Reader Spotlight: Michael Kelly

Michael KellyMeet Michael Kelly, our bass player in the spotlight for August 10, 2010.


Michael has been writing, recording, teaching and performing in New York City since 1984, writing and recording professionally with The Ronnie Gent Band, The Grip Weeds and Wide Right.

Currently the bassist, vocalist and contributing composer for The Grip Weeds, the band enjoys worldwide distribution and fan base. Their new double CD/LP Strange Change Machine was release world wide June 29, 2010.

The Grip Weeds are mainstays on Mainstream, Satellite and College radio play-lists nationwide and provided their record label Rainbow Quartz with the most successful FM radio promotional runs in the label’s history.

Michael is also a member of the critically acclaimed indie band; Wide Right, listed in Rolling Stone‘s Top 50 Albums of 2005 for the album “Sleeping On The Couch”.

Michael is also a member of The St. Vincent’s Players; a not-for-profit organization with a mission to raise money for worthy charities while providing quality entertainment with music and comedy.

Michael is Professor of Music at Montgomery Community College, teaching Music Technology, Music Business and Songwriting.


Philadelphia PA USA

Day gig:

Music Professor Teaching Music Technology – Music Business – Songwriting

Years experience:

Yipes… My whole life.

Bands & Gigs:

Yes, I play bass for The Grip Weeds .

Our new album Strange Change Machine was just released Tuesday June 29th and the radio promotion starts July 17th. It has 24 songs (double CD).

The Grip Weeds’ name came from John Lennon’s Private Gripweed character in the 1967 comedy How I Won the War.

The Grip Weeds are a retro-psychedelic classic rock band whose influences range from the British Invasion power pop of the Who, the Kinks, and Revolver-era Beatles to the Southern California jangle pop of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield.


  • MusicMan Sting Ray 4 HH
  • MusicMan Sting Ray 5 HH
  • Waterstone TP 12 String Bass
  • Waterstone TP 4 String Bass
  • Rickenbacker 4003
  • ’72 Fender Jazz
  • ’62 Fender Precision Re-sh
  • Fender Jazz V
  • Fender Precision V
  • E. Wilfer String Bass
  • Peavey Amplification: ProBass 500
  • Peavey TransTube FEX Pre-Amp
  • Avatar Bass Cabinets
  • Tech 21 VT Deluxe
  • SansAmp Bass DI
  • Fender Sub-Lime Distortion
  • Radial Twin City Splitter
  • Ernie Ball Strings
  • Canare Cables and Stereo ‘Dan-O-Box’ (for the Ric) custom made by my brother Danny
  • DunlopTortex Picks (the yella ones).

Why I play the bass:

I was eight years old and the music teacher gathered us all into the auditorium. She showed pictures of instruments and told people to raise their hands if they wanted to learn to play it.

She pointed to the String Bass. A voice in my head said “that one”.

I was the ONLY kid that raised his hand (no one wanted to be the bass player!)

My bass superpower/claim to fame

My 12-string bass

I was featured at 12 String

I use it for over 75% of the set, then I have to ice down my wrists!

My influences

Paul Mac, Chris Squire, Geddy Lee. Those were the albums that I kept on my player, learning every song I could.

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  1. Player Spotlight: Michael Kelly: Meet Michael Kelly, our bass player in the spotlight for August 10, 2010.
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. Our very own MK is profiled in the Player Spotlight at the bass supersite :NO Treble! Have a look.
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. Very impressive Michael!! I love how your humor always shines through. I can’t wait to see you play that Waterstone 12-string one of these days. Congratulations on everything!