Sunday, 12 July 2009

euterpe queller*july 15th @2:30 pm slt

Combining Jazz, R&B, Pop, Rock and Soul, Shelly Phelps is the epitome of versatility. Phelps honors old school influences and classic singer-songwriters with passionate performances of her eclectic brand of original music. Based out of Oklahoma City, OK, USA, she is recognized for her soulful vocals that range from visceral to velvety. Phelps' intuitive and emotionally connecting lyrics seek self-enlightenment, explore the intricacies of relationships, take a passionate stand on social issues, and articulate a preference for authentic-living.

Phelps, a notable element of the Oklahoma Music Scene, was born and raised in the tiny rural community of Byars, Oklahoma and has been singing on stage since the tender age of six. She was fed a steady diet of traditional country and southern gospel and learned to sing harmonies with her seven brothers and sisters. She was influenced by the music of her older siblings, ranging from the Rolling Stones and The Beatles to singer/songwriters like Carole King and James Taylor. But it was when she discovered Jazz and Motown that she began to absorb the sounds of artists like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald and Motown greats like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Martha and The Vandellas. In her early career, Phelps performed in several bands ranging from country to rock to R&B and frequently fronted the Latin Jazz band, Salsa Nueva. In 1997, she formed the R&B/Rock band “Shelly Phelps and The Rhythm Junkies”, an Oklahoma City favorite for more than six years.

In 2003, Phelps teamed up with Rhythm Junkies guitarist, Rob Vollmar along with bassist, Warren Roach and drummer, Erol Coulter to form The Shelly Phelps Band, focusing on original rock music with a soulful and jazzy edge. In 2004 the band released a collection of versatile original songs with their album, “Girl on the Wire” to enthusiastic reviews. Preston Jones of the Oklahoma Gazette wrote, “Working with the rock-solid rhythm section, Phelps’s distinctive smoky vocals wrap themselves around these barroom vignettes like so much satin.” The band paid tribute to the music that shaped their musicianship, resulting in a hybrid of their artistic influences. “Girl on the Wire” has it all as far as song styles, from a touch of funk to country, from samba to rock solid R&B. And Phelps’ smoky vocals handle each one, aided by her strong and steady three-piece backup. But something special happens when she goes to R&B, the genre that she absolutely owns.” writes Kevan Breitinger of

Acknowledging their accomplishments and successful musical collaboration, The Shelly Phelps Band disbanded in 2008. Phelps is currently recording a new collection of edgy jazz pop under the working title, “A Distant Notion”. The songs will encompass the inspiration, expression, censorship, and legacy of art and artists. “As with all of my songs, there is also an underlying theme of personal enlightenment, love, life, loss and social issues. Phelps adds, “I’m exploring the more jazzy side of my voice and stretching my songwriting ability.” Phelps expects to release “A Distant Notion” (working title) in the fall of 2008.

Phelps founded The Oklahoma Songwriters Circle in 2004 and in addition to her musical talents, she is also a graphic designer.

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