Fresh from her performance at WOMADelaide, Kelly is a national award winning singer songwriter of the soul/roots/alt-country variety, a captivating live performer and a voice once compared to a cross between Erma Franklin and Etta James.
Kelly Menhennett, daughter to a 3rd generation grape growing father and cabaret singing mother, was born and bred amongst vineyards in the South Australian countryside. After years working as a red winemaker, the healthy dose of largely soul, country and rock & roll music that infused her blood as a child eventually led her to the stage. Her first performance was humble, in the dining room of a local country pub, calling out meal orders in between songs. But as soon as she unleashed her unique, gritty voice to the unassuming patrons, they were hooked and there was no turning back.
Since then she's gone on the win the national Telstra Road To Discovery award for her songwriting, independently released 2 full length albums and performed at iconic national and international festivals both solo and with her band. Most recently Kelly was the recipient of the inaugural “Ryan Freeman Live Music Award” at the 2015 SA Music awards and won the ARBA best roots album for 2014/15 with her latest release, Small Dreams.
In late 2010, Kelly released her debut album “World Of Mine”, named one of the top 10 albums for 2011 by Rhythms magazine’s Sue Barrett.
Kelly’s most recent, 2nd album, "Small Dreams", was recorded live over 3 days in Mr Lemons Studio in Nashville, TN, with producer Neilson Hubbard and an all-star band including the likes of Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) and Kim Richey. In contrast to her first album, Small Dreams is a little darker, a little dirtier and focuses more on her love of Americana music, which has inspired her for a lifetime. Also well received by fans and media, Small Dreams was named a top 3 release by Rhythms Magazine.
Her tireless national touring, both solo and with her band (Richard Coates on keys/accordion, Shireen Khemlani on bass, Tim Irrgang on drums and Steve Pederson on pedal steel/electric guitar/lap-slide) has seen her developing a reputation around the country as a unique and charismatic performer. She has been invited to support some great Austrialian and International musical acts (Charles Jenkins, Steve Poltz, Anne McCue, Patty Larkin, Sandi Thom, Monique Brumby, The McClymonts), shared the stage with her idol, Paul Kelly, in Nashville and graced the stages of some of Australia's great venues and festivals such as WOMADelaide, Woodford Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival and Tamworth Country Music Festival, as well as the Americana Festival in Nashville.