The IMC Magazine Issue 15 /May 2016 - Page 25

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Alaska born Kelly Moneymaker was brought up with the tradition of great American vocals. Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt and Tina Turner (amongst others) are all influences that can be heard within the vocal style of Kelly Moneymaker.

In her early years Kelly was a member of platinum selling pop trio ‘Exposé’ (recently named as one of Billboard Magazine’s Top 10 girl groups of all time, but has now matured into a more grown up American roots artist.

Having shared the stage and collaborated with some of music’s greatest names (Todd Rundgren, Diana Ross, George Clinton, Keith Urban and Ringo Starr to name but a few), Kelly has just released her latest solo album.

You can always tell the quality of an artist by the standard of musicians that are willing to work with them. In Kelly’s case, this means she must be at the very highest level. Kelly’s regular band, ‘In the Black’, consists of Herman Matthews on drums (Tower of Power, Hugh Laurie), Gabriel Moses on guitar (Macy Gray) and Michael Mennell on bass (Sir Tom Jones). Other guests musicians on the album are Bill Churchville on trumpet (Tower of Power), Sean Holt on sax (Bruno Mars), Scott Sheriff - B3 (Kenny Loggins), Michael Mishaw on Vocals (Don Henley), Will Wheaton on Vocals (Stevie Wonder), Kenny Vaughan on Guitar (Marty Stuart).

‘Stone’ is an uplifting album that embraces the finest traditions of classic American roots, pop, rock and soul. The album bursts into life right from the outset with the wonderfully upbeat opening track ‘Skippin’ Stones’. It then moves easily into the slide guitar blues riff driven ‘Bad Boy’. ‘Stone Butterfly’ plows a more soulful furrow and there’s a stunning cover of Steve Winwood’s iconic ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ (the only cover on the album). There are 13 tracks that take you through a gamut of emotions but ultimately, the overall feeling you are left with after listening to Stone, is joy. The a capella ‘Stronger Than Stone’ is an appropriate way to end the album showcasing Kelly Moneymaker’s amazing voice and marking her out as a great vocal powerhouse.