Award-winning singer-songwriters as solo artists, Cletus Kennelly & Lori Kelley combined their artistries into a duo, developing a style and a sense for each other's voices that is magical. 'I haven't heard harmonies this tight since Simon & Garfunkel' (Gene Dawson, Dawson Concerts) . Their work has earned them 30 WAMMIE nominations and ten WAMMIE Awards (Washington Area Music Awards) between them, including the 2006 and 2007 WAMMIE Award for BEST CONTEMPORARY FOLK GROUP. Both approach their writing from a lyrical, melodic place with songs that speak to the heart. The wit and depth each adds to the other's songs makes for an engaging show. 'Cletus and Lori are two standout solo performers whose voices blend beautifully.' (Scott Moore, Moore House Concerts) As solo artists, both Cletus & Lori were honored to be selected to perform at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center. They recently performed in the 'Emerging Artists Showcase' at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Cletus and Lori's much anticipated duo CD, Lotus, was just released to rave reviews. It was nominated for RECORDING OF THE YEAR in the Contemporary Folk category by the Washington Area Music Association. Michael Jaworek, of the famed venue The Birchmere, states that Lotus is 'even better than Like Sea Glass' (Lori's last solo release, which he called 'excellent on all accounts'.) Mike Joyce of the Washington Post writes, 'In addition to sharing close harmonies on their new CD, 'Lotus', Cletus Kennelly and Lori Kelley alternately contribute tunes that tend to fall gracefully between folk and pop. In fact, so consistent is the song quality that it's sometimes hard to tell who wrote what. Among Kennelly's best efforts are 'The Gate,' an inspirational love song concerning a soldier blinded on the battlefield, and 'Looking Up,' a 9/11 ballad that's likely to outlast most. As for Kelley's lyrics, none is more poetic or evocative than 'Snow Is Falling,' a contemporary spiritual dedicated to Pfc. Lori Piestewa, one of a handful of Native American women in the U.S. military and the first woman to die in the Iraq war.' (Mike Joyce, The Washington Post, 9-23-05) CLETUS KENNELLY is an eight-time WAMMIE-winner, including BEST NEW ARTIST, SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR, and BEST CONTEMPORARY FOLK VOCALIST (twice). He's earned a total of 36 songwriting awards, including 24 WAMMIE nominations. In addition to his debut CD Thread, Cletus has released a 2-song benefit CD with the WAMMIE-nominated SONG OF THE YEAR, Looking Up, written on September 13th 2001, and Celestial Dance a lyrical, driving, percussive serenity prayer. Ray Ruskin of the Kensington Coffee House Concert Series remarks, 'What makes Cletus great is Cletus. He has a way of connecting to the audience directly, and the rich quality of his voice is so effective, he doesn't need a band behind him. Chris Slattery of the Gazette Newspapers writes, 'Cletus Kennelly has a way with words. [He] takes only the finest words--the most honest and expressive. He painstakingly crafts them into finely wrought phrases, and coaxes them into verse.' '[He] is able to pan for nuggets of lyrical gold.' Cliff Johns of the Old Town Crier describes Cletus as 'a powerful artist', and the CD as 'genre-crossing music of great power' and 'a strong, emotionally engaging record!' Says Eric Brace of the Washington Post, 'Cletus Kennelly wields a mean 12-string acoustic and writes a moving tune...the earnest and true kind.' LORI KELLEY is a four-time WAMMIE-winnner in the categories of: SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR, SONG OF THE YEAR, and BEST CONTEMPORARY FOLK DUO/GROUP, has earned 18 WAMMIE nominations overall. She wields a four-octave range, and her songs have been voted #1 by Northern Virginia Rhythm Magazine among all genres, and she was recently the overall GRAND PRIZE-winner in the 2003 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. Lori's last solo release, Like Sea Glass, earned an astounding seven WAMMIE nominations for 2003. Sing Out Magazine agrees: 'Lori takes her writing seriously. The lyrics are carefully crafted and the songs tell stories with ending that are not always predictable. Lori has you listening for what comes next'.
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