Shelley and Cal - Something Goin' On: CD Review and Giveaway
About Shelley and Cal:
Husband and wife duo, Shelley & Cal James have been fixtures on the Eugene, OR music scene for many years. The couple has been performing up and down the West Coast since 1993 and with their recent deal with 44-4 Records (distributed by Fontana) Shelley & Cal will be soon be spreading their brand of inspirational music nationwide.
Following in the footsteps of married musical duos like The Captain and Tennille and Ashford and Simpson, Shelley & Cal bring a breath of fresh air to the genre being an interracial couple where both sing and play instruments.
For their third official release, the duo has taken a fresh new way to get their message of love and acceptance to new and existing fans alike. Bucking the full album trend, the recently released Something Goin' On EP co-written by Los Angeles, CA based talent Jim McGorman features four soul stirring songs that best exhibit the couples outside the box musical style.
The first single off of the EP is "Maybe.” The video and song both (which was produced by Brandon Crouch and directed by Matt Floryan) beautifully tell the story of Shelley and Cal's relationship as artists and family.
The semi-autobiographical title track, "Something Goin' On" is a fun reminder of the joy of discovering that a friendship has possibly turned into true love.
Another standout track on "Something Goin' On" is Shelley and Cal's updated version of "Amazing Grace" which the couple discovered in 2005 when Shelley came across a recording of a children's choir singing the standard with a completely new chorus. “The first time I heard it I cried,” says Shelley. “The response was so tremendous when we performed it in bars or in churches; it's received well in both settings.” The song became so popular in their shows that the couple wanted to be the first artists to bring this new version to adult radio.
The pure blend of Christian inspired messages, soul melodies and rock edge that Shelley & Cal possess is best displayed via their live show. "Our shows are very interactive," describes Shelley. "The audience often finds themselves moved to sing along as if they were a planned part of the vocal landscape." The shows feature a section they fondly term the "A Capella Power-Love-Duo," which is reminiscent of beat box meats Bobby McFerrin - Cal (who also plays bass) sings the bass and rhythm parts while Shelley's vocals soar overhead.
The way that Shelley & Cal seamlessly work together whether it be writing music, performing or raising their new baby, Eva can be attributed to a bond that began forming when they met in 1993 when Cal's brother Edwin suggested that Cal audition for a spot in the band Shelley helped start called, Pyramid Breakfast. "It was love at first note - both musically and romantically," says Shelley. Neither was completely sure what was happening or how it would affect the band's dynamic, so they did it right and nurtured their friendship; but it was clearly serious and after a courtship of nearly two years, Shelley & Cal wed.
Though the couple make faith based music and are Christians, the music that they make is consciously not preachy. During their shows they not only perform music off of their 3 albums but they also play 70's, 80's and 90's classic covers thus incorporating all music lovers despite their beliefs. “We hear and know what people think about Christianity and the Bible. There is a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and negative opinion so we know that it's very important that if we are going to draw people to the fact that God loves them no matter who they are or what they've done, we've got to do it without making them feel condemned or judged,” says Cal. “It has to come from a foundation of love.”
Shelley and Cal both come from musical families. Shelley began singing with her family quartet at four-years-old touring the Western provinces of Canada with the family performing at churches, festivals and even on local television as the Ratzlaff Family Singers. Meanwhile Cal studied piano and violin in elementary and middle school and in high school picked up "my dad's (who had toured with Peter, Paul & Mary and Cal Tjader) Fender 'P' bass and learned how to play contemporary music by watching classic rock videos on MTV and by listening to the stereo.
The couple does plan to re-release their first two full length albums, 1994's Crack the Shell and 2002's It's So All Right but any new music they release will follow the new innovative format of 44-4 Records. The next four song set from the duo is due to be released later this year giving fans what they call a 'small dose of high quality music'.
With just one listen to Shelley and Cal's music, listeners will instantly be able to recognize that the couple loves what they do and are having fun while delivering a much needed message of hope and love. “We feel that music literally has the power to heal and change the direction of someone's emotions or their life or their day,” says the James'. “And we'd love to be a part of that.”
You can also listen to more of Shelley and Cal here.
If you are a fan of contemporary Christian music, with a pop, mid-tempo you will definitely enjoy "Something Goin' On" from Shelley and Cal. As this is an EP there are only four songs and I really enjoyed them all but my favorite was Maybe, as well as Amazing Grace (one of my favorite hymns ever). I can't wait to hear more of Shelley and Cal, and I highly recommend them and give this EP a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Something Goin' On from Shelley and Cal here.
WIN IT: One (1) reader will win a copy of Somthing Goin' On EP
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***I received a complimentary copy of "Something Goin' On", courtesy of Ariel Publicity, and the artist, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***