Hailing from Sydney Australia, Ivor Simpson Kennedy is one of a new generation of exciting young blues talents to emerge from Down Under. Owning a dark, smoke filled voice and liquid smooth guitar stylings, he utilises these inherit skills to give his compositions a striking originality, paying homage to generations past while bringing a remarkably fresh approach to the table. Ivor also performs all the instruments on his releases, lending his sound a uniquely personal touch. A deliciously deep groove runs through his barebones approach, with strains of reggae, soul, and rock vying for their moment in a bevy of blues.
Picking up drums and guitar in his teens, Ivor immediately gravitated toward song-writing, with a love of blues and rock’n’roll being imbued from a young age via his parents record collection. After forming a blues trio – Mad Dog – in his late teens, Ivor started performing around Sydney’s Northern Beaches, cutting his teeth on the classic blues song book. After Mad Dog disbanded, Ivor went onto to play guitar for a number of Northern Beaches roots acts, while refining his chops to include the gamut of southern stylings. 2015 saw Ivor put down the electric for an acoustic, as he buried himself in the styles of the pre and post war blues masters, leading to two critically acclaimed releases, the 2016 EP Delta Pines, and the 2017 LP Montserrat. Both broke into the top 3 of the Australian Blues and Roots Charts, and the Top 5 of the North American Roots Report Charts, receiving glowing reviews from leading publications such as No Depression and American Blues Scene. A ten year career in Australia saw Ivor perform with and support artists such as Diesel, Rick Price, Fiona Boyes, Ray Beadle, Truckstop Honeymoon and Warren ‘Pig’ Morgan among a litany of others, while also being fortunate enough to perform at venues such as The Basement, Lizottes, The Vanguard, The Brass Monkey, Brighton Up Bar, Old Manly Boatshed and the Spotted Mallard, to name a few.
Having performed from Fiji to London Ivor has now crossed the pond to the spiritual homeland of his music, New Orleans, and is bringing his unmistakable brand of song writing and guitar playing to fresh sets of ears and eyes. A continuing residency at the venerable Chickie Wah Wah, and appearances at New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival, along with the opportunity to support a wide spectrum of artists such as Jon Cleary, Alvin Youngblood Heart, Smoky Greenwell, John Fohl, Meschiya Lake, Tom McDermott, and Ian Moore, has found Ivor accrue a new legion of listeners in the Big Easy. Tours through the heartland of the Mississippi Delta – including stints at the legendary Ground Zero Blues Club – have firmly entrenched him in the culture of deep south blues.
Possessing a maturity in song and skill far beyond his twenty seven years, Ivor is poised to make a huge splash. Whether transporting his listeners to a heaving juke joint, a candlelit club, or a dusty Caribbean seaside shack, Ivor has the ability to draw audiences of all generations into his music – and keep them there.