VIDEO: Watch Ruston Kelly Perform 'Faceplant' on LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS
The performance celebrates the release of Kelly's highly anticipated full-length debut album, Dying Star, which is out this Friday, September 7 on Rounder Records and is now available for pre-order. The album is currently streaming in full at Stereogum, which praises, "The resulting record is an emotional powerhouse...If you've ever had a taste for somber country songs capable of ripping you apart, you ought to make time for Ruston Kelly's opening blast."
Additionally, Kelly was recently selected as one of NPR Music's 2018 Slingshot Artists, a collection of exceptional up-and-coming artists chosen by public radio stations across the country. NPR Music declares, "Damn, is he good...Kelly digs down deep on Dying Star to fearlessly put forth a set of songs steeped in emotional twists, turns and complications...This here is powerful stuff."
In advance of the release, the album's first single, "Mockingbird," recently premiered across Viacom platforms in an unprecedented partnership between CMT Music, mtvU and MTV Live. Additionally, the album's lead track, "Jericho," recently debuted to widespread critical acclaim. Stereogum calls it, "... a warmly melancholy acoustic ballad in the vein of A.A. Bondy, Justin Townes Earle, or early Ryan Adams. It's about learning to stand up for what you believe in, which seems as relevant now as ever. Kelly manages the feat of keeping his rich arrangement relatively minimal, so that when background vocals or harmonica RISE up in the mix they really stand out," while Rolling Stone declares, "'Jericho' finds Kelly channeling the dark minimalism of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska with a stark guitar-and-a-harmonica aesthetic." Moreover, the album track, "Big Brown Bus," recently premiered at Billboard, which describes, "...Ruston's mesmerizingly smooth voice over a mix of folky, mellow guitar and bluesy harmonica."
In support of the new album, Kelly will embark on a headline tour this fall including stops at New York's Mercury Lounge, Philadelphia's Boot & Saddle, Atlanta's Vinyl, Chicago's Schubas Tavern and Los Angeles' Hotel Café among several others. Due to high demand, a second Los Angeles show was recently added after the first quickly sold out. Tickets are on-sale now. See below for complete details.
Dying Star was co-produced by Kelly and Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX. It includes 14 songs written/co-written by Kelly and features Kelly (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, xylophone, harmonica), Jarrad K (12-string guitar, background vocals, electric guitar, Rhodes), Tim Kelly (pedal steel), Ian Fitchuk (piano, organ, drums, percussion), Eli Beaird (bass) and Kyle Ryan (banjo) as well as background vocals from Jon Green, Natalie Hemby, Kacey Musgraves, Kate York, Abby Sevigny and Joy Williams.
Of the album, Kelly comments, "A lot of my music is focused on suffering, or trying to understand the human condition through the lens of suffering...which probably sounds totally depressing, but it's actually the flipside of that. Sometimes you've gotta go into that darkness-you need to get lost and then figure out for yourself how to find your way back. That's the only way we can find pure joy, and really be thankful for the life we've been given."
The release of Dying Star follows a breakout year for the Nashville-based artist, whose debut EP, Halloween, was released last April to widespread acclaim. Of the music, Rolling Stone praised, "...shows a powerful grasp on storytelling gleaned from his love of the Carter Family and Townes Van Zandt, but also a more ragged rock & roll soul: it's Americana, if your Americana is Bruce Springsteen with an acoustic guitar, sung by someone who spins a little heavy metal too," while the HuffPost declared, "simultaneously current and effortlessly timeless."
Born in South Carolina, Kelly started playing guitar under the guidance of his dad, Tim "TK" Kelly, a pedal steel guitarist who now performs in his band. Since his father worked for a paper mill and often changed job locations, Kelly grew up frequently moving, living everywhere from Alabama to Belgium, including time in Michigan-where the young one-time figure skater went to train with an Olympic coach in the hope of furthering his career, and where he first began writing songs. At 17, he moved to NASHVILLE to live with his sister and went on to land a publishing deal with BMG Nashville, placing songs with several high-profile artists.
DYING STAR TRACK LIST:
1. Cover My Tracks (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
2. Mockingbird (written by Ruston Kelly)
3. Son Of A Highway Daughter (written by Ruston Kelly)
4. Paratrooper's Battle Cry (written by Ruston Kelly)
5. Faceplant (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Brendan Benson)
7. Big Brown Bus (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Ricky Brantley)
8. Mercury (written by Ruston Kelly)
9. Anchors (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
10. Just For The Record (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Lucie Silvas)
11. Trying To Let Her (written by Ruston Kelly, Joe Leathers, Kyle Jacobs)
12. Jericho (written by Ruston Kelly, Joy Williams, Natalie Hemby)
13. Dying Star (written by Ruston Kelly, Caitlyn Smith, Rollie Gaalswyk)
14. Brightly Burst Into The Air (written by Ruston Kelly)
RUSTON KELLY CONFIRMED TOUR DATES
September 7-Nashville, TN-Grimey's New & Preloved Music
September 14-Nashville, TN-AmericanaFest
September 17-London, U.K-The Slaughtered Lamb
September 19-Hamburg, Germany-Reeperbahn Festival
October 13-Austin, TX-Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 23-New York, NY-Mercury Lounge*
October 25-Allston, MA-Great Scott*
October 26-Philadelphia, PA-Boot & Saddle*
October 27-Vienna, VA-Jammin Java*
October 28-Richmond, VA-The Camel*
October 30-Atlanta, GA-Vinyl*
October 31-Charlotte, NC-Free Range Brewery*
November 2-Louisville, KY-Zanzabar*
November 3-Chicago, IL-Schubas Tavern*
November 6-Los Angeles, CA-Hotel Café*
November 7-Los Angeles, CA-Hotel Café*
November 8-San Francisco, CA-Hotel Utah Saloon*
November 10-Portland, OR-Bunk Bar*
November 11-Seattle, WA-Sunset Tavern*
November 14-Denver, CO-Globe Hall*
November 16-Lincoln, NE-The Rye Room*
November 17-Davenport, IA-GAS Fest
November 18-St. Louis, MO-Blueberry Hill Duck Room*
November 21-Bath, U.K. -Komedia†
November 22-Brighton, U.K.-Patterns†
November 24-Exeter, U.K. -The Phoenix†
November 26-Norwich, U.K. -Norwich Arts Centre†
November 27-Ramsgate, U.K. -Ramsgate Music Hall†
November 30-Cardiff, U.K. -The Globe†
December 1-Liverpool, U.K. -Arts Club Upstairs†
December 3-Newcastle, U.K. -The Riverside†
December 4-Edinburgh, U.K. -The Caves†
December 5-Birmingham, U.K. -Institute2†
*with support from Katie Pruitt
†with support from The Wandering Hearts