In his home country of Australia, Paul Kelly is a preeminent songwriter, an artist who immediately draws respectful acknowledgement. Here in the States, Kelly has a modest but loyal following who have long followed his soulful folk and Americana, and now he is currently in the midst of his first U.S. tour since 2013. This tour is in support of Kelly’s 2016 release, the uniquely conceived Death’s Dateless Night, although he is also be playing songs spanning a career that has earned him induction into Australian Recording Industry Association’s Hall of Fame and, just earlier this year, being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the performing arts.
Dateless Night is just the latest in Paul Kelly’s recent run of fascinatingly eclectic projects. 2016 also saw Kelly releasing the seven-song mini-album Seven Sonnets & A Song, in which he re-worked William Shakespeare’s love sonnets into songs. For The Merri Soul Sessions (2015) he enlisted a variety of vocalists to reinterpret his tunes with a R&B revue feel. In 2013, Kelly teamed up with Neil Finn of Crowded House fame for a highly successful Australian tour that resulted in the live album Goin’ Your Way, which came out as a two-CD set and a DVD. Kelly’s most ambitious musical endeavor, however, has been his “A-Z” project. It began as a series of concerts where he would perform his set of songs in alphabetical order, and he wound up creating an eight-CD, 105-song live box set, which came out in the U.S. in 2012.
Today Glide Magazine is offering an exclusive premiere of Paul Kelly’s take on “To Live Is To Fly”, one of the most emotionally powerful songs from legendary Texas troubadour Townes Van Zandt. The live performance was filmed at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane on December 10th, 2016. It also features Australian multi-instrumentalist Charlie Owen and Kelly’s daughters, Madeleine and Memphis Kelly. The two, who have their own music careers, both appeared on Death’s Dateless Night as well.
Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen are on tour now in the U.S. For a full list of dates and to hear more music visit paulkelly.com.au.