THURSDAY, FEB. 28, 2019 | SOUTH ON MAIN [1304 Main St., Little Rock]
7:00 PM—The Oxford American is excited to welcome Joan Shelley to the South on Main stage! This is a special addition to our 2018-19 Concert Series, with special opening act Nathan Salsburg. Doors open at 5:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time.
Tickets go on sale Thursday, December 13 at noon, and they are available via Metrotix.com or by calling (800) 293-5949. Tickets are $20 (General Admission), $26 (Reserved), and $28 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart).
The stunning, self-titled fourth album from the Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joan Shelley began, surprisingly, with a 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.”
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.
Shelley’s music has never been experimental, at least in some bleeding- edge sense of the word. And she’s comfortable with that, proud of the fact that her simple songs are attempts to express complex emotion and address difficult question about life, love, lust, and existence itself. But in their own personal way, these songs are experimental and risky, built with methods that pushed Shelley out of the comfort zone she’s established on a string of records defined by a mesmerizing sort of grace and clarity.
“I don’t have a concept, and I don’t know the meaning until much later. Whatever I am soaking up or absorbing from the world, there will be songs that reflect all those thoughts,” Shelley says. “I keep my songwriting alive and sustainable by trying to be honest about how it came out—these are all its jagged edges, and that’s what it is to be human.”