George’s main influences are bluesmen like Blind Willie McTell, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson. More contemporary inspirations are John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Hall, Boz Scaggs and Van Morrison. He is also a fan of writers such as Elmore Leonard, George V. Higgins, Lawrence Block and Jon A. Jackson, and he is as likely to reference their work in his writing as he is Ray Charles’s or Robert Johnson’s.
George has worked primarily as a sideman, playing lead, slide and lap steel guitars and providing lead and backing vocals in a variety of contexts: blues, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and country. These experiences have given him a broad palette to work from, especially when it comes to songwriting.
Kelly has produced two albums, the critically acclaimed Lucid Intervals in 2004 (under the name George Kelly) and The Power, The Glory & The Monkey Time in 2016. He also contributed a track to the compilation record, Fins, Chrome and the Open Road – A Tribute to the Cadillac, in 2005. The collection featured many blues luminaries, including Charlie Musselwhite, Maria Muldaur and Jimmy Hall.