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The Band

Kelly Walsh - Songwriter

Kelly Walsh-From Block Island, RI. Got the music bug from Dad. As a toddler I twirled around the kitchen as he played guitar. My brother learned to play guitar and we started singing to Dad's records. College radio was the greatest blessing, I literally lived at the radio station at URI and became a University DJ  to procure free tickets to shows. Mastered the art of guest-listing and backstage passing,  stomping through the rich local music offerings in Providence's 1980's. Fell in love with the emotionally raw Punk Rock scene, got scars on my ankles from standing too close to 'the pit'. Friends at URI had a band called "That'll Learn Ya!" who shared stages with our indie heroes of the time: The Pixies, Replacements, and the Ramones to name a few.  Inspired to pick up a bass guitar and start a pop punk band called "Plummet."  When Plummet's guitar player got catch scratch fever (for real!) and moved away, I formed a band with my brother and the chef's from his restaurant.  We called ourselves "Randy." I Learned guitar to write songs, recording them. performing at open mics, coffee houses, record stores, did some touring and landed back with my college buddies from "That'll Learn Ya!"  Al and Ted said "What? You write songs?"  They call themselves "The Cunninghams" so naturally - Kelly & the Cunninghams....

 

Al "Bud" Valatka - Unacknowledged Bandleader

Al Bud Valatka-From South Kingstown, RI.  Al Bud is our bandleader.  Only we pretend that he isn't.  Though it's pretty clear that he is holding it all together. I met Al Bud at URI when he was the unacknowledged bandleader of  "That'll Learn Ya."   One day I called him up and asked if he would play bass for my band. Now he's our resident Lithuanian, jangly guitar playing, harmonizing, unacknowledged bandleader. Oh, and What's the "Bud" stand for? He likes Budweiser. Duh!!

 

 

 

Ted Cunningham - Guitar Savant

Ted Cunningham

-From Branford CT & South Kingstown, RI.  I met Ted on Block Island when were were teenagers. He was wailing on his stratocaster (yes, the one in the photo) at a beach party on a makeshift stage with generators and amps blazing. We grew up working in restaurants and went to URI where he and his bandmates from "That'll Learn Ya" became the darlings of the Providence music scene. We lost touch after college but luckily one day Al & I were rehearsing for a festival show and needed a guitar player.  We tracked down Ted playing solo somewhere in South County. Playing with Al again brought back that telepathic magic these two players share. Ted's ability to never forget a chord or note or anything else for that matter comes in handy.  That, and he gave us his band The Cunninghams. Just don't tell him he's not the bandleader!

 

Steve Vendettuoli "Papa-Twally" - Bass

Steve Vendettuoli

-From Narragansett, RI. Steve "Papa Twally" is the strong silent type.  He lets his bass guitar do most of the talking.  A friend of Ted's, Steve graciously gave up his basement for us to practice in. He wasn't even in the band, that is, until the day we were desecrating a Beatles tune and he couldn't take it anymore.  That meant he politely asked if he could sit in and, well, he just never sat out. 

Steve is a part of a pro rhythm section that backs up a number of working bands on the RI circuit.  Check him playing out most nights with his bro in The Free Radicals,  Shaklehands and our band  Kelly & The Cunninghams.

In Steve's basement we are living what we believe is every teenage musician's dream.  Outfitted with musical instruments, a nice sounding PA and no parental supervision...  But wait, Steve's teenagers are all upstairs playing video games while we make noise in the basement.  Maybe those dreams have changed!

 

Lou Rudely - Drums & Percussion

Lou Rudely

-From Somewhere in RI near CT.  Our original drummer never showed up to our first practice. Thank God Lou was hangin' around.  He will show up to a practice or a show any night of the week. He's with Steve backing up bands such as The Free Radicals,  Shaklehands and us truly Kelly & The Cunninghams.   Hey, his name isn't really Lou - it's Gary. Gary Ciao.  I call him Lou Politely.  He keeps the beat and is our biggest fan.  Every song we play Lou says, "Now that's the best song I ever heard!"

If Keith Moon had stayed alive, we are pretty sure he would be a lot like Lou.  A child-like spirited approach to everything, endless enthusiasm for life and just wants to bang on the drums all day.  Sometimes he takes the mic and when he does we are HIS biggest fans!  And if you ask Lou if he's our drummer he is still wondering, "am I in the band yet?"

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