"Otis Redding meets Cyndi Lauper in the country" - Anthony J. Resta (Producer - Elton John, Blondie, Duran Duran) describing the song Perfect Chance
“I See Flowers, You See Cars heralds the arrival of someone with the potential to blaze a trail far beyond home territory” - Performing Songwriter Magazine, USA
"The songs are strong and her voice sounds wonderfully fresh"- Jeff Jenkins, Australian Music Mag (JB Hi-Fi music guide)
Jo Kelly Stephenson is an award-winning Australian singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. Awards include 'Alternative Country Album of the Year (Vox Populi)' in the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs), the 'Rudy Brandsma Award for Songwriting Excellence' - a major prize in the ASA 28th Australian Songwriting Contest, and 2nd place in the Blues/R&B category of the Billboard World Song Contest, for which she appeared on a Billboard compilation album. Jo Kelly received two nominations for Bluegrass Song of the Year in the 2019 Independent Music Awards. Her song Perfect Chance was nominated for Alternative Country Song of the Year in the 8th annual Independent Music Awards. Other awards include 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th & 9th places in the AUSMUSIC category of the ASA 22nd Australian Songwriting Contest (presented by Rob Hirst - Midnight Oil), as well as the PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) award for 'Best Performance of the Night' at the ASA 22nd Awards ceremony in Sydney (presented by Lindy Morrison - The Go Betweens).
Her music has been featured in prime network television shows and films aired worldwide including A&E series 'The Glades', TNT’s 'Rizzoli & Isles', ABC’s 'Mistresses', (ABC Family) Freeform’s 'Switched at Birth’, and CBS program 'Unforgettable'. Many of these shows aired on popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video. Her music also appeared in Warner Brother’s cinema release 'Girl on a Bicycle' directed by Jeremy Leven (The Notebook), and an indie film about African American slavery called 'Alone'. Her song ‘Kitchen Talk’ became the theme music for online Brooklyn-based TV series, ‘Cooking for Bachelors', and her songs have been played in shopping malls and stores across America including Ralph's, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, and Walgreens. Her music can also be heard on airlines, at skating rinks, cinemas, and at other random venues worldwide.
Jo Kelly has performed at top music venues and festivals throughout Australia including Melbourne’s historic international Palais Theatre, the Metro Theatre in Sydney, and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane. She showcased at Michael Chugg's 'Australian Music Week' - St Kilda Festival several years running, and performed alongside The Angel's Doc Neeson and The Brewster Brothers at the ASA televised National Songwriting Awards ceremony in Sydney. For some time she had a residency at Aussie rock icon Ross Wilson's regular cafe in Elwood, Victoria, where she and Ross (Daddy Cool, Mondo Rock) sometimes shared the stage. More recently are performances on the Music City Roots show with Jim Lauderdale, in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the Nashville Film Festival at Hall of Fame Park. Her face and music bio appeared on Vietti Chili cans in grocery stores throughout the southern United States, after writing multiple jingles about mouthwatering chili.