A concert tribute to Karl Kelly

Karl Kelly WAS music. His beloved rock and R&B and soul buoyantly and perpetually soared from his gorgeous metronome heart - and the joy music brought him was in turn shimmeringly passed on to everyone he met. Kelly was that sort of guy. If you were in a blue mood, you might find yourself walking past Thames River Greenery, where he held down a day job, in the hopes Kelly might see you - because the subsequent meeting and conversation were damned sure gonna cheer you up.

Kelly passed away last month, but in honor of his golden spirit and song, the Karl Kelly Tribute and Benefit takes place Saturday in the Barn at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Proceeds go to Kelly's wife, Susan, and family to help defray medical costs incurred during his illness. He died at age 65 of complications from lung cancer.

Anticipate a terrific and varied array of local musicians to perform - such was Kelly's wide-reaching status as a mentor, stylist and influence. Scheduled onstage: a reunion of Little Anthony and the Loco-Motives; a super-group of artists who played in various over-the-years Kelly groups such as KBM, Vice, The Foremost and the Karl Kelly Band; and members of such diverse acts as The Hoolios, John Fries and the Heat, and Special 20.

Kelly's son, Paul Winston, will emcee the event, and there will be a cash bar.

Onward, brother.

- RICK KOSTER

Karl Kelly Tribute and Benefit, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, the Barn, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford; $12 advance, $15 door (all proceeds and donations go to Kelly's family to help with medical expenses); (860) 443-5378, welovekarlkelly.com.

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