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“The last songs that made me cry were by a young New York singer, Kelley McRae.”
– acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders to the San Francisco Chronicle

“Kelley moves effortlessly from the mournful tones of the plantation to the celebratory swing of the saloon, from songs of loss and decay to hymns of love and grace.”
– Paste Magazine FOUR STAR Review

Video Premiere on NPR’s Soundcheck

Video Premiere on No Depression

Video Premiere on The Bluegrass Situation

Video Premiere on Grassclippings

Song Premiere on The Boot

Reviews for ‘The Wayside’:

“Beautiful music with stunning, delicate vocals. Made with such a high sense of good taste. With hundreds of new releases each year, there are maybe ten or twenty magical moments. The Wayside is one of those moments.” – Mike Penard, Radio France

“…intricate lyrics complemented by simple acoustics all woven together with a voice that yearns to be heard…Her voice is tender and hauntingly beautiful, echoing the best of Gillian Welch, and Emmylou Harris.” – Penguin Eggs Magazine


“McRae is the real deal, bringing some rare depth to the newschool Americana genre.”  – New York Music Daily

“Kelley can do no wrong. This latest cd, The Wayside, shows Kelley rising to her amazing potential.” – New Folk Radio

“McRae’s delivery and the emotion in her voice evocative of the finest moments of Emmylou…” – FRUK Music & Culture

“Kelley McRae is underrated, and you need an Americana cleanser after that Lumineers album.”  – If It’s Too Loud/First Listen

“GREAT, GREAT, GREAT. Such nice guitar playing, such nice vocals and such beautiful songs.” – Jan Willem Bos, Delta Rhythm

“It is way over time for the world to take more notice of this sparkling performer.”  – Music Mainline

“The harmonies… provide consistent warmth and charm to the reliably ear-catching choruses of Ms. McRae’s insightful lyric sets. Mr. Castelein’s graceful guitar touches complete the hat trick that anchors this exquisite acoustic set”  – Roots Music Report

“The Wayside will propel an excellent Kelley McRae to the top of the charts” – Martin van der Laan/Country Stew/Radio Compagnie

“This is pure magic.” – Hans de Boer, Radio Loco Americana

“Another finely-faceted batch of gems.” – Cameron Dilley, WMNF Tampa

Reviews for ‘Easy On My Mind’:

“With a couple of guitars and a seemingly bottomless supply of effortlessly gorgeous harmonies…the EP’s six songs display few theatrics and little angst but a lot of coolly measured Americana, every note, every line a marvel of down-to-the-bone minimalism and quiet, soulful pondering.”  – Direct Current

The songs are real jewels, the voice takes the breath away and the sound is like a warm bath.” – Jan Willem Bos, Delta Rhythm

“McRae and Castelein have been regularly compared to Welch and Rawlings, the latter should take that as a real compliment.” – Folk Radio UK

 “Marvelous, wonderful, splendid, magnificent…the music is so beautiful, the sound, the songs, the vocals, everything leads to emotion.” Mike Penard, Radio France

This is six slices of musical honey.” Cameron Dilley, WMNF Tampa

“If spending hours together riding asphalt is as comfortable as the sound of ‘Easy on My Mind,’ the latest release from Kelley McRae, then hitch a ride in the backseat….the trip will be a good one. The pair swing and sway to the country, rock’n’roll and mountain music gathers in their songs.”  – The Alternate Root 

“Every song is a new revelation of emotion; McRae reaches into the depths of herself to create and share songs that are both poignant and entirely intimate.” – Blank News


Features:  No Depression * NPR’s Hidden World of Girls * All Things Go

With covers of artists like Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle peppered among lovely originals, McRae’s well-pitched, educated Americana is neither snoozy folk nor country cheese. It’s got no pose or pretense, just purity between her graceful singing and his beautiful guitar work. Together, they’re the triumph of grace and soul over volume and glitter.”  – Orlando Weekly, Review of live show

“Sometimes there’s a chemistry so special between a singer and an instrumentalist that they’re hard to separate…singer Kelley McRae and guitarist Matt Castelein fall into that category.” – Knoxville News Sentinel


Reviews for ‘Brighter Than the Blues’:

“Her songs are crafted with intricate attention and the kind of deep personal reflection that few people achieve in a lifetime and fewer songwriters are able to make manifest in their words. What’s more, her talents are not limited to those of a wordsmith or musical arranger, but she is blessed with a voice perfectly suited to bring her creations to life. The release of her third album, Brighter Than the Blues, showcases all of these talents and demonstrates once again that Kelley McRae is among the best singer-songwriters in America today.”  – No Surf Music

“The new album’s wonderful title track is a marvel of simple production that defies the stripped instrumentation with densely packed layers of guitars strummed atop a shuffling foot-driven beat (amped up to eleven).”  – Direct Current

“…an incredible voice, a timeless sound, and an album that shows emotion in all its forms”    – Ear to the Ground

Brighter Than the Blues is impressive lyrically and minimalist in music, with stunning love songs like “When The Evening Comes” and a beautiful gospel song called “Let the Light In.”   – Grass Clippings Blog

Reviews for ‘Never Be’ + ‘Highrises in Brooklyn’:

“She breaks past the usual sensitive singer-songwriter limitations with a booming, R&B-influenced voice.”
– Nashville Scene

“Sometimes a great voice and acoustic guitar really are all you need.”
– PopMatters

“With all these indie bands buzzing up and disappearing at alarming rates, it’s nice to see a mellow musician who will always be present due to her undeniable talent. McRae is one of those artists that would still be playing music even if there wasn’t an industry…music seems part of her and we’re all fortunate that she shares her gift.”
– We Listen For You

“Kelley McRae, with this second album, continues to prove that there is more to her than just a stunning voice, but that she is also an incredibly talented songwriter.”
– The Vinyl Experience

“Before the age of thirty, Kelley McRae managed to write two songs that stand among the true greats, an accomplishment many artists work for a lifetime and never achieve.”
– No Surf Music