Kelly Walsh

 
 

The Band

Kelly Walsh - Songwriter

Kelly Walsh-From Block Island, RI. Unasbashedly started in music as a groupie.  Graduated to University DJ, working at URI's radio station 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, dons scars on the ankles from standing too close to 'the pit'. Friends at URI had a band called "That'll Learn Ya!" who played with many of our rock heroes at the time: The Pixies, Replacements, and the Ramones to name a few. If not at a show there'd be a party with the band jamming on acoustics. One day it dawned that being a groupie  to be with the band wasn't the reason, the reason was to BE the band! Picked up a bass guitar with age defying abandon and started a pop punk band called "Plummet."  When Plummet's guitar player got catch scratch fever (for real!) and moved away, formed a band with a bro and friends called "Randy." Learned guitar to write songs, which led to recording. Many open mics, coffee house gigs, some touring until landing back with "That'll Learn Ya!" buddies Al and Ted. What??  Once their groupie and now in a band with these indie heroes?  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.  It was years before any of us knew he was the bandleader but all you have to do is hang out for one gig and it will be 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."  All these years later, TLY can still garner an impressive crowd. One day I called up Al and asked him if he would play bass for my band.  He was kinda surprised cuz he only knew me as a groupie.  That was forever ago and now he's our 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 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.  He had the same reaction as AL when he found out I was a musician. Playing with Al again brought back that telepathic magic these two players share. K-Dub songs come alive with rock solos only available on that Strat with these fingers fretting those strings. His spectrum-like ability to never forget a chord or note or anything else for that matter has made Ted a superior player. We know we scored when he agreed to gracefully embellish what we had going on. He gave us his unique sound 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 of course Kelly & The Cunninghams.

In Steve's basement we are living every teenage musician's dream.  Outfitted with instruments, a nice sounding PA and no parental supervision.  But wait, Steve's teenagers are all upstairs playing video games while we make lots of 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 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 like to 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?"