Tuesday, December 22, 2020


 Good morning, everyone!

I intended to run  Christmas music all this week but just couldn't get up to speed after a 'sister weekend' in Springfield. 

I'm kicking off the remainder of this week with a special treat.

Christmas is all about family, even if this year is going to be a bit different (PLEASE practice social distancing and be safe!), we can still include family.

THE LAST CHRISTMAS stems from a story Terry's wife's grandmother told about a Christmas she experienced in 1917. Marion Norswing Phillps passsed away in 1992 but thanks to Terry and his wife, families everywhere can see how Christmas was in 1917.

Like a lot of us in this crazy year, Terry began viewing 'family' in a new way, one mirroring the trials and tribulations of our ancestors. 2020 will be the first year since Marion's passing that the family has not been all in a room together to read her story aloud on Christmas Eve. While the world has changed dramatically in the last 100 years, core themes that make this story ring  true to all of us are still very strong. 


I'm sharing the YouTube video below. Take some family time of your own to enjoy this amazing Christmas story. 

To learn more about Terry Klein, you can visit the following social media streams:

Country Christmas Blessings

Friday, December 11, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNIES - Christmas On Cable


Good  morning, everyone!

For Friday Funny I thought I'd close out the week with Matt. 

Actually, when he sent me the SoundCloud LINK for this, I knew I just needed to run him all week. He also isnpired my new line-up for 2021 so stay tuned!

Click the link below the picture to hear today's tune!

As I stated earlier in the week, this is my last official post for 2020.

I will be sharing Christmas videos from some of my favorite artists the rest of this month, including Christmas Funnies. 

Thank you for being a part of my life. I look forward to an awesome 2021~

Country Blessings

~ Kelly

Thursday, December 10, 2020

MATT ECKSTINE - Influence #2 - Townes Van Zandt

 We are back with Matt Eckstine today, showcasing another influence on his music. 

Townes Van Zandt was one of the greatest songwriters to ever come out of Texas. He influenced a lot of people in his time on earth. 

If I Needed Yo, written by Townes, was a bit hit for another Texas artist, Emmy Lou Harris. 
Here is his recording:

I'm bringing Matt back tomorrow for Friday Funny. You're going to love this Christmas treat!

Country Blessings
~ Kelly

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Matt Eckstine Influence #1

 Abit of different post today and tomorrow. 

In my interview on Monday, Matt told us he'd love to have a sit down with John Prine. I thought I'd share one of John's videos today. Who knows.. maybe here at KellysCountry, we could create a bit of Christmas magic. 

Country Blessings!
~ Kelly

Tuesday, December 8, 2020



Welcome to Turntable Tuesday!

This will be the last spin of 2020 and we are closing out with an amazing album.

Li'l Blue is the sophomore album of Georgia artis, Matt Eckstine. Yesterday, I asked Matt about his growth from his first album to this one and he shared that he has honed his songwriting skills as well as finding his own identity (he'd previously been a band member).  If you go back and listen to his self-titled album from 2017 (you can check out an older tune HERE)  then slip this one back in the player, you won't hear the growth. Instead, you will feel the metamorphasis he has gone through.

When I first heard Hear They Stand, something in my brain clicked. I'd heard that tone somewhere many years ago. Neil Young (Out of the Blue). The same bluesy swing carries in to Honey Dew.

Just when you think you're going to drift off, the title track, Li'l Blue,  picks up the pace. The Young tone is still there, but you're tapping your toes along the way.

Matt loves the beach, and while there's a great distance from the gulf coast of Georgia to Hawaii, Matt's creativity blends his own rhythmic style with the island groove in Mahi Mahi Rice.

I introduced you to Old Guitar, yesterday. This track flows a bit differently, as do Part of the Ride and This Heaven. They have a bit more tempo without losing the Eckstine signature. 

You feel Matt's love for the beach again in Uku Mama. His ability to change up the style a bit without losing his core is what makes Matt Eckstine music uique. 

Li'l Blue is eight tracks of soul-penetrating elixir. Take a shot then sit back and let Matt Eckstine's tunes carry you away on his magic carpet to an island of peace and joy. 

I'm not sure hat-tips are appropriate here, but they're my signature. So, like Matt, I'm changing it up a bit - just for him. ;-)

I'm giving Li'l Blue:

Check out Matt's links below to see what he's up to and download your copy of Li'l Blue today!

You'll find Matt Eckstine on the following social media locations:

Matt is here all week so come back to check out more of this album!

Country Blessings!

Monday, December 7, 2020

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Matt Eckstine

 I love it when an artist I've connected with previously reaches out to me. That means I've done something right.

Matt Eckstine contacted me back in late October about his sophomore album but I was prepping for a trip to IA and things just got pushed back. He's been kind enough to work with me and be my guest this entire week.

One thing I didn't get with Matt last time was an interview. In spite of my sluggishness, he has answered the questions in record time. ;-)

Thanks for contacting me about this new album and for sharing time with us here in KellysCountry!

 Let’s open the chute ~

1 - I’m sharing a couple things from you this week so first, let’s talk about the new album. Li’l Blue is your sophomore album. What makes this one different from your self-titled album in 2017?

My sophomore album "Lil' Blue" is different from my first self-titled album in quite a few ways actually.

"Lil' Blue" was recorded with a full band sound and had several musicians who contributed parts. This record was also a new batch of songs.

My first record titled under my name "Matt Eckstine" was completely acoustic takes in the studio of songs I planned to move forward with under my solo career. The band that I was the primary songwriter for "The Accomplices" had disbanded unexpectedly. I decided to cut some of my favorite tunes from that period and start from scratch.

 2 - You have an impressive background with The Accomplices. The band was voted Best Band in Savannah two years in a row. Since we didn’t get to talk the last time I reviewed your music, this is as good a time as any to ask - what was the moment when you knew it was time to step out on your own?

The Accomplices decided to disband when two members of the band made the decision to move across the country. I decided to go into a studio a month after that decision and cut some acoustic songs to get started on the next page of my career.


3 - In what ways do you think you’ve grown since that first album?

In regard to how I’ve grown since my first solo record....  I believe I have honed my songwriting craft and have found my own identity in the solo career. It definitely took me a few years to learn how to work as a solo artist rather than being a band member. They are very different worlds, and now I feel like I know how to navigate both of those roles.

4 - On your airplay direct page for the first album you attribute your influences to Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. All great songwriters. Can you tell what your take-away was from each of those?  What did you key in to specifically with each?

I'm not sure who set up the airplay direct actually.....but....good choices on those writers!

I was first introduced to John Prine from a friend who burned me a CD with a compilation of his catalog. I was just blown away by the lyrics and the feel of the music. I remember thinking "this guy had already done exactly what I think I'm going for!". That really provided me with a teacher to keep me grounded. I like to keep my songs fairly simple with concept, music, and character. Prine, Kristofferson, and Townes all had that quality. I equally spent a lot of time listening to Townes and studying his guitar and lyrical work. I went through a period of personal despair that I found a kindred spirit in Townes music. All of these guys mentioned are masters of their craft and I think it is important to study the masters and pay homage.

5 - I know what I hear when I listen to your music. Everyone is going to hear something different. What do you hear and want people to experience when they listen?

I hear the result of the process. Which is usually rewarding. I like to hear how an idea turns into a completed piece of music and then goes into a production mind frame. After that happens and a song is completed, I enjoy listening to the completed piece on a sunset drive out to the beach. Then I am on to the next tune!

For others: If the music brings you some form of joy that would make me happy. I know that musical taste is completely individual to the person. I think the people that get it will get it and that is wonderful!

 6 – Business coach Amber McCue says that wherever we are in our career, we are ‘right on time’. You’ve made great strides in the past four years. Do you feel you are ‘right on time’?

I am not familiar with Amber McCue and the philosophy. However, I think I understand what that means.... I definitely feel like I am growing in the direction that I intended to move toward from 4 years back!

7 - Alive or dead, who would you love to sit and talk music with?

Alive --- I think I would enjoy talking about music and life with Todd Snider. I think he would be a good hang and definitely bridges the gap between my folk heroes of the past and present.

8 - We’ve all been locked down, shut in, whatever term you want to use. Many people are using this time to step out of their comfort zone and do that thing they’ve always dreamed of. For those thinking this is the time to kick off their music career, what advice would you give someone just starting out?

 Three words..... Do The Work

That is all it really takes. As easy as that is to say, it is a lot harder to actually do!

Great advice, Matt!

You'll find Matt Eckstine on the following social media locations:

 I'll be putting Li'l Blue on the turntable tomorrow so be sure to come back for that review. 

In the mean time, here's a sample video for you:

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


 Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone for their patience. I'm trying really hard to get things uploaded on a regular basis. Sadly, I didn't get this blog covered as much as I'd have liked the past several weeks. 

Most of the month of November was taken up with a road trip to IL then on to IA to visit extended family. The youngest girl (like a daughter to me) was expecting her first child(ren) - twins girls. I wasn't missing out on helping her prep for this milestone in her life. I've missed a lot with her the past several years. Even in the midst of COVID, I needed to remedy that.  As of 11/ 28 I am officially a Mimi when Kassie delivered two beautiful little girls. 

To add to the journey, her oldest sister recently became a foster mom to an infant. She brought the now 12- week old little girl home from the hospital at 5 weeks old.

So as you can tell, I've been a bit pre-occupied. 

Today, I'm introducing you to a newcomer on the scene. Last Year's Man ( (Tyler's pseudonym) comes to us from Eugene Oregon. While y'all know I'm a Texas girl at heart, I have to tell you that the music coming out of the PNW is creative and deep. 

Brave the Storm takes you deep inside yourself. The overall melancholy tone of the album is masterfully delivered with vocals (shared with his wife Erin) and acoustic guitar the stars of the show. His experience as a producer brings something I rarely hear in albums... a true ear. Brave the Storm isn't just an album, it's an experience.

I normally walk you through track by track but I'm not going to do that here. Why? Because the overall album goes deep into your soul, making the tracks a personal journey for everyone who listens. What I feel is going to be totally different for each of you. This isn't just an album, it's a meditation. The dream-like effect transcends this crazy world we are in right now - something I think we all need. 

There are tunes on here that move me almost to tears... they go that deep for me. 

Here's what I want each of you to do.
Check out video for the title track then click one of the buy links provided and download your copy.  
After you've listened, I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below or by tagging me on Twitter and IG - @kellyscountry

One additional note. Aside from a masterful songwriter, Tyler is a fabulous artist. Check out  his website then click the ART tab to be transported to another side of this talented soul.
I'm giving this album:

You'll find Last Year's Man on the following social media channels: