New Discovery: Eilidh McKellar

Scotland’s own Eilidh McKellar has a musical talent beyond her mere 20 years of age. Her debut album Delta Devil Dreams draws inspiration from some of the best classic rock acts including Humble Pie, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin,  while adding a touch of blues thanks to McKellar’s soulful croon and guitar chops. McKellar has been playing the guitar since age 9 and caught the attention of Joe Bonamassa with her YouTube videos.

McKellar secured herself a record deal and went to L.A. to record Delta Devil Dreams with Grammy award-winning producer, Guy Eckstine. The album dropped in early October and McKellar has been touring in support of it. Where McKellar truly succeeds is in her ability to not overplay or over produce a track. Instead what truly comes through is her confidence in her musical talent and songwriting ability.

Delta Devil Dreams is filled with some great, stomping rock. “Killer Joe” featured a wonderful driving beat and some great southern rock influences that will have you bobbing along. “Home” with it’s distorted guitars and McKellar’s sultry vocals make it a great single and standout track. The wonderful guitar solo backed with keys toward the end makes it sound as if it came right out of rock’s reigning era during the 70’s. It might just be my favorite track on the album.

“Avenue E” is the first ballad on the album. Here McKellar shows that she can show some vulnerability in both her playing and vocals. The track represents a great show of how much restraint McKellar can show which shows experience beyond her 20 years. “Until the Sun Come Up” ventures closer to the pop realm vocally, evoking an almost Adele feel before picking back up to the classic, gritty rock sound for the chorus.

There’s a lot of talent shown on McKellar’s debut album, and it’s clear that she’s spent most of her life with a guitar in her hand. There are so many great moments that show off McKellar’s musical talent with vocals, guitar and writing. But perhaps the moments where she shows the most talent is when she holds back, showing that restraint is more powerful than laying everything out there at once. I’m interested to see where Eilidh McKellar goes next.