Josh Kelley,
The TVD First Date

“I was 23 and living in the Beachwood Canyon area of Los Angeles when I was first truly introduced to the sonic beauty of vinyl records.”

“Beachwood Canyon is an area not only famous for the Hollywood sign but also for its Sunday brunch-time garage sales. I was walking down those windy roads one Sunday when I happened on a driveway with a basket that said vinyl records $3 each—I immediately started thumbing through when I came across the record Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass Band.

I have to be honest—at first, I only purchased the record because the album cover art was so striking, sexy and beautiful—but when I dropped the needle on that bad boy I was transported to a place musically that I’ve never been. The grooves, the brass, and the overall feel of it inspired so many new songs for me and my career. Still to this day, 17 years later, we play the album for cocktail hour or pool parties. There’s vibe for days that record—thank you, Herb Alpert. On a side note—what’s also cool is that I found out a month later that my next-door neighbor in Beachwood was Herb Alpert’s son!

My second life-changing moment with vinyl is when I stumbled upon Donny Hathaway’s Live at an old vinyl record shop in Los Feliz, California. I had heard some of the album before but never on vinyl. I bought it, took it home, poured a stiff drink, and drank his voice in for hours on repeat. His smooth voice and the phrasing in his hands on that old Wurlitzer keyboard spoke to me immediately.

It’s amazing how an artist can cover someone else’s song but completely own it in a previously unthought-of direction—such as his version of “A Song For You” originally by Leon Russell or “What’s Going On,” originally penned by Marvin Gaye. I used that knowledge when I recorded my covers record, Under the Covers, and I’m truly in debt to this record for that very reason.

Now that I’ve been in the business much longer I’ve learned much more about the science behind why I prefer listening to music on vinyl—how the last step before a song hits your ears is mastering, and how vinyl is compressed at a much lower volume than other listening methods. It’s the reason vinyl has such a warm sound, and why it feels so personal as a listener. Vinyl forever.”
Josh Kelley

“Love Her Boy,” the new single from Josh Kelly is in stores now.

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PHOTO: JUSTIN HACKWORTH

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