Urban Appalachia: Joan Shelley Plays Joe’s Pub on Tuesday

At Joe’s Pub on Tuesday, Louisville singer-songwriter Joan Shelley will perform songs off of Over and Even – her third solo album, which was released today and follows her much celebrated project from last year, Electric Ursa. Self produced with collaborator and fellow Kentuckian Nathan Salsburg, the new album is the latest work to come out of a haven of great artists in Louisville that has regularly pumped out strong songwriting and incredible vocal clarity through the talents of folks like Daniel Martin Moore, Will Oldham (a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy) and Ben Sollee, to name a few. Shelly, who has worked with her neighbors on previous projects, is joined by Salsburg on guitar for the entire album. Oldham sits in on the album’s opener – “Stay on My Shore” – a song that draws you in for this entire record.

Recorded live in a farmhouse in Louisville with Salsburg, a phenomenal guitarist on his own who also co-wrote the entire album (see his solo Tiny Desk show here), Over and Even perfectly layers Shelley’s timeless and strikingly clear voice – one that’s frequently labeled as Joni Mitchell-esque, but rightly so – over Salsburg’s stunning fingerpicking. The two individually stand apart from a zillion of other folks trying to pull off the same sound and together make a lyrically poetic and musically impressive damn fine show.

Tickets here. Album here. And for a taste of a live performance, check out this Acoustic Guitar session.