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Photo: Kellylee Evans (YouTube)

Talking Albums: Kellylee Evans

By John McDonald on July 11, 2020

You can tell that singer Kellylee Evans has a sense of humour. Her Twitter profile says that she is “powered by lightning.”

This refers to one of two career-pausing incidents. In 2013, following the release of her album I Remember When, Kellylee was struck by lightning while in her Ottawa kitchen. This took its toll on her health.

Kellylee then was impacted by the effects of a concussion following a 2015 fall at her home. This resulted in another period of recovery. “I fell the day before the release of Come On in France and Europe. It was released in Canada in 2017 when I started back touring.”

And how is Kellylee feeling now?

“I’m still recovering. Taking it one day at a time,” she said. “Through it all, I’ve found that making self care a priority in my life has been the strongest key to recovery and to my personal happiness today.”

Kellylee, who was on tour in France in March, will be part of RBC Bluesfest/CanadaPerforms Drive-In on July 31. She hasn’t performed locally in some time. “It will be my first live performance with an audience.”

Her post-COVID plans are “up in the air at the moment. Just recuperating and seeing what the wind brings. Taking it one day at a time.”

Kellylee tells us about returning from France, and the music she’s been listening to in this newest Talking Albums.

Kellylee Evans:

This period has been a time of mindless work and activity leading to necessary reflection and rest; seeking out more connections with loved ones far and near; and honouring my connection with myself. After I returned from a 10 day tour in France on March 14th, I entered quarantine. Once that was complete, I attempted to dive back into being physically active with daily walks, but my body wasn’t having it.

While resting my body, I attempted to dive into completing the mountain of administrative tasks awaiting me and continuing to come in, but my brain wasn’t having it either. I had to shut all of that down and truly take time off to give myself the time to heal. It hasn’t been a 100% success, but I am progressing and that’s the key for me. Progress, not perfection.

Two albums that I have listened to while staying home were The Killers’ 2006 Sam’s Town and Soul II Soul’s Keep On Movin’.

One of my daughters has been learning to play the acoustic version of the song “Sam’s Town” (which is found on Sawdust) on the piano, and it led us to go back to listen to the album of the same name. We had a blast singing along to the album which we listened to a lot when she was young. It’s funny how a parent’s musical taste can affect their children.

We binge-watched HBO’s series The Watchmen, which featured such an amazing soundtrack. I can’t remember if Soul II Soul’s “Back to Life” appeared on it, but watching the series led me to search out this song from my youth. I was 14 when it came out and absolutely loved club music and house and dancing. Such good memories.

About The Killers’ Sam’s Town

The album’s title refers to Sam’s Town Hotel And Gambling Hall which is “nestled in the shadow of the Sunrise Mountains, just a few quick miles from the Las Vegas Strip”. Pitchfork said this was “a mediocre album surrounding a few towering singles”, while Allmusic called it “the quintessential Vegas rock album from the quintessential Vegas rock band.”

About Soul II Soul’s Keep on Movin’

This is the debut album of the British musical collective which formed in London in 1988. It was titled Club Classics, Vol. 1 in its original British incarnation. BBC said that “with their funky anthems, unforgettable lyrics and signature beats, appreciation for the group’s unique twist on classic soul has firmly cemented itself in UK soul music history.”

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