LOUISVILLE singer-songwriter Joan Shelley will play two North Yorkshire gigs in three days this week.
First she visits the North York Moors for tonight's show at The Band Room, Low Mill, near Farndale, before heading to The Basement, in City Screen, York, for a Please Please You-promoted gathering on Sunday night.
Joan is being accompanied by guitarist Nathan Salsburg on her European spring tour in support of her third album, last September's Over And Even, which she recorded over a Kentucky winter weekend with help from Salsburg, Rachel Grimes and harmony singers Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Glen Dentinger.
Shelley, who was a guest on Gideon Coe's BBC 6 Music show last month, had apparently written the album in the back of an abandoned beauty parlour on the island of Thessaloniki, creating sad songs of full of poetry, history, mystery and nature.
"We have last weekend's Band Room headliner, Ryley Walker, to thank for tonight's show, having first heard about Joan Shelley when he recommended her new album on his previous visit here last year," says Band Room promoter Nigel Burnham. "We checked it out, then its predecessor, Electric Ursa, and were immediately sold.
Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg
"We've since come to realise Joan Shelley is right up there with Sandy Denny and Vashti Bunyan; the purity of her vocal and vision is light years ahead of most of her rivals.
"She'll excel in the celebrated acoustic of The Band Room, where she'll play with Nathan Salsburg, who like Ryley Walker, is another British folk-influenced guitar virtuoso and has made great albums of his own, in the tradition of John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and John Fahey."
Shelley will be supported at both gigs by Red River Dialect. Doors will open at 7.30pm for tonight's 8pm start and at 8pm for Sunday's 8.30pm kick-off; Band Room tickets can be booked on 01751 432900 or at thebandroom.co.uk; Basement tickets, via pleasepleaseyou.com