Paul Kelly Ways & Means

Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly is a folk icon down under, having released 18 albums over the past 25 years. Ways & Means is a family affair of sorts as Kelly’s nephew Dan adds a haunting high and lonesome country falsetto backing to many of the songs. The double disc offers 21 songs; tracks like "The Oldest Story in the Book” and "Won’t You Come Around” echo early Bob Dylan folk tales. Songs are then infused with the rock attitude of the Rolling Stones, circa 1970. Kelly’s raw and rugged emotional experiences are captured throughout. Another highlight of disc one is the punchy Tom Petty-sounding love song "Sure Got Me.” Disc two continues right where the first disc left off, with one songwriting gem after another. Kelly’s stock elsewhere still is like Jann Arden trying to conquer the U.S. market — unfortunately a wider audience isn’t as aware of his music. While in Sydney he would play the famed Opera House, in North America he plays the club circuit. That’s a shame. Ways & Means should expose more people to Kelly’s muse and his penchant to pen affective songs that bristle with keen observations of life and love. (True North)