World Party began as an outlet for the pop infatuations of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger, previously best known for his tenure with the Waterboys.
Wallinger, who made five more-or-less terrific Beatles-y/Stones-y/Dylan-y World Party albums from 1987 - 2000, suffered a brain aneurysm in 2001. "It's a bit crap when your head explodes," Karl told MOJO in the September '12 issue. "It took four years to be back properly...I had to re-learn things because my eyesight is f*@#'d. For a while I couldn't see the end of the guitar so I was playing quite a few jazz chords. And now I can't see my right hand on the piano unless I look very strangely to the right."
Eyesight problems aside, Wallinger has made an otherwise complete recovery. In April of 2012 he released Arkeology, a 5-disc World Party rarities set, that also includes a couple new tunes and he is currently working on a new album.
Gaberiel Kelly's IT DON’T COME EASY has now arrived, and it’s an authentic representation—and the logical culmination—of what Kelley set out to do, on his own terms. Its organic feel proceeds directly from the autobiographical nature of the songs that comprise it and from Kelley and Cappellino’s observation that “There’s no point in writing or recording unless you mean what you’re saying.” Kelley’s close-to-the-land Georgia background and affinity for telling it like it is, simply and directly, inform both the music and sentiments throughout, especially on tunes like “See Ya Comin’” and “Goodbye Jesse.” The songs are all Kelley’s, with the sole exception of “These Old Green Hills”: “I was home a couple of years ago,” he says, “and Pat [Shields] played it for me, and I said, ‘I’m gonna put that on the record.’ I never did anyone else’s song before, but I did that as kind of a tribute to Pat, because of his influence on me.”
Like its dramatic cover (by award-winning designer Buddy Jackson), the album reflects hard work and time well spent. “The whole idea of that one guy plowing that big-ass field,” says Kelley, “is about energy and intention and focus. The field is so open, and it’s actually yielding something, and there’s all this sense of possibility…”
Riding the waves of possibility, Kelley completed another successful Kickstarter campaign in fall 2013 to fund the recording of his new album, Lighter Shades of Blue. Over $35,000 were contributed by fans and supporters of Kelley’s honest, earnest songwriting and performance. Once again, Kelley has teamed up with Neal Cappellino to bring Lighter Shades of Blue to life.
Kelley describes Lighter Shades of Blue as “a collection of acoustic tunes I have written, inspired by days travelling from place to place.” This time around, Kelley hopes to “focus on the simple heart of the tunes, and let them speak with gentle, appropriate arrangement and musical support.”