A savvy songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist, McKelle has long found a home where soul, jazz, pop, gospel, blues and the American Songbook cross paths. On the new cd, her sonic template takes listeners on a trip down to the Old South, or sprinkles in a sound that could’ve emerged from the Motown era, or even a Sade album. McKelle’s characters are vividly drawn, from the struggling teen in ‘Lyla’ to the immigrant tale of ‘Simple Man’; the moments of social awareness, in ‘Yes We Can Can’ (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter). ‘Do You Believe’, McKelle questions religion, hate, misogyny. For the upcoming CD, McKelle sought a more ‘acoustic’ vibe with a focus on percussion, to allow the subtleties of her voice to shine. In her songwriting and in the arrangements/production of the album, she mixes her varied influences together with strength and grace.