She is a rapidly rising star based in Hertfordshire, Bob Harris even said live on BBC Radio 2 that she was "an emerging voice in British folk music" but as with all artists when they are starting out, inevitably relatively unknown in certain parts of the world. She gains new fans wherever she plays and has had four BBC Radio 2 plays on The Folk Show and Bob Harris's Sunday show, gained a 4* review from The Telegraph for her debut album and an Album of the Year award for said album (This Land) and has gained an Emerging Excellence Award to pay for the creation of the album.
Kelly is excited at the prospect of gigging in the South West. So far, the nearest she’s come ‘down South’ is Bristol (which sold out a 120 capacity venue) and a gig in Wellington, but with this tour she is really going to immerse herself in the region. The gig at River Cottage HQ is the climax of her tour on July 30th.
She will be in the South West from 17th July (at the Larmer Tree Festival) until 30th to reach as many people as possible via podcasts, video sessions, guesting on live radio, articles in local papers and features in regional blogs.
Kelly is an independent artist and she'll be staying with friends, generous venues and camping as there's no 'big music industry money' behind her. The boutique label 'Folkstock Records' was founded to release her music but this was from a standing start and despite having no previous music or record label experience, they have won a 'Music Empire' award in recognition of their tireless efforts - "whose ambitions seem to stretch way beyond resources and expectations". You can read more about the award HERE
All of the radio station 'plugging' was done internally by the label boss, Helen Meissner who is also Kelly's manager. Helen initially encouraged her daughter, Lauren Deakin Davies to learn how to record professionally and the result is the award winning album…. Not bad going! Quite a dynamic team they've got going there it would seem!
Kelly has duetted with a number of prominent names in the music world including Fairport Convention's Dave Swarbrick who is on record for commenting, "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".
As Music Crowns pointed out “Kelly’s brand of Folk is so accessible that you don’t need to be a ‘Strictly Folk’ music junky to enjoy her music. If you like a beautiful voice, lyrics from the heart and warm melodies then Kelly Oliver deserves your attention”
Kelly has enjoyed a whirlwind since May 2013 when she decided to put her all into becoming a self penned singer songwriter. Having originally been inspired by the folk tradition, she returned from travelling determined to give her own material a chance to be heard and put all her energy into realising her dream of becoming a professional musician. She decided to add Harmonica to her guitar accompaniment and has since won endorsement from HOHNER. She was delighted to win a financial Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK to fund her album and thrilled that Diamond Girl, the first single from the album which features the vocals of Luke Jackson was played on BBC Radio Two’s Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe on 1st October and Bob Harris Sunday show mid October.
Kelly has performed at Cambridge Folk Festival in both 2013 and 2014 for Hitchin Folk Club, has supported Cara Dillon, The Young ‘Uns, Chris and Kellie While, Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston, The Urban Folk Quartet, as well as headlining her own gigs. Kelly has performed live with Dave Swarbrick, Sunjay, Luke Jackson, Lukas Drinkwater, Ciaran Algar and Tobias ben Jacob as well as part of super group at The Convent Gloucestershire’s press party with Martin and Eliza Carthy, Tom Robinson, Gerry Diver among others and released a single with Will Pound as well as Diamond Girl featuring Luke Jackson and Jericho with Ciaran Algar, which was out on May 11th.
Kelly has been invited to session for Whispering Bob Harris for his ‘Under The Apple Tree’ show three times as well as to record at Jon Earl’s famed ‘Songs from the Shed’ twice and interview/session for a plethora of quality stations such as Amazing Radio, various BBC Stations & Three Counties Radio.
2015 is looking busy with a recently released single on May 11th, two further singles this year ahead of an album due in early 2016, produced with Nigel Stonier, Lauren Deakin Davies and Stu Hanna, a range of headline gigs and festivals in addition to recent live performances on Norwich's Mustard TV as well as on London Live TV
South West UK Tour Dates
The Willow Tree - Winchester 16th July
Frome Fm - Recording session for Homely Remedies - Thurs 17th July
Larmer Tree Festival - 19th July
Interview and session with Kate Dimbleby - 21st July
Session with Songs from the Caravan - 22nd July
10 Radio Taunton - Trevor Lloyd show 5pm - 22nd July
Wheelwright Inn Colyford - 23rd July
Mill House, Polperro - 24th July
Balcony TV session in Exeter - 24th July
SoundArt Radio - live interview and session - 25th July
Kingskerswell Parish Church - 25th July
Village Pump Festival - 26th July
Phoenix FM, Exeter - live interview/session - 29th July
River Cottage - 30th July
For more information on Kelly Oliver, why not check out her social media channels? They're all listed below, all you need to is point and click!