Montana band performing in Montevideo July 17

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

On Saturday, July 17th, the Hollywood Theater will host the Brooke Kelly band on their Sweet Tequila Tour. The tour stop in Montevideo is a part of their mini-tour through South Dakota and Minnesota that is pre-empting a larger tour including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and more. 

The Brooke Kelly band consists of members Brooke Kelly, Dee Hyatt, Jay Vermellan, and Johnny Grass, all from Great Falls, Montana. The band formed four years ago and writes many of their own songs. Band member Dee Hyatt says, “Brooke is, for the most part, the writer. I kick in on some of the rowdier honky-tonk songs like ‘Lucky Night’, ‘Dancing in the Streets’, but she’s the miracle worker - she’s truly the gifted writer.” Hyatt says Kelly writes all of her songs on a $12 guitar she bought as a child. “She’s got a huge array of very expensive guitars and that’s her go-to to write music with… that and her cat sitting next to her,” he adds. Even after four years of producing music together, Hyatt says the band still has magnetic chemistry. “If there were four members that ever belonged together as a band it would be us four - the chemistry is that good,” he says.

Inspiration for their music can come from anywhere. Hyatt recalls a story of the creation of one of Brooke Kelly’s songs, saying it started with a mechanic working on their tour bus having a conversation with Kelly. “The mechanic was telling Brooke he just got out of court that morning and finalized his divorce. He said there’s a little less of me to love now - write one about that for me,” Hyatt says. “Honestly, I see that song hitting the top of the charts one day. It’s that good.”

Hyatt describes the band’s musical style as a Southern Country/Pop blend but notes that there are a number of their songs that lean towards a more Festival sound. “There’s one titled ‘Dancing n the Streets’ and another titled ‘Lighters in the Air’ with the lyrics we’re lighting up the sky/like the fourth of July/lighters all in the air,” he says.  

Their music can be heard on local radio stations in Minnesota and South Dakota, as well their Sweet Tequila album on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. Hyatt also says the band just submitted their album to a National radio program director in Florida so they are hoping for National radio play soon.

The Brooke Kelly Band decided to travel to Montevideo after looking over a map and seeing the name of the town stand out to them. “I looked at it and said ‘how about Montevideo’,” Hyatt said, pronouncing it Monta-vi-daeo. “I got quickly corrected by Ruth Ann Lee at the Hollywood.” It won’t be the band’s first trip through Minnesota. “We’ve been through Minnesota before and the people there are just great,” says Hyatt. “We love Minnesota. There’s just really a lot of quality, nice people there. It was a pleasure to be there.”

The show at the Hollywood Theater will last around an hour and 40 minutes with a few cover songs, but mostly original music. “They’ll all be off the Sweet Tequila album that we just cut,” says Hyatt. “If they like us on the radio, and YouTube, and stuff like that, they’re going to lose their mind at the concert because we light it up. There’s no filters, no compression, no restrictions on how we record it….we just light it up. They’ll love it.” The doors to the show open at 6:30 p.m. that evening, with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Links to music by the Brooke Kelly Band can be found on their website at brookekellyband.com.