Kelly Joe Phelps

Kelly Joe Phelps blends old blues and gospel

Slide guitarist and bluesman Kelly Joe Phelps' contributions to the music industry earned him a place in the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted Oct. 5, along with trumpeter Chris Botti, alt-rock band Hazel, rock band Poison Idea and roots band Richmond Fontaine.

With about 17 years of records and performances to his credit, Phelps' spirit-driven, lone musical was are talked about as much as his inventive songwriting and singing. One critic called him "the phantom monk of folk blues," and another wrote that Phelps "manipulates his fretboard to create eerie harmonies as he slips from a mumble to a falsetto, as if to follow the soul beyond the physical realm."

Phelps will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Advance tickets cost $20 and can be purchased online at www.stclairevents.com, by calling 541-535-3562 or at Music Coop. Tickets cost $22 at the door; $10 for ages 12 through 17. Kids 11 and younger get in free.

The singer and songwriter's newest CD, "Brother Sinner and The Whale," released in 2012 on the Black Hen Music label, fuses poetry from the Book of Jonah with the vintage gospel blues of Mississippi John Hurt and the early gospel of Bill and Charlie Monroe.

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