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Irene Kelley shines at OBX Bluegrass Fest (via Neel Keller | Outer Banks Sentinel)

A highlight of the sixth annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival, held at Roanoke Island Festival Park last week, was a lively, heartwarming set by Irene Kelley and her band.

Enjoying the gorgeous ‘Indian summer’ weather, the celebrated singer-songwriter-guitarist treated her audience to a variety of songs featuring sweet harmonies by Kelley’s daughter Justyna and mandolin player Darin Aldridge.

But Kelley’s lilting, soulful voice — reminiscent of Dolly Parton, with traces of Emmylou Harris and the late Joey Feek — took center stage, as her evocative original songs looked back fondly at growing up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania in ‘These Hills,’ experiencing the ‘Carolina Wind’ and anticipating her final destination in ‘Before You Call Me Home.’



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