Songwriter singer Paul Kelly captures Australia in his songs the way Bruce Springsteen or Ray Davies of the Kinks have encapsulated their homelands, and he does it with the musical energy and diversity of Elvis Costello. The sixth of nine children, Kelly was born in Adelaide in 1955. After school he wandered around Australian for a few years, working odd jobs, writing poetry, and thinking about a career as a short story writer. Somewhere along the line, already in his late teens, he picked up a guitar. Kelly made his public debut singing the Australian folk song "Streets of Forbes" to a Hobart audience in 1974, and two years later, he moved to Melbourne to join R&B pub band the High Rise Bombers. With a large lineup and three songwriters, the band's splintering was inevitable, Kelly forming his own group, Paul Kelly & the Dots.