Paul Kelly at The El Mocambo in Toronto

Paul Kelly Brings Storytelling to Lee's Palace

Prolific Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly will bring his songwriting talent to Lee's Palace tonight, in support of his new album, Stolen Apples.

Lee's Palace describes him as "Legendary AUSTRALIAN 'Springsteen-esque' Roots Rocker," but I'd place him more in the Neil Young-meets-Leonard Cohen camp.

Kelly has, in his 30-year career, recorded over a dozen albums that span genres from rock to bluegrass and even film soundtracks. Yet his penchant for telling a good story and carrying a good tune remain constant.

The new album's inspiration comes from many places. His songs interweave themes of religion, folklore and everyday life, often told in a compelling, first-person account.

One of Stolen Apples' most powerful moments is in God Told Me To, where Kelly tells the story of a religious terrorist. As he often incorporates biblical imagery in his songs, the last verse of God Told Me To is from the Book of Revelations.

If the song isn't powerful enough on its own, the video sure does it justice. With the look in his eyes as he sings this song, Kelly sure captures the essence of character in the subject he sings about.

In a rather bold move, he's released 100 live solo versions of some of his greatest tunes available for free download on his website.

These were culled from a series of unique shows under the banner "A to Z" whereby he sings 100 songs from his catalogue in alphabetical order over four nights.

Each month, one letter's worth of songs will be made available for free download. This initiative started in January with songs that start with the letter "A." As each new letter comes online, the previous one will be taken off.

If you're quick, you may still be able to grab his "C" songs for the month of March. At the end of two years, over 100 songs will have been made available.

But by then, you can rest assured that he will have missed some gems, as he's constantly putting out new material.

Remaining tickets for tonight's show at Lee's Palace (529 Bloor St. W.) with Patrick Park are $18 in advance at the usual outlets, likely $20 at the door.

Photo by Roger Cullman.


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