"...Hunt's vocals and captivating piano playing work together to lift each composition to gravity-defying heights. With each new release - this is her fifth - Hunt's velvet-smooth voice is further defined." "This is a superb production with the subtle colors Hunt is famous for..."
BLUES REVUE (Jul/Aug '11)
"****1/2 "Stylish and gets better as every second passes." "Kelley admits on her website of her admiration of the greats of blues and R&B and you can hear this influence on this record which is twelve songs long and not one single second of it is wasted or becomes laborious to the ears."
"Hunt's latest CD (GRAVITY LOVES YOU) sounds like her best yet - which is high praise considering the quality of her 2009 release, "Mercy". Hunt's songwriting shines on powerful, moving compositions like "Deep Old Love," "This Fall," "In the End" and the title cut. And she proves she can shine on the keyboard as well - with dynamic inspired playing throughout."
Terry Perkins ST. LOUIS BEACON
"Kelley Hunt delivers the goods with a voice that grafts passionate blues to scorching soul - instantly endearing her to all within earshot, as her band surrounds her in a greasy funk that completes the package and brings you back for more. 'GRAVITY LOVES YOU' continues this tasty tradition and ups the ante once again."
Eric Thom BLUES REVUE, SING OUT!, MAVERICK, PENGUIN EGGS, ROOTS MUSIC CANADA
"...Hunt delivers her socially charged lyrics with a voice that's part powerful gospel yearning and part bawdy soul shouter..."
THE ONION Denver, CO
"Kansas City roots singer Kelley Hunt is equally impressive as soulful, throaty vocalist and an aggressive, gospelly pianist. She showcases her songwriting prowess on the nicely nuanced 'GRAVITY LOVES YOU', due Feb. 15. 'Deep Old Love' finds her in a bluesy medium-tempo Bonnie Raitt groove. 'I'm Ready' is a tent-revival piano boogie. 'In The End' is a gorgeous gospel benediction."
THE MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE
"Blues, R&B and gospel singer-songwriter and show-stopping boogie piano player."
"Kelley Hunt's previous release, 2004's 'NEW SHADE OF BLUE', left this listener with the desire to hear the singer/songwriter/pianist cut loose a little more. On her new album (MERCY) she does just that. In a sign of growing confidence as an artist, Hunt digs deeper and reaches further." "...it's the title track, positioned dead center in the middle of the album, that is 'MERCY's brightest jewel. It's a heartfelt piece of work, sorrowful but uplifting, where Hunt's considerable skills as a musician and songwriter find their fullest expression. It'll break your heart." "It's a pleasure to witness Hunt continue to grow and thrive as a musician; though it's been too long since her last recording, 'MERCY' was worth the wait. Using a style leavened with equal parts barrelhouse and gospel, Hunt presents an uplifting message without sounding pretentious or preachy. There's nothing overwrought here; 'MERCY' is straight from the heart."
"Her fourth release 'MERCY' shifts the focus to her songwriting skills and immense voice." "...a superb live performer, immediately drawing you to the power of her music and her voice..."
NYC Roots Music publication ELMORE
"Kelley Hunt resides among those bluesy, soulful piano players who write great songs." "...the main attraction here is Hunt, whose rich, soulful voice is an instrument in and of itself, with a toughness that shines on cuts like 'You Got To Be The Vessel." "Her piano playing and songwriting also function at the highest levels." "Emerald City" is a brilliant political statement..."
"...I ventured to Toronto's venerable Silver Dollar and was blown away by the talent in evidence...Hunt's fiery blasts of soul channel Bonnie Bramlett, Maggie Bell, and even Queen Aretha herself."
Eric Thom BLUES REVUE
"...a great voice and a magnetic stage personality, and leads a rock-solid band. No excess showboating, just a floating bed of groovitude for Hunt's subtly powerful voice to ride."
Garaud MacTaggart THE BUFFALO NEWS
"Stellar singing, songwriting and monstrous boogie-woogie piano chops."
"Hard-driving, gospel-influenced piano blues and ballads. Her vocals are rich and limber - there's not a tentative bone in her body."
Brad Wheeler TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
"One of the best new songwriters in the genre."
Paul de Barros SEATTLE TIMES
NEW SHADE OF BLUE - 3 out of 4 stars - "Hunt's voice has both power and flexibility, so running the gamut from hard-core blues to religious raving to the most vocally sophisticated r&b is a natural enough strategy. She's also a pretty good songwriter; album opener "Waking Up Slow" works both as a metaphor for reluctant growth and, well, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. Hunt has good taste in other people's material as well, and knows how to make everything from the Beatles' "The Word" to Jesse Winchester's "That's What Makes You Strong" her earthy own."
Bob Strauss L.A. DAILY NEWS
"Kelley's music is very engaging and she surrounds herself with great producers, guests, and players, but the power of her singing on this release is truly staggering. When Aretha Franklin broke out in the late '60s generations of women singers were inspired to follow her. Kelley Hunt delivers that same kind of spirit and vocal chops, but in her own voice and without imitation. She's also a mature, accomplished gospel/blues piano player. I've gushed quite a few superlatives for Kelley in these pages but nobody who's heard her has disagreed with my enthusiasm."
Bob Margolin BLUES REVUE
"Though she didn't write all the songs on 'New Shade of Blue', the title is clearly a reference to Hunt's determination to establish herself as an independent, original artist - she makes the selections, including a rendition of the Beatles' 'The Word,' her own." "Hunt has lost none of her optimism. Even 'Long Way Home,' an observer's take on self-destructive behavior, makes the point that there's more than one path to safety and strength." "Hunt is capable of a variety of textures and modes of expression as the sneaky, understated 'Darkness' and the taut, energetic 'Waking Up Slow' prove." "She's an artist with enormous drive and potential"
Genevieve Williams BLUES REVUE
"...an independent firecracker who melds blues, roots and R&B with soulful vocals, savvy songwriting and smash-a-bottle-and-dance-on-the-bar piano virtuosity."
"Hunt shows off her many talents on 'Inspiration': her songwriting, her versatile piano skills and her uncommonly dexterous voice, which can shift effortlessly from tender R&B ballads to visceral boogie-woogie blues."
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
"Kelley Hunt remains an astonishingly well-kept secret on the blues circuit. She's a powerful singer with a huge reservoir of blues and R&B muscle and can singe your eyebrows with a ballad or full-tilt boogie. She's also a rollicking pianist...and a superior songwriter with a knack for going for the musical jugular. Hunt's latest album, 'Inspiration' (88 Records) is a swaggering live slab of smokin' blues, high-energy swing and boogie-woogie."
CITY PAGES Twin Cities
"The second release from fiercely indie blues/R&B pianist Kelley Hunt is inspired indeed, with the technical perfection of a studio recording and the energy of a live performance." "If there's a notion in the blues world of indie cred, Hunt has made it work for her, building an impressive presence. It'll be intriguing to see where she takes her considerable performing talent and songwriting skills from here."
"No tired retreads in these nine original, live tracks. She sounds like a road-weary warrior with the passion of Aretha and the intensity of Bonnie Raitt. She combines vocal sensuality and sexuality in equal spades." "The Lawrence, Kansas native proves 'we're not in Kansas anymore' as she pumps the 88s like a New Orleans bordello 'professor'."
THE BUFFALO (NY) NEWS re: CD "INSPIRATION"
"Is it too early to anoint the next Susan Tedeschi? Kelley Hunt, a veteran singer-songwriter from Kansas, has been around at least as long and has a voice just as big..." "The live INSPIRATION...showcases Hunt steamrolling through a number of genres - 12-bar blues ("Treat Me Right"), gospel ("Stronger Wings"), boogie-woogie ("Queen of the 88s") and contemporary, cooling R&B ("Love Never Dies / Lullabye for Charles"). "Captured live, this versatile singer is as comfortable with a torch ballad as she is with Kansas City boogie, blues and points in between"."
"The audience wasn't quite prepared for the power and ferocity of Kelley Hunt..."
THE MERCED (CA) SUN re: The Central Valley Blues Festival
"Hunt was all over her Yamaha KX88, transforming it into a boogie woogie blaster. Rich and sexy, her voice was reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, but with more Flint Hills than Harvard Yard."
POP Norman, OK
"... a boogie-woogie piano style that flows effortlessly from her fingers and a crisp voice that reflects both sensitivity and strength..."
THE MET, DALLAS, TX
"... as the title to track 8 "Natural Thing" cries, this one will have you 'hangin' on for dear life' as it truly encompasses a full range of emotions" "...Kelley and her musicians hit the ground running and left nothing but dust for others to eat." "...this one is an honest A."
Mike Roberts, DELTA SNAKE BLUES REVIEWS
"The song ("There Is A River") showcased Hunt in all her many facets: as a virtuoso at the keyboards and as a vocalist with few peers, a singer with a range of several octaves who puts every drop of gritty heart and bluesy soul into each word and every note." "She is a gem."
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
review of The Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival
"...a tremendously talented singer/songwriter and a fine piano player as well." "Her singing is a joy. A warm sound, flawless intonation, great respect for a lyric and tremendous range." "Kelley's music has a lot of substance and a lot of soul."
"I listened to Kelley's record with pleasure. Great to hear real music with respect for the righteous roots. Her singing is outstanding — no frills, down to the bone and intense."
"The newcomer from Kansas stood out among the talented array of veterans at this year's blues fest. Hunt played keyboards and sang with wit, wisdom and stage presence that were excellent reminders of how much fun it is to discover a new act that's really good."
POST-STANDARD, SYRACUSE, NEW YORK
"...the freshest slant on classic R&B you're likely to hear these days. She's a tough woman who makes a hip and burly sound."
WESTWORD, DENVER, CO
"Surprises don't often crop up on the well-trodden blues circuit. So welcome Kelley Hunt. This Kansan is a full-blown phenomenon: Powerhouse singer, hard-boogieing pianist, polished songwriter. Her self-titled disc is one of the best R&B debuts in years."
"...the lady backs up all the hype with expressive vocals, character-filled piano licks and grade-A songwriting prowess. Hell, several of Hunt's originals ("Brick By Brick," "Talk To Me") sound like potential bar standards."
TOM SUROWICZ THE TWIN CITIES READER
"...an artist who brings an unmistakable radiance to every song, and who fills up the room with a jubilant and assertive mastery of the music she loves to sing and play...Kelley Hunt is a performer destined to do important things."
MIKE METHENY PITCHWEEKLY, KANSAS CITY
"...probably the best debut album I've heard in months, a jawslackeningly sure-footed touch-down from which talent oozes like jam from an overloaded sandwich. This Lawrence, Kansas resident seemingly has it all: a brilliant two-fisted piano playing style; a cache of mature self-penned songs ranging in temperament from unrestrained rockers to the most emotive of soul ballads; and, best of all, a flawless R&B vocal technique that would put many a blues 'legend' to shame." All told, this is a marvelous album; miss it at your peril."
"...Hunt doesn't need to promote herself — her music says more than anyone ever could about her gifts as a performer and songwriter."
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
"...a solid album with fine, often tender compositions. They aren't just rousing blues-progression bar-band romps. The melodies are substantial and well crafted; the lyrics have keen insight and sense of detail."
THE DENVER POST
"...Hunt lives in Lawrence, KS, which has become a hot alternative music scene the last few years. She has shaken down a few walls where female blues artists are about as common as polar bears on roller skates."
THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
"...her rich vocals color the blues with a not-too pop gloss — and whether it be the hot-rocking 'If I Don't Dance' or the slow, smoky 'I Miss You' — she shows that her versatility is as much a reflection of her intelligence as her bountiful talent."
THE NEW TIMES
"Now the cork has been popped and the cup runneth over on her debut album, 'Kelley Hunt', which grips rootsy rhythm and blues by the collar and spins it into a boogie."
"...by the second track, the relentlessly upbeat 'Brick By Brick', you're hooked into Hunt's husky voice and solid, piano-based blues/rock."
"A powerful and mature voice, not affected by alcohol or cigarettes, but alive and expressive...exquisite qualities as a writer...she is where soul and talent meet."
AUDIO REVIEW, MILAN, ITALY
"Word is beginning to spread like wildfire about incredible blueswoman Kelley Hunt." "It could be settling into the hip-swaying funk of 'Brick By Brick', cranking it up for the barrel-house piano blues march of 'Talk To Me' or setting the stage with the gorgeous blues gospel of 'I Miss You' partially sparked by album producer Mike Finnigan's Hammond B3 organ, but Hunt produces a bona fide tour de force on this 11-song, 47-minute set."
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS MORNING NEWS, FAYETTEVILLE, FT. SMITH
"...an exceptional singer-songwriter whose gut-wrenching laments speak to the heart and fiber of life from a poignantly distaff point-of-view. Hunt's incantations, whether set to a shuffle like "Sad Cafe" or a gospel plaint like "There Is A River," move more than body and soul."
CHUCK BERG, TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL
"...the blues conjure certain passions. Whether you play guitar or piano, whether you're male or female, if the sound you create sends chills up a listener's spine, you've hit the sweet spot. Hunt hits that sweet spot repeatedly on her debut album. Her songwriting and vocal stylings are so much more than just tunes. They're emotional train rides that start slow, gain some steam, maybe slow around a curve or two, but eventually come thundering into the station at break-neck speeds."
THE VAIL TRAIL
"Kelley Hunt isn't knocking politely on music's door, she's kicking it in." "...a no-holds-barred stage presence..."
THE WICHITA EAGLE-BEACON