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2018-11-06

7:30PM

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"Robin McKelle is undoubtedly a hardcore rock-chick: her vocals are raunchy, hard, sexy and gritty, but also bluesy, resonant and sonically powerful." - Elmore Magazine

Robin McKelle

Singer/writer Robin McKelle is a musical enigma, and proudly so. On her latest album, Melodic Canvas, she's empowered by the alchemy, embracing her genre-blurring style and no longer trying to fit into a box. The result is a deeply textured, rich, authentic collection, a mix of timely social commentary, intimate lyrics and a thoughtful call to action.

A savvy songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist, McKelle has long found a home where soul, jazz, pop, gospel, blues and the American Songbook cross paths. On the new cd, her sonic template takes listeners on a trip down to the Old South, or sprinkles in a sound that could've emerged from the Motown era, or even a Sade album. In her live performances, she exudes a bandleader's moxie that recalls the Rat Pack era.

There's an insightful storyteller's voice that connects the new songs, a narrative thread that feels smart and soulful. McKelle's characters are vividly drawn, from the struggling teen in `Lyla' to the immigrant tale of `Simple Man'; the moments of social awareness, in `Yes We Can Can' (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter) and `It Won't End Up', are wise and inspiring without feeling heavy-handed; on first single `Do You Believe', out March 30th, McKelle questions religion, hate, misogyny.

For the last CD (which she produced,) McKelle sought a more `acoustic' vibe with a focus on percussion, to allow the subtleties of her voice to shine. In her songwriting and in the arrangements/production of the album, she mixes her varied influences together with strength and grace.

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