I saw Kelly Willis live and in person once, way back in, I don't know, maybe 1992 or so. I'm not sure exactly when it was, but it was at least 25 years ago. And I saw her at what was then called "23 East" and is now known as The Ardmore Music Hall. It was a smaller venue back then, at least in terms of the performance space. For those of you who read this blog, you know this because I wrote about Kelly Willis back in September 2016.
As I mentioned then, the concert that Kelly did in Ardmore back in the 90s was quite memorable, mostly because of these two things: Kelly looked like a preppy cowgirl, with her long blonde hair, short green dress and cowboy boots. And there was this guy holding a motorcycle helmet, standing close to the stage, smiling at Kelly, clearly trying to catch her eye. I also remember that it was a really good concert, although I don't recall what songs that she and her band played that night.
I've always liked Kelly Willis. I've consistently bought her albums as they were released, and they're always filled with good country / Americana songs. But, if she ever made it back to the Philadelphia area since that time all those years ago, I missed it.
As I mentioned in 2016, she's married to Austin singer-songwriter Bruce Robison (the brother of Charlie Robison, who was married to Emily Erwin, one of the Dixie Chicks). They have four kids. And Kelly and Bruce have worked together on a number of projects - - including Kelly's latest album, Back Being Blue, which Bruce produced.
Back Being Blue was just released this past Friday, and I literally just listened to it today. It's great - - as I've come to expect from Kelly Willis. Kelly Willis never quite made it to the top tier of country music stars (and I really have no idea if she ever aspired to make it there). But she's so talented. And so good. And I'm so glad that I was there all those years ago to see her perform in Ardmore, PA. If she comes back to town, I'll be there.
In the meantimes, here's Kelly Willis doing a song called Modern World from her brand new album.