Hailing from Nashville, via Los Angeles and originally Huntsville, Alabama, Shelly has taken pieces of each place to form her musical collage - - bits of the Southern Gospel songs she learned and performed as a child; chunks of the Laurel Canyon sound she learned while working with legends such as Chris Hillman (The Byrds), Herb Pedersen (Desert Rose Band/ Emmylou Harris), and Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow); and recently, from sharing the stage with Jackson Browne. Since moving to Nashville two years ago, Shelly has been writing and preparing to start her first solo album this spring, with award-winning producer, Frank Lidell (Chris Knight, Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack).
Plenty of bands that cut their teeth playing beer-slogging toga parties in college never advance very far beyond the feel-good party vibe. Roman Candle is not one of those bands mired in post-adolescent oblivion. The Chapel Hill quintet—which began at University of North Carolina and built around the familial partnership of Skip Matheny, his wife Timshel and younger brother Logan—delivers crisp, intuitive roots-rock, built on keen observation and solid pop craftsmanship. The band has already weathered a significant false start (the first incarnation of their debut never saw the light of day at Hollywood Records), but a newly revamped version, renamed The Wee Hours Revue, has finally appeared after a four-year wait. The twelve-song set is a (belated) triumph, with Skip’s jaunty, pinched, sharp-edged vocals, Logan’s DJ Shadow-influenced approach to the drum kit and the band’s vintage-tinged jangly guitars and Rhodes undertones.