Joan Shelley, The Paulina Hollers

Joan Shelley

The Paulina Hollers

Jonathan Glen Wood

Sun, October 26, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL

$10.00

Tickets at the Door

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Joan Shelley
Joan Shelley
The stunning, self-titled fourth album from the Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joan Shelley began, surprisingly, with a fiddle.

In the summer of 2014, Shelley fell for “Hog of the Forsaken,” a bowed rollick at the end of Michael Hurley’s wayward folk circus, Long Journey, then nearly forty years old. Hurley’s voice, it seemed to Shelley, clung to the fiddle’s melody, dipping where it dipped and climbing where it climbed. This was a small, significant revelation, prompting the guitarist to trade temporarily six strings for four and, as she puts it, “try to play like Michael.” That is, she wanted to sing what she played, to play what she sang. She tried it, for a spell, with the fiddle.

“Turns out, I wasn’t very good at fiddle,” remembers Shelley, chuckling. “But I took that idea back to the guitar and tried that same method. I did it as a game to make these songs, a way to find another access point.”

But that wasn’t the end of the trials. After collaborating and touring with ace guitarist Nathan Salsburg for so many years, Shelley decided to put her entire guitar approach to the test, too. Each day, she would twist and turn into a different tuning, letting her fingers fumble along the strings until the start of a tune began to emerge. After playing the songs of her phenomenal third album, the acclaimed Over and Even, so many nights during so many shows, the trick pushed her hands out of her habits and into a short, productive span that yielded most of Joan Shelley.

It’s fitting that the set is self-titled. These are, after all, Shelley’s most assured and complete thoughts to date, with lyrics as subtle and sensitive as her peerless voice and a band that offers support through restraint and nuance. In eleven songs, this is the sound of Joan Shelley emerging as one of music’s most expressive emotional syndicates.

To get there, Shelley had a little more help than usual. In December 2016, she headed a few hours north to Chicago, where she and Salsburg joined Jeff Tweedy in Wilco’s Loft studio for five days. Spencer Tweedy, home from college, joined on drums, while James Elkington (a collaborator to both Tweedy and Salsburg) shifted between piano and resonator guitar. Jeff added electric accents and some bass, but mostly, he helped the band stay out of its own way. “He was protecting the songs. He was stopping us before we went too far.” she says.
The Paulina Hollers
The Paulina Hollers
Paulina Hollers, play Appalchian Stringband music.

Formed by Jim Becker of Califone and Lea Tshilds in 1996 in Chicago, IL.
Jonathan Glen Wood
Jonathan Glen Wood
If you appreciate finely crafted old-timey country music, you'll probably fall head over heals for Ballad of Jon, the new 13-song album from Jonathan Glen Wood. It sounds as if Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson themselves had their hands all over this. How does this guy have the time to do this stuff anyway? He's already a member of Old Baby, Jaye Jayle, and Sexy Minotaur (his newest project with Catherine Irwin of Freakwater). Hear the new album here.

"Every listen feels like you're opening a time capsule and the smell of old books, pine trees and bourbon wafts out" - Nicholas Hart of Backseat Sandbar
Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
http://www.hideoutchicago.com