top of page
  • Writer's pictureWoody Moran

Kelly Brightwell – Namba Gear Featured Artist

Kelly Brightwell (songwriter & performer)

Portland, Oregon

Shimmering Northwest Americana. Imagine Sarah McLachlan and Patty Griffin hanging out after an Over the Rhine concert, drinking Stumptown coffee and enjoying the rain…

It’s been ten years since her debut CD “Wait for Your Spring”, was released, and three years since she put a solo music career on hold to raise her daughter Carissa. “Hearts and Home”, her new album, is the product of these years of soul-searching, growing as a person and as a musician, and reflects what only time can provide… maturity.

She explains, “I made a conscious decision to take a break, to lay things down, knowing that I’d pick them back up again. I would actually call my time away a transformation. ‘Hearts and Home’ is a kind of map of those changes — life changes as well as artistic changes.”

This change is also reflected in the rootsy, Americana sound of “Hearts and Home”. Produced by Rob Stroup (8 Ball Studio), with his entourage of high-caliber players (the Blame, Moody Little Sister), the album is a fully realized… “His vision for the album really amplified the emotional content of my songs”, she says. “It’s not a surprise, after such a rich studio experience, that I’m playing with my own band now!”

Kelly, what do you like best about your Namba Gear bag?

The Li’l Namba Remix bag is the most hard-working urban daypack I have ever had the pleasure of abusing! As someone who has dealt with Repetitive Stress Injuries, I can attest to the necessity of having an ergonomically correct way to carry my gear. When I’m wearing my solo singer/songwriter hat, my Li’l Namba can carry everything I need in a protected and organized way: from pedals and DI box, to CDs and a laptop.

For my full-band gigs, it keeps my jumble of instrument and equipment cables straight, and collects other necessary odds and ends in its many pockets, flaps and a secret compartment…

What’s your favorite music software?

Um, pen and paper? Seriously… there’s something about the movement of my hand across a notebook that accesses a more creative, image-based, right brain type of songwriting. That said, I am very excited to get some recording software on my MacBook (a college graduation present to myself this past summer:) The way my life looks now, as the mother of a preschooler, being able to record music myself — wherever I am when the Muse speaks — is practical and essential.

Do you have a favorite remote recording location?

“Remote” isn’t an option for me these days. “Hidden” is more do-able: a locked bathroom, my (wo)man cave in the basement, the covered porch in winter, even a parked car can be solitude enough to create!

Catch Kelly Brightwell in 2014! She’ll be logging in some West Coast tour dates with her band, as well as visiting conferences and festivals across the country…. Album available at CD Baby and iTunes:

Kelly allowed us to use two of her songs from her debut CD “Wait for Your Spring” as the soundtrack for our video Namba Gear From Planet Earth, where we show many of our user submitted photos. Thanks again, Kelly.

5 views0 comments


bottom of page