RiverRoots Music Series

Lafayette-born musician Kelsey
to perform in Madison

His concert will close out this year’s series

(May 2018) – The RiverRoots Music Series will move to a different musical venue to hold the final show of the season with a musician based in Indianapolis but well known to Madison, Ind., area audiences. In addition to performances around town, Michael Kelsey was in Madison at the RiverRoots Music & Folk Art Festival in 2012 and 2017.

RiverRoots Music Series

• Featuring Michael Kelsey at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at Thomas Family Winery, 208 E. Second St., in Madison, Ind.
• Information and tickets: www.RiverRoots.org

Kelsey is scheduled to return to perform as part of the music series on Saturday, May 12, at the Thomas Family Winery, 208 E. Second St. in Madison.
“I always like being a part of the festival in any way I can,” said Kelsey. “I haven’t been to Madison area in a while. Making music outside of the winery sounds like a great place to gather and have an experience with everyone.”
Born and raised in Lafayette, Ind., Kelsey is a rhythmic, inspired guitarist and performance artist who blends many musical genres. He began his musical journey weaving in and out of successful area bands as lead guitarist or bassist. Later he opened and ran a thriving recording studio, which after five years he retired in order to embark on his musical solo career.
Steve Thomas, who owns and operates the winery with his wife, Elizabeth, recalls Kelsey’s first trip to the winery.
“I believe his first Madison performance was at the winery opening for some of our local musical favorites,” Thomas said. “It will be nice to have him return as part of the RiverRoots music Series.”
“Michael Kelsey has been to Madison several times,” said Music Series coordinator Tony Novello. “It was important for us to bring in a name that fans recognize so they will come out and have a great evening.
Kelsey has played several places around Madison, including the Red Bicycle Hall and at the RiverRoots Festival a few times including last year.

Photo provided

Musician and singer Michael Kelsey is scheduled to perform May 12 at Thomas Family Winery in Madison, Ind., as part of the RiverRoots Music Series.

“The goal of the music series is to bring great music to Madison and to promote RiverRoots,” Novello continued. “It is very important to find the right venues for our acts. Earlier this season, Hanover College was a perfect fit with The Fairfield Four. Steve and the winery has been a great partner of RiverRoots. The intimate setting is perfect for a few of the acts like Kelsey we bring in for the music series.”
Thomas Family Winery owners say they are happy to be part of the music series.
“We are proud to be part of the startup effort for RiverRoots,” Steve Thomas said. “Sometimes it does take a village.”
Novello is a fan of what Kelsey does with his instrument.
“Kelsey will do things with a guitar you have never seen,” said Novello.
The primary location for the music series is at Red Bicycle Hall at 125 E. Main St. The series has been an effective tool in bringing attention to the RiverRoots Festival.
“This year’s music series has been a huge success,” said Novello. “We were able to introduce a couple of bands to Madison as well as bring in two big names – The Fairfield Four and Ray Wylie Hubbard. The success of the music series always depends on the fans, and they were the biggest reason for this year’s success.”
“We remember when Michael came to play the winery,” said Thomas. “We thought he was a very special guitarist then, and he really seems to be coming into his own.”
Kelsey brings a free-flowing improvisational style to the guitar that stretches the limits of his instrument. He has a playing style that is funky and percussive that blends multiple musical genres and vocals, along with some techno fun to create a sound all his own.
He is the winner of Guitar Center’s “Guitarmageddon,” having been chosen from among 3,000 entrants. He has performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads 2004, where he shared the stage with many legendary guitarists.
When Kelsey performs, he may make use of technology, improv skills, objects in the room and audience interaction to make music for the ears but more importantly a musical experience for the senses.
Kelsey’s performance is set to begin at 8 p.m. Music series performances generally require a ticket, but there is never a cover charge or ticket fee at Thomas Family Winery.
“There is no charge for this show at the Thomas Family Winery but space is limited,” said Novello.
“This show is supported by our sponsors and a grant from The Indiana Arts Commission. There is limited space, so people should plan to arrive earlier for a seat.” 
“We would just like to thank the everyone for supporting the music series,” Novello added. “The reason for its success is the fans. We hope that bringing in these musicians will entice everyone to come see us June 8-9 at the RiverRoots Festival.”

The 13th annual festival has moved from May to June this year for the first time and takes place at Madison Bicentennial Park on the riverfront. Visit www.RiverRoots.org for more details and ticket information.

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