The Georgia native’s history is a one-of-a-kind journey that includes having been an exchange student in Sweden as well as a worker at a school for orphans in Guatemala where he designed a music program for the students.

Kelley eventually made his way to Nashville and signed on as a staff writer with a publishing company in 2006. Feeling unfulfilled, he waited until his contract expired and then sold everything he owned so he could spend the next four years living, writing and recording his demos in an RV.

Then came the Kickstarter campaign, resulting in $26,000 in 60 days which led to his debut album, the appropriately titled It Don’t Come Easy.

“It’s called It Don’t Come Easy for a reason,” Kelley said. “After a while on the project, it became evident that there was going to be no short cut making this record. It needed time, and we recognized that – we didn’t force it along, but gave it everything we had – by choice.”

Kelley launches a brief tour this month, beginning with a gig in Dallas at the Kessler Theater where he will open for Australian songstress Kasey Chambers Aug. 15. Other stops include Oklahoma City at a Lower Bricktown Live event Aug. 16; St. Louis at Blueberry Hill’s Duckroom Aug. 18; Chicago at Joe’s Bar Aug. 20; New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall Aug. 23; Decatur, Ga., at Eddie’s Attic Aug. 29 and Destin, Fla., at the Shed Aug. 31.

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