"Kelly Williams-Mann's strong, rich voice sounds flawless whether it has a Texas twang or a New Orleans's blues feel......Melody Mann's versatile sound on it's debut album could be just what the band needs to become a new Austin 'it' band." -Katie Reed, The University Star, Texas State University. Kelly Williams-Mann has been writing and performing 'a blend of blues, rock and jazz with a little Texas twang' for the last 11 years. But Kelly was somewhat of a late bloomer. After entertaining audiences in theater, recitals and other events as a very small child, Kelly took a long hiatus and pursued a career in corporate wellness that took her from Texas, to Pennsylvania, to Connecticut and finally to Atlanta, GA. Although she loved her career at the time, there was always something missing. Thomas Mann first sat down at the piano in Buffalo NY at the age of 3, with his great Aunt Sophie (who was a piano teacher) by his side. Thomas immediately fell in love with the piano, and thus began his life long connection to music and composition. As a teenager, he also took up guitar, was an All-State tuba player and played bass in his award-winning high school jazz band. After graduating from high school and attending college, Thomas hitchhiked across the country with his guitar in tow (the piano was a little too heavy to carry) and ended up in Cape Cod, Florida and eventually Atlanta. In Atlanta, Thomas began teaching piano and guitar lessons for The European School of Music while he played in several bands. One of those bands was Sock, a jazz-punk band for which Thomas was the principal songwriter. In 1994, Kelly began taking guitar lessons while in Atlanta, and found her voice once again. And for the first time, Kelly began writing her own music. In 1995, with twin brothers Doug and Don Pharris, she formed The Kelly Williams Band, a rockin' southern, blues band featuring Kelly's original music. When the band went into the studio in August of 1995, Don introduced Kelly to his daughter's guitar teacher, Thomas Mann. Kelly invited Thomas to play piano on several of the songs on the CD, and Thomas later joined The Kelly Williams Band. Kelly eventually quit her job in the corporate world and began focusing on music while The Kelly Williams Band began touring extensively throughout the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest. They shared the stage with acts such as Storyville, Chris Duarte, Delbert McClinton and Robert Earl Keen, and played in notable clubs such as The Grand Emporium in Kansas City, Antone's in Austin, The Zoo Bar in Lincoln, NE and The Cotton Club and Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta. They received numerous accolades from music writers and appeared on numerous local TV shows and radio shows. The Kelly Williams Band headlined on one of the stages at the annual Spirit Fest in Kansas City and was one of 8 bands asked to participate in the Virginia Slims Female Vocalist competition in Atlanta. But, with all the success in Atlanta, Kelly longed to get back to her roots in Texas. As fate would have it, Kelly fell in love with the piano player and today she and Thomas are married and are making beautiful music together. In 2002, the couple moved back to Texas. Today, they perform together as Melody Mann, bringing together Kelly's upbringing on Texas gospel and roadhouse music and Thomas' East Coast jazz and classical roots. Yes, Thomas is a Yankee, but he calls himself a 'naturalized Texan' since he married one......and he drives a truck and owns a cowboy hat! What more could a Texas girl want? The band includes: Kelly Williams-Mann - Lead and backing vocals, guitar Thomas Mann - Piano, Rhodes, Hammond organ, guitar, backing vocals Bill Crock - Guitar, slide guitar, mandolin Scott Beardsley - Bass Jeff Jeffries - Drums Kevin Gibbs - Saxophones David Gilden - Trumpet.
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