by Randy Fox
Say what you will about the amorphous musical blob known as “Americana,” one very positive effect of having a barely definable genre is the decreased power of radio format dictating form. Singer-songwriter Irene Kelley spent many years writing for mainstream country artists while suppressing the bluegrass in her blood. Her 2001 solo debut, Simple Path, showed her mixing mainstream country chops with grassier sensibilities. On her new album, Pennsylvania Coal, she digs all the way down to the bluegrass roots for an album of sweet and sincere sentiments, demonstrating that Appalachian angels still walk amongst us.
Pennsylvania Coal is out today, and Kelley will celebrate the album's release with a free in-store this evening (6 p.m.) at Grimey's.