Sound Waves Magazine posted a photo of Kelly on its Facebook page the next day, saying he was "a great musician and friend...[who] will be missed by many." It brought an outpouring of condolences and memories from numerous musicians and residents in the area as people shared the sad news.
"Your family is in our thoughts and prayers," Anthony DeSario said on behalf of the Latitude 41 and Shipyard Tavern in Mystic. "Thanks for bringing life and many smiles to our tavern and our guests. You will be missed."
Pierre Fortin posted that he met Kelly in 1983 when he joined a cover band called Angelfire. Fortin said he thought Kelly's voice was powerful enough that he wouldn't even need a sound system.
"I feel blessed that I performed with Karl for about a year in that band," he said. "It is fortunate that I had the chance to see him perform last year at Sneekers and we chatted about old times."
"Karl was my good friend, my writing partner, and someone to always have a great time with," said musician Anthony Geraci, who performed with Kelly in Little Anthony and the Locomotives.
The Kelly Company Band regularly played at venues around southeastern Connecticut. The band links to this particular clip from 2009 on their website, showcasing a performance of "Statesboro Blues" at Stash's Cafe. It's easy to see why the word most often associated with Kelly has been "legendary."
The band's website gives a vocal credit to each member except the drummer, but Kelly gets the microphone to himself here. The other band members are Steve Belgrade and Billy Light on guitar, Doug Church on drums, Dan Solomons on bass guitar, and Lance Grandahl on keyboard.