Label: Moonwatcher Records
Review Date: December 7, 2014
I love the challenge of attempting to describe genre-less music and their artists. I’m not very good at it but I do love the challenge, nonetheless. Such is the case with new Moonwatcher Records artist, Shelly Waters, and her debut CD, “Drive.” To borrow a line from Donny and Marie, Shelly is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll . . . with a bit of great canjun spice thrown it to make things interesting.
To that point, Moonwatcher Records haunch, Joe Taylor, said of Ms. Waters, “For me her voice has that indefinable ‘it factor.’ I don’t know how else to describe it. She’s got what Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris and other great, iconic singers have—a voice with such distinctive character that you can easily recognize it.”
Boomerocity couldn’t agree with Mr. Taylor more.
It’s been said that the uniqueness of Waters’ voice may have something to do with the meandering path of her life story. Raised in the Cajun country of southern Louisiana and currently living on the coast in the southeast, she can draw for that diverse experience to write the kinds of great songs that she does.
When asked to name influences she runs down a list of names drawn from country, rock and Americana, but then she gets a little antsy and says, “I never wanted someone to hear me in concert and say ‘wow, you sound just like so-and-so. I’m Shelly, that’s who I am.”
Here’s a little insight into Shelly’s “Drive”:
“Little Old House” is a brilliantly written tune that conjures up childhood memories of a simple, humble upbringing that we all long for in contrast to the crazy world in which we live.
The title cut, “Drive,” is a poignant, not so gentle reminder to take advantage of every moment and opportunity afforded to us as well as serving as a personal metaphor for Shelly’s revitalized musical journey.
“Reaching for You” and “One and Only” (an homage to Patsy Cline) reaches back to the “swamp pop” of Waters’ upbringing.
“Need To Rest” was inspired by a small bird that nested on her boat while she was miles out to sea and uses the metaphor to point to life’s little resting places. “State Line” is a funky little rocker that smacks a little of Melissa Etheridge (and that’s a compliment!) while “She Waits” is a storytelling, acoustic-based ballad of comtemplation.
This is a great CD by an up and coming artist who I think we’ll hear a lot more about in the years to come. I’m keeping my eyes on her.