Kindred Folk Society presents Joan Shelley

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Kindred Folk Society presents Joan Shelley

March 14, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm

The Kindred Folk Society proudly presents Joan Shelley at the Red Bicycle Hall. Doors at 7, Show at 8. Opening for Ms. Shelley is Nathan Salsburg.

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer who lives near Louisville, Ky., not far from where she grew up. Like the River Loves the Sea is her fifth album. She draws inspiration from traditional and traditionally-minded performers from her native Kentucky, as well as those from Ireland, Scotland, and England, but she’s not a folksinger. Her disposition aligns more closely with that of, say, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, or her fellow Kentuckian Tom T. Hall, who once explained—simply, succinctly, in a song—“I Witness Life.”

She’s not so much a confessional songwriter, although Like the River… gets closest to such subjectively emotional impressions as perhaps any album to date, and she sings less of her life and more of her place: of landscapes and watercourses; of flora and fauna; of seasons changing and years departing and the ineluctable attempt of humans to make some small sense of all—or, at best, some—of it. Her perspective and performances both have been described, apparently positively, as “pure,” but there’s no trace of the Pollyanna and there’s little of the pastoral, either: her work instead wrestles with the possibility of reconciling, if only for a moment, the perceived “natural” world with its reflection—sometimes, relatively speaking, clear; other times hopelessly distorted—in the human heart, mind, and footprint.

Since the 2015 release of her album Over and Even, Shelley has crossed the country and toured Europe several times as a headlining artist, sharing shows with the likes of Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Doug Paisley, Daniel Martin Moore, the Other Years, and Michael Hurley. She has opened for Wilco, Chris Smither, Andrew Bird, and Richard Thompson. Jeff Tweedy produced her previous record at The Loft in Chicago. She’ll be familiar to readers of guitar-centric magazines for having appeared, in the same season, on the covers of Fretboard Journal and Acoustic Guitar. She’ll be doubtless more familiar to more listeners in the wake of Like the River Loves the Sea.

Opening Act:

“For someone who has developed a reputation as one of this decade’s most erudite and elegant acoustic guitarists, Nathan Salsburg has a curiously slim catalog of solo six-string work. In fact, Salsburg’s endearing new album — functionally titled Third, as it’s the third set he has issued under his own name — is somehow his first to feature only acoustic guitar. In the past, he’s peppered records of rippling acoustic tunes with the occasional vocal folk song, his Appalachian baritone as solid as a piece of sculpted oak. And during the span since 2013’s Hard For To Win And Can’t Be Won, he’s been busy as the guitarist for singer Joan Shelley, a collaborator to Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Jim Elkington, and a contributor to a string of recent top-shelf singer-songwriter efforts.

“But for Third, he foregoes both singing and special guests, going it alone to make clear what his career has long suggested: Salsburg’s writing is as sophisticated as his playing is joyous, and that aforementioned reputation is well deserved.” – NPR Music

#JoanShelley #folkmusic #roots #WFPK #louisville #madison #indiana #Nathan Salsburg #kindredfolksocity


March 14, 2020
8:00 pm - 11:30 pm


Kindred Folk Society
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Red Bicycle Hall
125 E. Main Street
Madison, Indiana 47250
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