Nashville singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly has dealt with hardships, plenty of lows, some dark times and battled his fair share of demons but throughout it all, he's laid witness to the good and beauty that's rewarded from battling through it all. In his latest single, "Jericho" Kelly preaches how to keep moving forward and staying strong when you've hit rock bottom. Hit play on this beautiful folk ballad below:
"Jericho" is song about triumph over fear, or rather what you know it takes to triumph over your fears. Fears of self really. It’s the most thematically encompassing song on this record. It’s an answer to the rock bottom question of “how much is left in you?” “It’s a song I wrote with Natalie Hemby and Joy Williams, and a special one because of how it solidified our friendship together.” Ruston Kelly
For me, this track is another wonderful representation of the vulnerability that's found in a lot of Ruston Kelly's music. It's what I like to consider heart-to-pen songwriting. There's never a bashful filter holding anything back in Kelly's lyrics. In each track, fans are privy to front row seats as they lay witness to Kelly expressing these honest confessions of emotions and moments in his life that performed through very intimate folk ballads. His unique voice contains this gentle raspiness that makes the vocal delivery of each track both haunting and comforting, while his complex guitar work adds to the overall catchy melodies.
Originally from South Carolina, the now Nashville-based artist started playing guitar under the guidance of his dad, Tim “TK” Kelly, a pedal steel guitarist who now performs in his band. Kelly was given the challenge of finding stability in life from within having had a transient childhood frequently moving and living everywhere from Alabama to Belgium, including time in Michigan-where he first began writing songs. At 17, Kelly finished high school in Belgium and moved to Nashville to live with his sister. For there, he went on to land a publishing deal with BMG Nashville writing songs for several high-profile country artists in the area.
Ruston Kelly’s highly anticipated full-length debut, Dying Star, will be released September 7 on Rounder Records and is now available for pre-order. When speaking about the album, Kelly shared,“A lot of my music is focused on suffering, or trying to understand the human condition through the lens of suffering…which probably sounds totally depressing, but it’s actually the flipside of that. Sometimes you’ve gotta go into that darkness—you need to get lost and then figure out for yourself how to find your way back. That’s the only way we can find pure joy, and really be thankful for the life we’ve been given.”
In support of the new album, Kelly will embark on a headline tour this fall, check out the currently confirmed dates below:
August 11—Hutto, TX—KOKEFEST
October 13—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival