ASTRA KELLY: 2004 EpAstra Kelly was born in marvel, AR. and delivered by Dr. Wise. Her early interest in music was fueled by family jams, school choirs and formal music studies. Her universal style has developed into a sound she calls "acoustic soul." It is a rich fusion of her Chicago roots in acid jazz, funk and blues, merged with acoustic rock and folk elements. Her lyrics read like poetry, speaking of emotional transformation and personal freedom. Many times armed with only an acoustic guitar, her delivery is an intensely powerful expression of equal parts joy and pain, balance and struggle. She has toured extensively over the years, both as a solo performer and as a member of various other projects. Since 1996, Astra has released three records on her Rockaway record label, and is currently working on her fourth, this time with an established producer and engineer team. Astra reached a major turning point in November of 2001 when she skidded on some black ice on the way to a gig in Colorado. Her tour van rolled and she landed upside down on a set of train tracks. In the light of the full moon with her posters and CD's scattered along the highway, she grabbed her guitar and got to safety just in time to watch a train charge down the tracks and crash into her tour van. This symbolic moment on her musical path launched her into a new wave of creativity and she has emerged with strong new material for these curious times.
1992 - 1995 Performed with Chicago band, The Junction, on rhythm guitar and vocals. Played college circuits
throughout the Midwest and east coast, as well as
Chicago's hottest venues, including the historic Park West and Vic theatres. Began playing in the subways to expose her new original material, make a living, and to strengthen her guitar chops and her solo performance stylings.
1995 - 1997 Played incessantly and developed a local following as a solo performer. Recorded her first CD in her Chicago apartment. Played to a devoted audience every Sunday for three and a half years with a ten piece, talent
packed acid jazz and funk improv group called SUMO. Participated in a worldbeat/ jazz group, as well as a number of other diverse projects. Painted a 6' high by 80' wide mural depicting the evolutionary path of humanity at a club called Pop's. Took residency there every Thursday and presented a menagerie of music, poetry, art and spontaneous happenings.
1997 - 1999 Joined with bass player, drummer, and electric guitar player to form her band, Astra Kelly and Far Rockaway. Presented her second CD to a sold out release party at Chicago's Martyrs in December of '98. Hit the road in June of '99 booking, promoting, and traveling solo. Played clubs and coffeehouses all throughout the western United States including, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, as
well as southern states, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
1999 - 2001 Continued with what would become a fourteen month, 85,000 mile tour, funded primarily by busking (performing on the streets for cash) and selling CDs out of her guitar case. Released her third record while on the road, a solo/ acoustic live album, capturing three shows surrounding the turn of the century. The marathon tour ended once the tour van was totaled.
2001 - 2003 Settled in Santa Fe, NM. to rest and re-group. Bought forty acres of land in the mysterious Valley and began plans for an eco-conscious music and art
festival entitled; "The Far Rockaway Fair: Earthwork Vol. 1, THE WHEEL." Was re-united with her long lost sister who introduced her to the new production team. Began work on the new album on Easter weekend, 2002.
2003 - 2005 Divides her time between Santa Fe and Los Angeles to continue working on the record. Plays solo shows in both cities and has initiated a new project in
Santa Fe called, FLY, based on her improvisational experiences in Chicago. After two intensely creative years, she and the production team are celebrating a preliminary EP release, while securing support for the
completion and promotion on the LP.
Throughout the years, Astra has had the privilege to open for acts such as: Stanley Jordan, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Wilcox, Widespread Panic, The Freddie Jones Band, Leon Russell, The Marshall Tucker Band, Jeff Healey, The Samples, and members of Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Break the Glass
2. How Long
3. Shotgun Mama
6. Break the Glass - Solo/ Acoustic
7. How Long - Solo/ Acoustic
8. Shotgun Mama - Solo/ Acoustic