Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sand between my toes and Shelly in my inbox

Well, here I am, fresh from a chilled out family holiday in sunny Crete. Actually fresh probably isn’t the right word as we are all still adjusting from a sleepness night caused by the 4am pick up from the hotel for the airport. In a few days when I’m back on track I may treat (if that’s the right word!) you to a few musings from said holiday. Then again I may not as not a lot happened, which is as it should be really, it was a holiday after all.

This post represents something of a radical departure from the norm here at Feel It. In my chilled out, quasi zombie state I feel I’m not yet ready to resume normal service and rummage through the vinyl collection, record and scan, research and link. Today you are getting something brand new AND not available on vinyl. Gosh, I’m feeling a bit light headed just thinking about it! :)

Shelly Bhushan dropped me an email while I was away saying she had happened upon this blog and thought I might like to listen to her new CD. Shelly hails from Texas and is making her way in NYC as a singer/songwriter. She has assembled a tight group of musicians around her and just released her first full album length CD “Picking Daisies”. The sound they produce has elements of soul, funk, and rock but is overall genre defying. You can listen to generous snippets from all the tracks here, and a few full tracks on her myspace page. What I have heard so far sounds good to me.

It’s interesting to compare Shelly’s debut album with that of Jean Carn’s, which I featured in my previous entry. Jean’s album was released in 1976 by which time the music scene was very much dominated by the big record companies. Jean had the might of Philadelphia International behind her – heavyweight songwriters, producers and arrangers, and no small amount of marketing muscle. The music on the album itself was lavish and polished. Contrast that with Shelly’s debut. The digital world we live in now is proving liberating for up and coming new musicians wanting to reach a wider audience. Shelly’s foray into the musical world would appear to be largely self publicised, through the Internet and her live shows in NYC. She writes her own songs, the band I believe are the producers and arrangers, and her recordings have an almost live feel to them. Although Shelly’s sound is undoubtedly contemporary her way to market and the production values remind me of a time before the ‘corporate’ 70s – the 60s - when many local and independent record companies existed (in the USA at least), operating on a shoestring. In the 60s local meant a city or State in America, in the 21st Century it seems local means a far flung bunch of like minded music nuts like me sat at a computer (not forgetting of course, in Shelly’s case, her loyal followers on the NYC live circuit). What goes round comes round?

Shelly, I wish you all the best and hope you achieve everything you want to in your musical career.

I’ve ripped a track from Shelly’s myspace page to put up here (hope you don’t mind Shelly) but as mentioned follow the links above to hear more of her work and buy her album.

Shelly Bhushan – Beautiful Me 2007

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