Cranston Clements

New Orleans legend Cranston Clements is now a happy JoMama & Kelemen amp user. He has recently purchased a Kelemen Road Wreck & a custom wired JoMama “Honey-20” (see inset picture).

I think Cranston put it best with his last email he sent to accompany the inset picture to the it is word for word:

“I had a blast on this particular evening, went ahead and dimed the master volume figuring it's a big room, I've got a 25 watt amp, hope it's enough, we're here to rock, etc. Naturally, before I even turned the amp on the sound man approached and advised me to watch the stage volume. I said, "Not to worry, it's just a 25 watt amp" at which point he smiled agreeably and went on his way. Then I fired it up...even I was stunned by what hit me. This thing was “The Humungus”. HUGE sound, brilliant tone, etc etc. Pretty much inconceivable from what appears to be a nice compact tube head. The gain wasn't near maxed either but man, there was nothing but good news coming out of my 2-12 cab. Hate to admit that I had not had a chance to try it wide open until the other night but I generally am playing rooms that I have to be somewhat cautious in. I've always kept the master at half or less. Now I am beginning to understand. What really amazed me was the DEPTH, don't know how else to describe it. So once again, thank you for putting your heart into building killer amps, much obliged...


Here’s a resume of some of the artists that Cranston has worked with over the years:

Cyril Neville, Dr. John, Boz Scaggs, Maria Muldaur, Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders, The Neville Brothers, Mighty Sam McClain Irma Thomas, Hubert Sumlin, Johnny Adams, Allen Toussaint, Twangorama, Stanton Moore, Tommy Ridgely, Jimmy Witherspoon, Robben Ford, Louisiana Inferno, Wayne Toups, Jaco Pastorius, Luther Kent, Buddy Miles, Joe Clay, Marva Wright, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, and countless bands, shows, and session in the New Orleans area.



Rod Welles

My name is Rod Welles. I've been a professional guitarist my whole life. Tone to me is everything, whether it's a class-A rhythm sound, or a singing higher gain solo tone. I've actively sought out great guitar amps to own, record, and play out with for many years. I was the guitarist for Julie Stewart and The Motor Kings from Santa Fe, NM for the past 4 years. I'm currently the guitarist for Bluesberry Jam, Portsmouth NH, Alexis out of Hartford, CT, and Fusionland, from Manchester, NH.

Currently I have amps from Alessandro, Quidley, Budda, Suhr, Egnater, Crane, Alamo, Hughes and Kettner, and Kelemen. The Kelemen's are the newest additions to my arsenal. They are in good company, and are not a copy of other amps from the past. They are their own design and sound, which is why I own them.

The Kelemen KR-35 is a fixed-biased single channel tone monster that has some of the cool touch responsiveness and aliveness of a Trainwreck Express, but at more manageable volume. At small club volume, this amp just wails for solos. Turn down your volume control on your guitar, and the amp cleans up real nice for rhythm stuff…Great for Blues, and Rock.

The Kelemen KR-25S is a cathode-biased channel switching amp that has great organic and lively Class A tones. The 2 channels, clean and overdrive are voiced differently, so that many tonal options abound. You can also use different power tubes, expanding your tonal options even further. There is a certain drive and feel that the Kelemen amps have that is unique to them.

Their handmade construction is topnotch point-to-point wiring. They are fast becoming my main go to amps for all my gigs with Bluesberry Jam. From Maine to Boston, come check out the band and hear the Kelemen amps in person. They are truly amazing! Highly recommended for blues, rock, R&B, and fusion......

Sincerely, Rod Welles, Bluesberry Jam, Manchester, NH


Steve Hield

I must have a reliable, great sounding amp on gigs. I use no effects or distortion pedals, just guitar straight through the amp. Joe’s amps are pure sonic delight, they’re reliable and his service is great. I’d recommend Joe’s amps to the discerning professional guitar player who wants great tone without losing the unique sound of their instrument; in other words, no need for stomp boxes to get tone, just your amp and guitar.


Check some sound bytes of my JoMama amp at the link above.



Ken Valdez

What I find amazing about Kelemen amplifiers are the amount of tones available at virtually any volume. Nice cleans, a touch of dirt to a full on crunch that screams rock n' roll! Great plug & play amps! Throw in Joe Kelemen's customer service and you got an all around winner!

Ken Valdez has shared the stage with: Gov't Mule, The Black Crowes, Cheap Trick, Live, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Gin Blossoms, Steve Miller Band, Wolfmother, Nickelback, Greg Rolie (Journey & Santana), Big & Rich, Patty Griffin, Dave Alvin & The Guilty Men, Greg Brown, Marc Broussard, Jonny Lang, Junior Brown, Michael Franti & Spearhead, James McMurtry, Al Green, Joan Osborne, Maceo Parker, Robert Cray, Mofro, Michelle Shocked, Sonny Landreth, The Neville Brothers, Corey Harris, Edgar Winter, Marshall Crenshaw, The Samples, Rick Springfield, Little River Band, Dr. John, Shemekia Copeland, BB King, Spin Doctors, Jeff Healey Band, Double Trouble, Shannon Curfman, Eric Sardinas, Magic Slim, Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Nazareth, Chris Duarte Group, Coco Montoya, Corey Stevens, Indigenous, Patrice Pike & Ian Moore.

Ken Valdez has been called "The Best Kept Secret" by many well known and respected names in the industry. This guitarist/singer/songwriter is grateful for the title; however, it is one he wishes to break free from.

Valdez's debut album -Approach- caught the attention of legendary Muscle Shoals guitarist Wayne Perkins and Jon Langseth, Jonny Lang's father. The pair convinced Valdez to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they created his second album Every Little Lie. It was Valdez's first major effort at working with some of the big names in the industry including Jonny Lang, David Grissom, Michael Bland, Sonny Thompson, Estaire Godinez, Jamie Kyle, Kevin Bowe, Ricky Peterson and the infamous Peterson family. The album met rave reviews and received critical acclaim.

After his stint in the Midwest, Valdez came back to his native Santa Fe. Upon his return, he was met with an invitation to play lead guitar with Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood in his new solo project. The following year, Ken Valdez released the all acoustic album Thoughts & Time. Joining him on the album was Michael Kott, who is known as one of the world's most beloved cello players. Thoughts & Time is the most ambitious and personal album Valdez has made to date. Many of the songs on Thoughts & Time are reflections on living which most anyone can relate. Topics of love, life, death and loss stir many emotions.

Currently, Ken Valdez is working on new songs and projects. He continues to tear up stages nationwide (soon to be worldwide) with both his electric band and his acoustic ensemble. He has also taken the reins of his musical vision. His collaborations with the likes of successful, multi-platinum selling, even Grammy winning songwriters, musicians and producers have brought about a truly unique sound yet is unmistakably and undeniably Ken Valdez. Searching his soul and influences, Valdez's new work is raw, fresh and sharp. It's not like his previous works, but it's not like anything else either. Valdez has a rare blend of raw talent, sensitivity, and down-to-earth grittiness that gives his music a wide appeal. His vision, talent and drive have pushed the envelope on creativity and have truly developed another side to his already unique sound. The songs are real, the shows are riveting and Ken Valdez remains to be a must see, must hear experience. This "Best Kept Secret" won't be a secret for long.


Eric George

One of the perks of touring nationally is having the option of back-lining your amp, which means the venue will supply a variety of amps and you get the pick of the litter. What's cool about that is you can try out all kinds of great gear; the bad part is to find the right settings on an hour-long sound check can sometimes be tricky. So after some years touring with my own amps, I decided to try this approach. I went through tons of high-end amps in venues ranging from amphitheaters to club dates. I tried most of the Fender line old and new, the Vox AC-30 old and new, Gibson's GoldTone line, Budda, Bad Cat, Matchless, Dr Z, and other hand wired custom amps, and they all took so much time to find that "sweet spot" and sometimes I could never find it. That was before I ran across the Kelemen KR-35. This amp rocks!!! It was so simple to dial in and helped me get that "growl" without blowing the roof off. It's definitely got enough punch to do a stadium gig, but enough headroom to dial down in your living room without loosing that sweet tone - (no more worries about the cops showing up...ooops!!!). And if you don't have the luxury of someone loading in your gear, no worries, this thing is so lightweight it's unbelievable. Joe just finished customizing his 1x12 combo for me, the Mama’s Boy, which has a ton of headroom for a small amp, but still breaks up nicely at super low volumes.  That combined with the KR-35 is a SOLID rig!  Joe has also started to making custom pedals, which I have 2 of on my pedal-board, a sweet Compressor, and killer Overdrive/Boost pedal.  They both look and sound great! I feel really fortunate to be working with an electronics master like Joe Kelemen!  Keep rockin Joe!!  Many thanks!!

Musician/Songwriter Eric George started playing music on stage in his family’s band when he was ten years old in Alba, Texas. Since then he's held residency at Buddy Guys Legends in Chicago, did a stint with rocker Buddy Miles and has toured nationally and internationally with various Nashville recording artists. In January 2005, George took part in a music tour for soldiers in Iraq.  His clear, rich, impassioned voice calls out for kindness, understanding and empowerment for all of mankind.  His lyrics address social, environmental and political issues.  Eric’s music is soulful, heartfelt and rocks one to the very core.


Hand Built point-to-point all tube guitar amplification

Chris Lester

The Kelemen KR25S is my "go to" amp. It has a great clean channel (that can get nice and hairy if you push it) that takes pedals really well. The second channel has the perfect amount of gain and doesn't lose its articulation in the low end. The EQ section is very responsive and gives me a lot of tonal options. I use the amp through a 1x12 and it is PLENTY loud enough for small clubs all the way up to outdoor venues. The weight of the amp doesn't hurt (literally) either! After trying out and owning numerous multi channel amps I have finally found one that does exactly what I'm looking for. It is truly a "grab and go" amp.

Multi instrumentalist Chris Lester plays bass, acoustic guitar and mandolin for the Sully Erna Band. The Sully Erna band released the album "Avalon" which was in the Billboard Top 25 (which Chris co wrote and performed on). He also is the lead vocalist/guitarist for his band Monkeys With Hammers as well as guitarist for Mama Kicks and plays bass/keyboards/mandolin in the Led Zeppelin tribute band Four Sticks. Chris performs in the New England area as a solo acoustic act as well. In the past Chris was a member of the band Tizzy, Wild Horses, ZenBoy and Custom500 while living in Los Angeles, California before returning to his home state of New Hampshire


Tiho Dimitrov

At the time I first came across Kelemen amps, I had been on a never-ending quest for the “right” amp and tone. I had spent about a year or so testing out all the different amps, effects and pedals that I saw at local music stores. What I was looking for was an amp that I could use in small (and/or large) venues and be able to create a big, full, warm tone, without blowing the roof off. I had created a tone in my mind that would capture the sound of my biggest guitar influences – E. Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, J.Mayer, D.Bramhall II, etc. – but yet it had to be unique, not just a copy. I tried various amps including, Marshall, Fender, Peavey, Laney, Budda, Mesa Boogie, Doctor Z, Traynor, and Vox models and liked some of them but I ran into the same problems. They were either too loud to play in a small venue or they sounded too generic and didn’t have the warmth or richness I desired.

The Kelemen KR-35 put an end to my search. Five minutes into the test when I first plugged in the amp, I was ecstatic. Not only did this amp have a great tone, with a drive and gain control that produced an amazing saturation of the tubes, but it also maintained its tonal quality and sustain at literally any volume. The tube overdrive it produced simply beat any of the pedals I’d used. It augmented and complimented the tone of the guitar (Stratocaster). I had found a first class, 100% hand-made, all-tube amp that had the greatness of any “big name” amp, but it had its own voice, and it had something else – the tone was great, no matter what volume.

Since I started playing Kelemen, I’ve not had to waste time trying to get the tone right. I can focus on my playing and the music. It has helped me develop my own style and sound.