Rock for All Ages Songwriter Josh Kelley Owes His Success to Internet Generation

Article excerpt

Byline: Ann Piccininni Daily Herald Correspondent

Singer-songwriter Josh Kelley's life is changing at a fast clip these days.

As he puts the finishing touches on his fourth CD, he's moving from Nashville to Los Angeles, where he plans to live with fiance Katherine Heigl, star of TV's "Grey's Anatomy." And before their December wedding, he'll embark on a tour that will take him to the East Coast and the Midwest, including an October stop at Chicago's House of Blues.

But before the tour bus pulls out of his new California driveway, Kelley will make a quick trip to Lisle's Morton Arboretum, where he and his band will perform Saturday on a double bill with Sister Hazel.

As he rolled across the California desert in his truck on a sultry mid-August afternoon, approaching the end of a 2,248-mile trip from Music City, he reflected on his career and his plans.

"I'm driving my studio in my truck all the way to Los Angeles," he said. "I wanted to have some time to think."

First, Kelley said, moving to L.A. won't be that big of an adjustment.

"I've been pretty much living there since 2004 anyway," he said.

That's about when he met Heigl, who plays Dr. Izzy Stevens on the hit TV medical drama and whom he calls Katie.

"We're madly in love. We met on the video shoot for 'Only You' a little over two and a half years ago. She was playing the leading lady role," he said.

Born in Georgia, Kelley said he got into music early.

"My mom taught me how to play the drums when I was 10 or 11 years old," he said, adding that he quickly expanded his repertoire to guitar, dobro and other instruments.

He was at the University of Mississippi, pursuing an art degree, when he first signed a record deal. …