So Jazz Music Magazine (France)
Blues man Kelly Joe Phelps attracts audiences. The stylist, born in the state of Washington, now spends more time on writing songs (on his eighth CD in 2009 Western Bell, and especially on his ninth, Brother Sinner & The Whale, which will be released this month), and the public loves it. The flamboyant surges of the slide guitar lend a renewed shine to themes largely inspired by gospel. Kelly Joe is a believer. That feeling is at the heart of the show. Eight years after a triumphant trip through France, the gigs in Chinon and Paris in mid-september are something to look forward to. The presentation early July at the International Jazz festival in Montreal has moved people. Long after the last encore had been sung (a fabulous ‘Good Night Irene’) the room was still emptying only slowly. Thrilling and scintillating music! The American from Tacoma valley offered fireworks. Finally breaking, at the point of exhaustion, the magic link which bound him for over an hour to a room in ecstasy . The authenticity, the sincerity of the artist, his gentleness, his probing into feelings, were captivating.