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Ruston Kelly releases new track Son Of A Highway Daughter

The song is the third release from Kelly’s upcoming debut album.

Ruston Kelly
Credit: Alexa King

Singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly has released his new song, Son Of A Highway Daughter.

The atmospheric track is the third release from Kelly’s upcoming debut album, Dying Star, due out on 7th September on Rounder Records. It sees Kelly singing an a capella intro, highlighting the gravelly edge to his voice and his skill as a storyteller, before picking up into a powerful bridge.

Kelly says of the album: “A lot of my music is focused on suffering, or trying to understand the human condition through the lens of suffering…which probably sounds totally depressing, but it’s actually the flipside of that. Sometimes you’ve gotta go into that darkness—you need to get lost and then figure out for yourself how to find your way back. That’s the only way we can find pure joy, and really be thankful for the life we’ve been given.”


Kelly has won critical acclaim from his two previous releases from Dying Star, Jericho and Mockingbird. Lead single Jericho has been praised by Rolling Stone, Stereogum and Earmilk, with Kelly’s voice compared to Justin Townes Earle, Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen.

Dying Star was recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas, and was co-produced by Kelly and Jarrad K, who’s previously worked with Weezer and Kate Nash. All 14 songs on the record were written or co-written by Kelly, who also plays acoustic guitar, xylophone and harmonica on the album. It also features musicians including Jarrad K (12-string guitar, background vocals, electric guitar, Rhodes), Kelly’s father Tim Kelly (pedal steel), Ian Fitchuk (piano, organ, drums, percussion), Eli Beaird (bass) and Kyle Ryan (banjo). Additionally, a cast of star voices provided backing vocals including Kelly’s wife Kacey Musgraves and singer-songwriter Natalie Hemby, as well as Jon Green, Kate York, Abby Sevigny and Joy Williams.

Originally from South Carolina, Kelly was taught to play guitar by his father. He frequently moved around as a child due to his father’s job in a paper mill, living in Alabama, Belgium and Michigan, where he began writing songs whilst training as a figure skater. Kelly moved to Nashville aged 17 to live with his sister, where he secured a publishing deal with BMG Nashville, placing songs with several high-profile artists. He released his debut EP, Halloween, last April to critical acclaim.

The track list for Dying Star is:
1. Cover My Tracks (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
2. Mockingbird (written by Ruston Kelly)
3. Son Of A Highway Daughter (written by Ruston Kelly)
4. Paratrooper’s Battle Cry (written by Ruston Kelly)
5. Faceplant (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Brendan Benson)
6. Blackout (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Joy Williams)
7. Big Brown Bus (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Ricky Brantley)
8. Mercury (written by Ruston Kelly)
9. Anchors (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
10. Just For The Record (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Lucie Silvas)
11. Trying To Let Her (written by Ruston Kelly, Joe Leathers, Kyle Jacobs)
12. Jericho (written by Ruston Kelly, Joy Williams, Natalie Hemby)
13. Dying Star (written by Ruston Kelly, Caitlyn Smith, Rollie Gaalswyk)
14. Brightly Burst Into The Air (written by Ruston Kelly)

Ruston Kelly’s debut album Dying Star will be released on 7th September via Rounder Records. You can pre-order the album here:


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