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J&B Festival to spotlight local talent

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kelsey Klingensmith and The Buffalo Ridge Band set to perform

Kelsey Klingensmith and The Buffalo Ridge Band will be performing at The Gathering Place in Cherokee from 9 p.m. to midnight on Jan. 18,2013, as part of the upcoming Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival.

Kelsey Klingensmith and The Buffalo Ridge Band will be performing at The Gathering Place on Jan. 18 as part of the upcoming Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival. Pictured, left to right,are Theodore 'Brooks' Begay, Steve Alingh, Jimmy Davis, Dave Hinners and Kelsey Klingensmith. Photo contributed
The name Kelsey Klingensmith has come to be quite familiar to Western Iowans, and that reputation is growing fast around the country as well, as this young, talented 13 year- old singer/songwriter begins her journey towards her lifelong dream of becoming Nashville's newest singing sensation. A prodigious songwriter and musician, Kelsey has already written well over 100 songs and released her first all - original album at age 11.

Kelsey's vibrant and powerfully expressive sound, coupled with a country cry that pulls at your heartstrings, captures her lyrics and delivers them in a way that touches and inspires those who hear her. Kelsey's new all -original album "Blue Jean Girl," produced by Jimmy Nichols, musical director for Faith Hill, is slated to be released in August of 2012.

"If I could imagine how artists like Carole King, Carly Simon, and Janis Ian started out, it would be Kelsey. She has the heart and soul of a true musical artist. The scary part is she's just beginning!" ~Jimmy Nichols.

Kelsey has the soul of a songbird and the heart of an angel. Her passion for songwriting began to develop at a very young age. As soon as she could write, she began penning her heart songs, and by age 9 she bought her first guitar with her birthday money. She took quickly to the guitar and began strumming and picking the melodies to her original songs.

Her capacity for music was endless, she soaked up every bit of musical knowledge possible and dreamed of working with the best musicians in Nashville. Kelsey began to realize her dream when she made her first trip to Nashville at age 11 to record her self penned album, "Live, Laugh, Love". Eddie Killgallon of Montgomery Gentry produced Kelsey's first EP. He felt that "Kelsey's melody and lyric writing far surpasses anyone I've met at her age." Her songwriting instincts are beyond her years. She has an ear for chords and melodies that are unique, setting her songs apart with a style that is all her own. Kelsey's song "You're Beautiful" was chosen for an anti-bullying program called "Inner Hero"in Australia, and her song "I Am Somebody" was chosen for MTV's documentary "Bullied" and recommmend out of over 3,000 songs for NSAI's pitch to publisher luncheon. Kelsey is the youngest songwriter ever selected by top industry professionals to attend NSAI's Advanced Song Camp with a scholarship in June of 2011, and was featured on BMI's website in July and Strum Magazine in October of 2011. In 2012, Kelsey started her own publishing company "Soul of a Songbird Publishing" and is quickly making her mark as a leading songwriter of her generation, garnering the attention of top Nashville music industry professionals. "I'm really excited about the release of my new original album.

I was blessed with the opportunity to write with some of the best writers in Nashville. The songs on this album are unique and fun, and have positive messages. The best part about being a songwriter is getting to touch people with my music. It's cool to know I can make a difference in somebody's life with a 3 minute song. I think people will be surprised by how much I've grown as a singer and songwriter. My producer really helped bring out the best in me. We make an awesome team. I think together we are going to do some pretty cool things."

Kelsey may be young, but she is no stranger to the stage. She made her first public performance at age 4 when she sang "The Grand Ole Flag" complete with cartwheels, backflips, and tap dancing. This past year, this little ball of fire bolted onto the country music scene performing over 100 shows in 7 different states including Nashville, TN. Within months of her first performance Kelsey won the Colgate Country Showdown in Mitchell, SD earning her a spot as the opening act for Gary Allen at the Corn Palace at age 11. Since then, she has been capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere including the CMA Music Festival where she performed on the CMA "Power Zone" Stage. CMA fans watching Kelsey's performance commented they had walked for blocks just to see where "the voice" was coming from. They were surprised to find a talented 12 year old girl playing her guitar "Ruby" and singing with a voice beyond her years. Last fall, Kelsey partnered with the Buffalo Ridge Band, former band for Nashville Star, Shawn Mayer. "I love performing with a live band, it gives me a chance to put down my guitar and interact with the audience. I've always loved to dance and have fun, having a great band behind me gives me a chance to show fans that side of me."

Kelsey has lent her musical talents to help nonprofit groups such as the Middle Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition, Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, CASA, The Gospel Mission, Middle Tennessee Golden Gloves Boxing, Project Rehema "Sing for Africa", The Make a Wish Foundation, and our country's Veterans. "I feel like God has blessed me with this gift of music, I love to be able to use it to help others."

The Buffalo Ridge Band - This little-known band has accomplished a great deal in a relatively short period of time.

The Buffalo Ridge Band (BRB) formed in early 2009 as the back-up band for Shawn Mayer, shortly after she placed 3rd on NBC's prime time television show, 'Nashville Star'. With Shawn Mayer up front, the BRB performed at big stage concerts (5000+) over the summers of 2009 & 2010, including regional events like "Rosefest" and twice at "Sticks and Stones Country Bash," sharing the stage with such notables as John Michael Montgomery, The Guess Who, Jamie O'Neal, Andy Griggs, and Josh Gracin, to name a few.

When Shawn left for Nashville in 2010, BRB stayed at home, "to continue participating in the Northwest Iowa lifestyle we grew up in." The band continues to explore musical horizons by participating in one time shows like "Our ProgRock Adventures" performed at the 2011 Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival; to which the BRB has been requested to appear for the 5th consecutive year.

The band is named after the area in Northwest Iowa where the musicians reside. It is the ridge from which water flow is directed East to the Mississippi River or West to the Missouri River, and its soils are among the most fertile in North America.

Jimmy Davis, Guitars, Vocals - Born & raised in Cherokee, Jimmy became fascinated with the guitar in his early teens leading to the life - altering "touring musician" status, which lasted for a number of years after high school.He returned to Cherokee in 2002 to a lifestyle change and the pursuit of happiness -"MUSIC", which has helped establish the local music hub "The Gathering Place" and the popular CSN tribute band "Daylight Again". You can catch Jimmy making music with friends at The Gathering Place.

Steve Alingh, Keyboards (piano, organ, synthesizers) - Born & raised in Cherokee, Steve started playing music as a child. After high school, sometime in the 70's, he started playing keys for a living, hauling Hammonds & Leslies everywhere.You can catch Steve making music with his "Daylight Again" friends and at The Gathering Place.

Dave Hinners, Drums, Vocals - Born and raised in Storm Lake, Dave became interested in music early in life, first with the bass guitar, then moving to the drums to be closer to the center of the mix. An active member of the Northwest & Central Iowa music scene since way back when, Dave also has a very successful piano tuning and repair business at home.

Theodore "Brooks" BeGay, Bass - Grew up between Cherokee and the front range of the Colorado Mountains. Music grasped him as a child, and isn't through with him yet. A singer/songwriter, Brooks moonlights with Andy Juhl and the Blue Stem Players, and whereever else music is being played.

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