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Kelly McGrath Opens for Stones

It had been a while. A pandemic, some cancelled tours and other viral distractions had kept us from running into each other in the usual places. Now back in touch, we asked long-time friend, singer/songwriter/ journeywoman, Kelly McGrath, “What’s new?”

“I’m a mom!” she said excitedly, virtually introducing us to her husband and soon to be 2 year old daughter. We’d known Kelly as a typically upbeat and optimistic soul, but never quite as radiant as when she showed the photo and spoke of her beautiful, Juliana. 

“And your music?” we inquired. “Oh yeah,” she said. “I’m opening for the Stones in Hyde Park for their 60th Anniversary tour.” 

“Cool,” we replied.

Okay, maybe we weren’t all that casual about it. But we weren’t all that surprised either. Kelly and her band had played London’s Hyde Park in support of Steve Winwood, Santana and Eric Clapton back in 2018. Takamine News 6/26/18. Still, hearing of this repeat invitation served to remind us of the level of talent we were dealing with. 

McGrath had met Mick Jagger back in 2015 when introduced to The Rolling Stones band members by Bernard Fowler, a dear friend and music colleague of Kelly’s who just happened to be longtime background singer for the Stones. A short time later when Mick came to Nashville on a writing trip, Kelly was invited to join a private gathering and asked to bring a guitar where they each played, sharing songs they had recently written. Mick quickly recognized Kelly’s talent and publicly endorsed her 2017 single “All That I Want” on Twitter with a congratulatory tweet.

Kelly continued to cross paths with The Rolling Stones on simultaneous European tours, each time reconnecting and trading details about shows and venues, as road dogs do. So when Jagger learned that Kelly McGrath had been secured as one of the Stone’s Hyde Park opening acts, he was particularly pleased.

Kelly has seldom if ever performed without her acoustic guitar, and for the last 17 years that guitar has been a Takamine. Dating back to her original model EG523SC which she finally retired for a TAN45C. For the last 4 years it has been the EF508KC from Takamine’s s iconic Legacy Series that Kelly has turned to.

Enter the P6NC from Takamine’s maple back-and-sided Pro Series 6. It is this sweet sounding sunburst cutaway that has most recently stolen her heart and will be accompanying her on London’s Hyde Park stage, Saturday, June 25th.

Takamine Guitars, specifically designed and hand-crafted for 5-star performance, are very much at home in the hands of the gifted Kelly McGrath.