By Zach Dunkin
Perhaps, The Warehouse, a repurposed machine shop dating back to the 1950s, is the appropriate venue for vocalist/guitarist extraordinaire Michael Kelsey. Not that he’s some cold, hard machine making music; Kelsey is one master player whose mechanics and precision-like approach to the stringed instrument rivals that of many of the top guitarists in the business.
After performing an opening set for folk artist David Wilcox, Wilcox described Kelsey’s show as “Cirque Du Soleil on acoustic guitar.” His songs, especially the lush instrumentals, can be reminiscent of the late Michael Hedges, an acclaimed acoustic guitarist known for his unusual two-handed picking style.
Hedges will perform at The Warehouse in Carmel on Nov. 14.
Born and reared in Lafayette, Ind., Kelsey began his musical journey playing lead guitarist or bassist in an array of local bands. He eventually opened and ran a recording studio, then left five years later to seek a career as a solo artist. He has made seven CD’s through his career.
Throughout a performance Kelsey uses electronic technology, improv skills, alternate tunings unorthodox hand positions and audience interaction to create, not only music, but a musical experience for his listeners.
“There is a five piece band in my head,” he said. “They all have different tastes in music and they are all trying to escape at the same time through my hands, feet and mouth. I hang onto an acoustic guitar and see what happens.”
Kelsey’s skills have resulted in honors such as being a finalist in “Guitar Player Magazine’s” national competition and winner of Guitar Center’s “Guitarmageddon,” chosen as best unsigned guitarist out of more than 30,000 entrants. As a result of the latter award, he was part of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads 2004 performance where he shared the stage with many of the guitar legends such as Santana, Steve Vai and Clapton.
When: 8 p.m., Nov.14
Where: The Warehouse, 254 1st Ave SW, Carmel
Tickets: $15 advance, $25 day of show
Info: www.liveforthemusic.com, 661-1760