Rory Kelly: (Don’t Shake My) Family Tree

Swamp rock revelation from North Carolina.

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They say never judge a CD by its cover, but one detail on the back of this little beauty speaks volumes – an empty bottle of Richard’s Wild Irish Rose.

Not a bottle of Jack or Jim, but wine-flavoured rotgut, the ideal fuel to propel these tales of loss, lust and revenge.

One part southern rock, one part heavy metal, plus a generous twist of Johnny Winter, Rory Kelly is a natural storyteller who’s just at home with the supercharged blues – the title track, Go To Man – as he is laying down slabs of Zakk Wylde-esque riffing, as on Hooks In Me and It Wasn’t the First Time.

Recorded on a shoestring, this is rough, sweaty and, in places, quite wonderful.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.