Yellow Brick Highway from Irene Kelley

Veteran bluegrass singer and songwriter Irene Kelley, whose every song seems to move up our Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay chart, has a fifth single from her current Snow White Memories album, releasing on March 31.

Like all of her songs, it pairs a memorable melody with insightful lyrics, produced in the most professional way a bluegrass number could be cut.

She explained for us how Yellow Brick Highway ended up being written, recorded, and included on her latest project.

“For this album, I seriously considered covering the song, Snowbird, by Anne Murray, as this has been a long time favorite. Only to realize the song had been covered a bunch in bluegrass. So, I got with another longtime friend and co-writer, Steve Leslie, from EMI publishing days. He is also known for his country hits and the Rhonda Vincent song, My Best Last Place.

Steve had this great hook line to offer the day we sat down to write, Yellow Brick Highway, and I of course have a love of the movie, Wizard of Oz. Our song gives a nod to the yellow brick road, and opened us up for many more great metaphors and imagery. Between the melody inspirations of Snowbird, the Wizard of Oz, and Steve’s great line, and we had our song in a very short time.

This is one of my favorites on the record. The musicians really captured the essence of the song, especially Billy Contreras on the outstanding fiddle parts. My bluegrass friends Brook and Darin Aldridge put the beautiful harmony parts on.”

Have a listen…

Yellow Brick Highway will be available tomorrow from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers can get the track now via AirPlay Direct.

Snow White Memories, and many of Irene’s other recordings, can be purchased directly from the artist online. You can keep up with her music on the official Irene Kelley web site, her YouTube channel, or her many social media accounts.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.