Last year, after seven years in Brooklyn, N.Y., musician Kelley McRae made the life-changing decision to trade in her apartment for a Volkswagen camper van and hit the road.
Her husband, Matt Castelein, who is also her guitarist, was on board.
“At the beginning of the year we quit our jobs. We sold the furniture, the piano, everything,” McRae said. “We took off on ‘The Great VW Camper Van Tour,’ and we’ve played shows all over America. It’s been insane and absolutely amazing.”
McRae will bring The Great VW Camper Van Tour to Johnson City for a concert at 10 p.m., Friday at Acoustic Coffeehouse, 415 W. Walnut St. Erisa Rei will be the opening act, performing at 8 p.m.
Admission is free. Artists play for tips at The Acoustic Coffeehouse.
Since leaving New York City, McRae and Castelein have played more than 100 shows, driven 25,000 miles, teamed up with tour sponsor True Lemon, been featured in a national American Airlines campaign and been filmed for a major French documentary.
With no end date in mind, McRae’s tour is driven by the same grit and grace that has defined her music.
“I grew up in Mississippi and the music that I loved the most was, at its core, Southern music — the three part harmonies of the hymns they sung at my grandparents’ Baptist church, the Bill Withers tape my dad played on car trips, the stories my grandpa would tell me of hearing Blind Lemon Jefferson playing on the hood of an old car out in front of their house at the farm,” McRae said. “And the artists that would eventually come to influence me the most — Lucinda Williams, Aretha Franklin, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Uncle Tupelo, Richard Buckner, Mary Gauthier — they may not all be Southern, but they sure do sound Southern. This was the music that felt like home, even when Brooklyn came to feel more like home than anywhere else ever has.”
McRae’s albums “Never Be,” and “Highrises in Brooklyn” have impressed her fans.
And in addition to the American Airlines campaign, McRae’s songs have been featured on MTV, in the Sundance film “Children of Invention,” on an international Unicef commercial and on Lifetime Channel’s “Army Wi v e s . ”
For more information on McRae, visit her website at www.kelleymcrae.com? .comments powered by Disqus