Kelly Joe Phelps – Slingshot Professionals

I cannot believe I got this record for $0.99, at Sonic Boom! That’s a disservice to Mr. Phelps! It’s worth full price every time. I first heard his work through CDs I found at the Saskatoon Public Library over ten years ago, and I’m ashamed to admit he’s not an artist I’ve heard in ages. I have been totally remiss! 

The 5th Annual Toronto Expedition Series, Part 27 (CD)

Oh wow I love this album. Phelps is described as a blues artist, but he’s more, too. There are folk and Americana layers to the songs here that reward the listener constantly.

Phelps’ guitar playing is stellar, full of restraint and power equally. His lyrics are stories, and the blues is ever-present. This band is perfect.

Add appearances by Bill Frissell, Jesse Zubot, and Petra Haden (among others), and this is one of my biggest scores this trip!

6 thoughts on “Kelly Joe Phelps – Slingshot Professionals

  1. J. says:

    Great album, this one. Probably the last really great Kelly Joe Phelps album, actually. Great score for 99c (I think I paid £15 for this back in the day at Borders!)

    In fact, I think I’m gonna listen to this now…


      1. J. says:

        Definitely worth picking up the albums after this, but they just aren’t quite as consistent or strong. That’s just my opinion, of course!

        Roll Away The Stone, Shine Eyed Mister Zen, Sky Like A Broken Clock (and the Beggar’s Oil EP) are all pretty essential. He also has a great live album, which came after this one (Tap The Red Cane Whirlwind). Tunesmith Retrofit has some great moments, but didn’t really hit me, Western Bell is a slight return, but I’ve found Brother Sinner & The Whale to sum up my feelings on those albums since Slingshot – a bit lifeless.

        Kerching has a few…


        1. keepsmealive says:

          I appreciate all of this input – of course, next time I’m in a town that has a real record shop, I’ll be sure to have a look for more of his stuff! I hadn’t thought to look for him in Kerching. That place has everything!

          Liked by 1 person

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