Joan Shelley

The music of Louisville, Kentucky musician Joan Shelley is heavily influenced by the West Coast folk scene from the late sixties. She also finds inspiration in traditional music from Ireland, Scotland and England. Her songs and guitar-playing are highly skilled, resulting in a number of gorgeous albums that were rightfully praised by music publications like Uncut, Mojo, Stereogum and Pitchfork.

Joan Shelley album “Like the River Loves the Sea” came out in 2019. With her usual band of musicians, which include multi-instrumentalist James Elkington, guitarist Nathan Salsburg, and a number of local musicians she recorded this beautiful album in only five days. For the recording process she chose Greenhouse Studios in Iceland instead of a studio in the familiar surroundings of Kentucky. Joan’s voice combined with the subtle arrangements, are leading for the slightly eccentric yet impressive sound.

Shelley has shared stages with befriended musicians like Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Michael Hurley, while she has also toured with Wilco, Andrew Bird and Richard Thompson. Highly recommended to fans of Alela Diane, Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt and the aforementioned acts.