Press Release: Brian & Kerry Live Album to get US release on August6th


Recorded live on duo’s 2012 UK Born Free Tour
US Digital Release. August 6, 2013

‘Acoustic By Candlelight (Live in the UK)’ presents one of the world’s most legendary rock guitarists in a new role as he teams up with the uniquely powerful voice of singing sensation Kerry Ellis to perform an intimate and exceptional concert of acoustic music,

The recording was captured during Brian May and Kerry Ellis’ initial Born Free tour performed across the UK in late 2012 and is released to coincide with their return for a second tour outing which sees this celebrated musical partnership also perform throughout Europe, including a headline performance at the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival later this month.

The album’s title reflects the concept of the tour, a dramatic and intimate feel, playing as close-up-as-can-be to their audience. With just vocal and guitar and occasional keys, May and Ellis performed every show uniquely lit by candlelight.

Ellis first came to May’s attention when she created the role of Meat in ‘We Will Rock You’, the West End musical co-created by May’s band Queen – after which she went on to become a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic starring as the Green Witch in the musical Wicked. Over the past 11 years May and Kerry Ellis collaborated during gaps in their schedules, developing new songs and arrangements in the studio, and various live dates together.

May produced the fine Kerry Ellis debut album ‘Anthems’ in 2010. Their first tour of this material played 12 successful dates around the UK in 2011, including two sold-out nights at London’s Albert Hall, for which Ellis received a Best Solo Performance theatre award. They also appeared as special guests at the Royal Variety Show, BBC Proms in the Park, 2010’s The Night of 1000 Voices, and also memorably opened the Remembrance Day concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2010.

Behind the decision to perform these acoustic shows was a new recording made by May and Kerry Ellis of ‘Born Free’, the Oscar-winning song written for the 1966 film of the same name. Invited by legendary screen actress Virginia McKenna’s Born Free Foundation to view and participate in its work in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Brian and Kerry pledged to support the foundation’s work. They recorded both a large-scale production version and an acoustic version of ‘Born Free’ and released both versions on one single, with all proceeds going to the Foundation. The acoustic version is included on this collection and continues to benefit the foundation.

Explaining how this recording set the bench mark for their current touring activity, Brian May says: “Over the last year, Kerry and I have been recording new material when our schedules have allowed it. As on the Anthems album, some of the tracks have very big and splendid arrangements, but we have become more and more fascinated with the magic of great songs stripped down to their core and re-interpreted in an ‘acoustic’ way. We find there is a purity which makes the songs speak very clearly. Kerry’s instincts as an interpreter of songs are always inspiring, and the art of arranging has always been one of my obsessions. We have found that the two of us just working live off each other can distil the very essence of a song – and that’s what we hope to bring you in these performances. If you have a great song and a great singer, what more do you need? Well, maybe just a little bit of guitar!”

The ‘Acoustic by Candlelight’ set list presented in live recorded versions here includes stripped down versions of several Queen classics sitting alongside a number of Brian and Kerry’s personal favourite songs, showcasing Kerry’s extraordinary voice with Brian accompanying her on both guitar and vocals. Also included is May and Ellis’ brand new single, ‘The Kissing Me Song’, written during their last tour and recorded using parts of their live performance.

“Alongside joyous, respectful reprisals of Queen tunes beloved (‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’) there are many covers. Here, their selections are often inspired: George Harrison’s ‘Something’ is reimagined as a lazy, country strum-along; Ellis invests Barbra Streisand’s ‘The Way We Were’ with a pathos missing from the blowsy original” Irish Independent


Available Now outside the US on Amazon, iTunes

Online store is now live:

Track list:
01. Born Free [03:18]
02. I Loved A Butterfly [04:48]
03. I Who Have Nothing [03:44]
04. Dust In The Wind [04:21]
05. The Kissing Me Song [04:25]
06. Nothing Really Has Changed [04:55]
07. Life Is Real [04:30]
08. The Way We Were [03:43]
09. Something [04:31]
10. Love Of My Life [04:37]
11. I’m Not That Girl [03:25]
12. I Can’t Be Your Friend [04:31]
13. In The Bleak Midwinter [03:44]
14. Crazy Little Thing Called Love [03:46]
15. No One But You [06:04]