The Jellyman’s Daughter – that’s a memorable name, one you can’t forget once you hear it. And it’s a name inspired by an actual jelly man’s daughter. In Scotland, a “jelly man” is a guy who loves Jell-O; that’s what singer Emily Kelly told me a couple of years ago at the Folk Alliance International Conference.
Kelly, the daughter in question, is one half of this intriguingly named duo, sharing vocal and instrumental (mandolin, guitar) responsibilities with Graham Coe. He’s a cellist and a mandolinist, in addition to having a fine, high tenor voice. It’s a voice that meshes well with Kelly’s soulful, sultry sound, as you hear on the duo’s second album, Dead Reckoning. Their harmonies are, in a word, addicting.
The Edinburgh-based duo, now just a few years into their career, offers a varied collection of ten tunes on Dead Reckoning: eight originals, one cover, and one instrumental. The original tunes run through a wide gamut of emotional expression, from the melancholy to the jubilant. “Giving Up” falls somewhere in between.
On the melancholy side, the song’s origins, which are evident in the lyrics: “I’ve decided I am giving up,” the duo sings in perfect harmony. Kelly says: “‘Giving Up’ was written about the doubt and uncertainty that accompanies the self-employed musician life. The chorus…came to [me] in a moment of defeat.”
On the jubilant side, though, the music: this is a high-energy romp, a foot-stomper featuring mandolin and a gritty, no-holds barred cello (Coe really knows how to “dig in,” which I love). And it’s that can’t-keep-me-down energy that’ll make “Giving Up” a song and a sound you can’t keep out of your head.
Dead Reckoning is due out in the US on September 21, and is available now – HERE.
Upcoming US tour dates:
Aug 31 – Vintage Wine House Concert – Redding, CA
Sept 01 – Wisteria Ways House Concert – Oakland, CA
Sept 02 – Lille Aeske Art Gallery – Boulder Creek, CA
Sept 05 – Front Porch Concert Series – Charlottesville, VA
Sept 06 – Cameo Art House – Fayetteville, NC
Sept 08 – Holloway House Concert – Huntersville, NC
Sept 09 – Muddy Creek Music Hall – Winston Salem, NC
Sept 10 – Town Pump Tavern – Black Mountain, NC
Sept 21 – Casa del Bistro – West Chester, OH
Sept 22 – Possum Hollow Log Cabin Concerts – Saint Paris, OH
Sept 28 – Chestnut House Concerts – Lancaster, PA
Sept 29 – Stone House Concerts Falls – Church, VA
Sept 30 – Birdhouse Center for the Arts – Lambertville, NJ
Oct 01 – Threes Brewery – Brooklyn, NY
Oct 02 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
Oct 05 – The Recovery Lounge – Upper Jay, NY