2013: The Cellar (with Welcome to Hoonah), Blacksburg, VA
  •     Mon 11/4/2013: Mountain Justice Pie Auction, Gillie’s, Blacksburg, VA
  •     Tue 11/5/2013: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew), Christiansburg, VA
  •     Fri 11/8/2013: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew), Christiansburg, VA
  •     Sat 11/9/2013: Land Jam (with Old Man Kelly and The Streetsweepers), Lyric Theater, Blacksburg, VA
  •     Fri 11/15/2013: Perspectives Gallery (as Old Man Kelly), Squires Student Center, Virginia Tech campus
  •     Fri 11/22/2013: Roanoke Urban Barn Dance (with Old Man Kelly and the Streetsweepers), Marketplace at 16 West, Roanoke, VA
  •     Sat 11/23/2013: London Underground Pub (as Old Man Kelly), Blacksburg, VA
  •     Mon 12/2/2013: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew), Christiansburg, VA
  •     Fri 12/13/2013: Due South BBQ (with Bob Chew), Christiansburg, VA