February 24, 2018

Spoken Word and Roots Music

Kory and Kelsey Wells’ words and music go together like peaches and cream. Like meat and potatoes. Like pintos and cornbread.

Their fusion of Kory’s words & Kelsey’s old-time music has been called “bluegrass rap” and  “hillbilly cool.”  They’re actually kind of suburb nerdy, but they love their Southern/Appalachian roots.

Kory and Kelsey’s first album, Decent Pan of Cornbread, is now available! Buy the CD direct from Kory’s shop, or sample the tracks and buy digital downloads or physical CDs here on CDBaby.com or here on Kory and Kelsey’s Facebook page.

Kory and Kelsey warm up at the Southern Festival of Books, 2011

Kory Wells serves up the words. She’s the author of Heaven Was the Moon (March Street Press, 2009), a collection of poetry that explores Southern small town life, contemporary suburban sprawl, music, motherhood, prejudice, faith, and more.

Poet, novelist, and renowned writing coach Darnell Arnoult calls HWTM a “beautiful clutch of poems.” The Murfreesboro Pulse says Wells’ poems are “incredibly relatable.”

Kory’s poetry and prose have appeared in publications nationwide. Ladies’ Home Journal praised her “standout” essay that leads the anthology She’s Such a Geek, and her novel-in-progress was a finalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition.

Kelsey has also won awards for her fiddling at the Great Southern Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention and in the Grand Master Traditional Fiddler Championship.

Kelsey Wells provides the perfect complement of music. The 2012 Uncle Dave Macon Days Traditional Fiddle champion, she plays fiddle, banjo, cello, and other instruments, accompanying her mom’s poems with bluegrass and old-time standards as well as original tunes.

Though rooted in the heritage of Appalachian music, Kelsey’s unique sound has been influenced by her keen interest in the fiddling styles of Western North Carolina, southern Sweden, and a few places in between. She has served as the assistant director of World Music Weekends and was the 2013 U.S. delegate to the world folk music project Ethno Denmark. She has taught or performed in Norway, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica.

Mentored by bluegrass musician Becky Buller, Kelsey is a member of the folk dance band Turnip the Beet and plays with the Farm Strong Band (also known as Pork and Beans).

The duo debuted to a standing-room-only audience at the 2009 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville shortly after Kory’s book was published. They regularly perform together at bookstores, libraries, festivals and other venues; they also perform individually at various writers conferences, contra dances, and other events and festivals throughout the Southeast and beyond.


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