Kelly Ravin plays gritty rock and roll. Equally at home in backcountry bars & big city clubs, his skills as an instrumentalist are outshadowed only by his gifts as a songwriter. Raised in rural Maine and residing in Vermont, Ravin rose to prominence as a driving force behind Waylon Speed, an “underground outlaw dirt rock” band the Washington Post called “a cross between Metallica and the Lumineers, with an unnecessary dash of Prince showmanship.” Glide Magazine and Seven Days provided probably-better touchstones, comparing the band to My Morning Jacket, Waylon Jennings, and Motörhead. The band hit the road hard, sharing the stage with acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, My Morning Jacket, Junior Brown & Futurebirds.
As members of Waylon Speed shifted focus to other endeavors, Ravin focused on his solo work. His music finds itself squarely in the rock and roll tradition, with early influence from acts like The Drive By Truckers and Steve Earle; and modern resonance with the alt-country resurgence led by Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and others.
Ravin’s 2015 release, “County Tracks”, found him setting off on his own. Seven Days called the record “a muscular work whose arrangements gleam like polished chrome.” The music was recorded in two long days at Burlington’s Future Fields Studios. Ravin played each and every instrument, bringing his arrangements and vision to life in a raw, scarily efficient fashion. “From subtle shifts in tempo in and out of transitions to perfectly placed, ornamental guitar licks to the dynamic deployment of those golden pipes, every thoughtful twist and turn of Ravin's latest is immaculately executed. It's doubly impressive given that he plays and sings every note on the record,” said Dan Bolles. This combination of beautiful songwriting and tasteful arrangement puts Ravin in select company.
As quickly as “County Tracks” was released, he began work on his follow-up. Recorded in similar fashion, Ravin’s new LP, called “Bonneville”, has him on every instrument. This time, he is joined by luminary guitarist Mark Spencer (Blood Oranges, Son Volt) on pedal steel. The record picks up where “County Tracks” left off, while pushing the envelope on both song-craft and multi-instrumental execution. “Bonneville” is due out on Future Fields Records in late fall of 2016.