Kelly Bell Blues Band Brings Award-Winning Music To Ashland

Kelly Bell Blues Band Brings Award-Winning Music To Ashland

3/11/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – The 35th annual Ashland University Spectrum Series concludes its season of eclectic music genres with the Kelly Bell Band, voted the Best Blues Band in the Mid-Atlantic Region for 12 consecutive years. The band’s live concert is slated for Saturday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre.

Formed as a backup band for Bo Diddley, the Kelly Bell Band is in its 20th year of entertaining fans and is releasing its 10th recording, "Coming Home," just in time for the Ashland concert. Fronted by a professional wrestler, well-known Baltimore radio personality and special education teacher who arose from inner-city Washington, D.C., the Kelly Bell Band will keep those attending fascinated from the opening note.

Kelly Bell’s talent and diversity as a singer is evident from his Phat Blues rendition of the cartoon favorite "SpongeBob Squarepants" to the soulful, breathtaking a cappella rendition of "No Different."

Backed by vocalist Rahsaan "Wordslave" Eldridge, guitarists Ryan Fowler and Ira Mayfield, bass player Derrick Dorsey, drummer John Robert Buell and saxophone player Alex Crean - the band has been touring with acts as diverse as Maroon 5, Ziggy Marley, Buddy Guy, G Love & Special Sauce, James Brown, Edwin McCain and many more.

Their music has been described as "imagine Muddy Waters wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt riding on Black Sabbath’s tour bus on their way to a Parliament Funkadelic concert, listening to Sammy Davis Junior on an 8-track tape humming a Run DMC song." That would be close to the Kelly Bell Band. It's a mishmash of urban styles including soul, blues, reggae, funk with Motown combined with today's modern rock and pop. 

“As timeless as the blues may be, Kelly Bell's success stems from his ability to take such a classic form of music and add his own touch to it, combining rock, funk and a head full of dreadlocks, with old-fashioned Muddy Waters' blues,’" according to Chris Terry of The Towerlight.

To purchase concert tickets, contact the Ashland University Box Office by phone at 419-289-5125, or in person in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre located at the corner of College Avenue and Grant Street. Hours are Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available on-line at where additional fees apply. Single tickets for the concert are $15 for adults; $12 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students, University alumni, faculty and staff; $10 for groups of 10 or more; and $5 for Ashland University students with ID.

For more information, visit the Web site at or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###