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Classical 19/01/2015

Father Ray Kelly Brings Pure, Soulful Voice To US (Manhattan Records, March 10)

Father Ray Kelly Brings Pure, Soulful Voice To US (Manhattan Records, March 10)
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Father Ray Kelly, the 61-year-old Irish priest renowned for his pitch-perfect rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", makes his major label US debut with 'Where I Belong', out on Manhattan Records March 10, 2015.

Read Father Ray's Billboard interview about the new album:
Each of the 10 songs on 'Where I Belong' showcase Father Ray's powerful range and clear, "soulful" (Huffington Post) voice. Blurring the line between secular and spiritual, Father Ray's lofty, ethereal timbre soars over Celtic-infused arrangements featuring acoustic guitar, piano, fiddle and Irish flute on classic ballads (REM's "Everybody Hurts", Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven"), Irish folk songs ("O Danny Boy", "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears") and hymns ("Amazing Grace", "How Marvelous"), as well as two original songs, "Together Forever" and the dramatic title track "Where I Belong". Father Ray's rendition of "Hallelujah" will also be available as part of a pre-order for the album on February 17 via all digital retailers.

Recorded at St. Brigid's Catholic Church and parochial house, where Father Ray presides in the small manufacturing town of Oldcastle, the album features a 200-voice choir comprised of local residents, reflecting the tight-knit community Father Ray has brought together through his music since his appointment as parish priest in 2006. "We have our own Diocesan choir in our church, of 100 people," says Father Ray, "and we brought in some other choirs as well. [When recording "Amazing Grace" for the album,] I was absolutely mesmerized by the quality of the sound when all 200 voices come together to join the chorus."

Over 39 million people around the world have fallen in love with Father Ray Kelly since the video of his performance of "Hallelujah" at a wedding first appeared on YouTube in April 2014. After the bride and groom were moved to tears by Father Ray's adaptation of the song, a wedding guest uploaded the video, which drew more than a million views within a few days. The viral video attracted worldwide attention and led to late night performances on Ireland's The Late Late Show, as well as radio, documentary and wedding requests from as far as Australia, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Lithuania and Croatia.

Watch the original YouTube video here:
'Where I Belong' track list:
Everybody Hurts
Galway Bay
How Marvelous
Where I Belong
Together Forever
Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears
Tears in Heaven
O Danny Boy
Amazing Grace
Father Ray Kelly on the web:

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