IT DON'T COME EASY, the debut album by Nashville-based singer-songwriter Gabriel Kelley, will be released on July 10 from Badge Music Group. The 10-song collection was produced, engineered and mixed by Grammy®-award-winner Neal Cappellino and features a stellar group of musicians backing up Kelley's vocals and acoustic guitar work.
Supporting Kelley on the tracks are some of Nashville's finest players: Brad Pemberton and Jon Graboff (both formerly of The Cardinals), Dave Jacques (John Prine, Shelby Lynne), Gabe Dixon, Bekka Bramlett (Fleetwood Mac, Joe Cocker) and the legendary Reggie Young (Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield). Recorded live to analog tape to achieve a vintage aesthetic, IT DON'T COME EASY evokes comparisons to early Neil Young and Ray LaMontagne. The material is highly autobiographical, and Kelley wrote most of the album's 10 tracks. Whether it's the harmonica-driven "Faith," the haunting "When Is Enough" or the laid back title track, Kelley delivers with songs that offer a glimpse of his soul-one of compassion, honesty and simplicity. A native of rural Georgia near Athens, Kelley relocated to Nashville to pursue a career in music after spending time in Sweden as an exchange student and in Guatemala where he worked at a school for orphaned children and created a music education program there. In 2006, he signed with a Nashville publishing company as a staff writer. Unfulfilled, he let his contract expire, sold everything he owned and made a change. By design, he spent the next four years living, writing and recording demos in an 8' x 12' RV. His goal was to pursue the craft of creating music as a genuine form of expression rather than one of commerce. When he was ready, he launched a Kickstarter campaign that generated $26,000 in 60 days to fund the recording of his debut album. Now 27, he has a great appreciation for the craft and the process. "It's called 'It Don't Come Easy' for a reason," says Kelley of his new album. "After a while on the project, it became evident that there was going to be no short cut making this record. It needed time, and we recognized that--we didn't force it along, but gave it everything we had - by choice."
Kelley will celebrate the release of IT DON'T COME EASY with a special show at Nashville's Mercy Lounge on Wednesday, June 27. He will be backed by many of the players who appear on the new CD. Kelley recently completed a series of dates opening for Reckless Kelly and will join Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers as their support act beginning July 15.