Love Letters

Published in Billboard Magazine

The songs in prolific Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly’s 30-year career have genuinely covered the A-to-Z of life, so it was appropriate that earlier this year he took the novel approach of giving away alphabetically organized downloads each month from his Web site (paulkelly.com).

The “one-letter-a-month” downloads are of live performances from shows under the banner “A to Z,” where Kelly sings 100 songs from his 30-year career in alphabetical order over four nights.

The rights to Kelly’s recordings reverted to him in September, paving the way for a slate of reissues licensed to EMI as well as the Nov. 8 compilation “Songs From the South Vol. 2.” The set is also available as a double pack with its 1997 predecessor and a deluxe limited edition (2,000 copies) containing both albums, a DVD, T-shirt and other collectibles.

“The online initiative quadrupled [Kelly’s] fan database, and we sold 1,000 copies of the deluxe set in just two weeks,” says the artist’s manager Bill Cullen of Sydney-based One Louder Entertainment. International deals are being negotiated.

Kelly’s current deal with Universal Music Publishing expires at year’s end. Booked by the Harbour Agency internationally and by Paradigm in North America, he will support Leonard Cohen on Australian shows in January and February, with his own headlining tour scheduled for April/May.