Young Heirlooms sing their stories at Peach’s
in Yellow Springs

Young Heirlooms (L-R) Kyle Elkins, Laura Bock, Kelly Fine, Chris Alley,
Christopher Robinson, and Steve Hauke.

By Tim Walker | Photos by Gary McBride

Why does art exist? To expand our consciousness and to touch our souls, you might say. To educate or instruct, to allow us to see the universe through someone else’s eyes, and to remind us that, as individuals, we are far more alike than we are different. Ultimately—be it through a painting, a book, a play, or a song—art exists simply to tell us a story. Kelly Fine, who tells stories while singing and playing guitar and mandolin with her Cincinnati band, the Young Heirlooms, understands this on a visceral level. She is, at heart, an easy-going storyteller, and the earthy, lilting music of her story-songs reflects that fact.

“We are an Americana, original music band,” Fine says when speaking recently by phone with the Dayton City Paper. “I like to say we’re a mix between Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young; and Fleetwood Mac. We have a pedal steel guitarist named Steve Hauke who plays really beautiful, atmospheric pedal steel similar to Fleetwood Mac, and I like to say we draw our inspiration from that era.” The Young Heirlooms will be making the trek to Yellow Springs from their home base down south in Cincinnati to perform at Peach’s on Saturday, Mar. 10. The band has played the venue before, and they found it, like the village of Yellow Springs, to be the perfect setting for their sound and harmonic sensibility.

“We have three-part harmonies, and we have three vocalists,” continues Fine. “I am one of the vocalists. But our focus on harmony is where the CSNY influence comes from. Also, we’re really inspired by that era of folk rock. That’s what I was raised with. So I like to say that, as far as genre, we’re Americana and we’re folk rock, especially if you get a chance to listen to our most recent record that we released back in October—it’s called ‘The Hammer.’”

That album, “The Hammer,” an independent release financed entirely by the band, contains nine polished jewels of songs in their uniquely folky, rock music style. “You were there, you were the only one… yet again I find I’m on the run. Silverglade, I’ll remember you always,” the vocalists sing on “Silverglade” which kicks off the album and showcases the band’s tight harmonies and timeless, classic feel. Other standout tracks include “Bury Me With My Hammer,” “Jellico,” and “Never Truly.”

“That sound got more developed for this album,” continues Fine. “As a point of growth from our last album, which was more folky Americana, a little lighter. We now have two albums out, and Young Heirlooms has been a band since 2010—so eight years now. Pretty cool. I am a founding member and Christopher Robinson is the other founding member.” Rounding out the band’s lineup along with Fine, Robinson, and Hauke are Laura Bock on vocals and mandolin, Chris Alley on drums, and Kyle Elkins on
stand-up bass.

“I live in Fairborn, and I graduated from the University of Dayton,” says Fine. “And there was a music festival associated with the university that was called Barn Jam. I’m not sure if that sounds familiar at all to your Dayton readers. It was a bi-annual music festival, one in the fall, one in the spring, to raise money for a non-profit on campus, the University of Dayton Summer Appalachian Program.” As a member of that program, Kelly went south during the summer to work in the Appalachian countryside, helping to make the lives of residents there better. “There were like 13 students from the university, and we essentially lived in a two-room farmhouse. The girls took the inside lodging in the upstairs, and all the guys stayed above a dry pantry that was outside that had canned goods and stuff like that, along with some work equipment. And we worked on building community in Appalachia. And that was my gateway to learning about Appalachian music and folk storytelling through song, and this style of music that I began writing in.”

Musicians are storytellers who examine their own and other’s lives, then bend and shape those realities into songs that show us who they, and we, are. Kelly Fine and the Young Heirlooms have taken a style of roots music and used it to great effect, to tell stories in songs that are worth hearing live. Do yourself a favor and make it out to Peach’s Grill in Yellow Springs on Mar. 10 to hear what it is the band is telling us about.

Young Heirlooms will perform at Peach’s Grill in Yellow Springs, Ohio on Saturday, Mar. 10 at 10pm. There is no cover charge, and the performance is 21 and up. For more info, call 937-767-4850 or visit

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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at

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