"BEAUTIFUL & BURDENED"
"A sophisticated blend of jazz and blues"
-Doug Hill (The Norman Transcript)
"Along with the polished musicianship throughout this album, Phelps’ lyrics are
remarkably well-crafted. It’s a collection of beautiful sounds with burden-lifting soul."
“We travel through some mysterious and haunting territory”, says Phelps, “Exotic worlds of film noir, femme fatales, and magic while addressing real-world themes of enlightenment, secrets, redemption, darkness, and truth.” The new album showcases the now two year old band and Phelps taking the listener across eleven songs that navigate a dark and magical landscape that lies somewhere between the tone and geography of a black and white noir thriller, a fantasy novel, and a wealth of historical locales. Verses become scenes, songs become character arcs, and this album becomes its own alternate reality filled to the brim with cinematic visions of characters facing the crossroads between virtue and sin. A Voodoo Priestess in New Orleans, an old house offering residence to dark people (and even darker secrets), magical spells of pure and toxic intent, and of course a femme fatale or two... these are the the people and places that populate the world in “Beautiful and Burdened”.
"Equal parts grit and grace."
Shelly is equally influenced by the sultry, soulful vocals of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Dusty Springfield, the thick-voiced jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Sara Vaughn, and Julie London, and the grittier, raw blues voices of Bonnie Raitt and Joan Osborne.
"Bonnie Raitt showed me the art of mixing genres. and that being true to my music meant I would never have to stop singing because I reached a certain age or fell out of fashion."
Shelly is also an actress, graphic designer, & Netflix binge-watcher.
The influences of Steve Cropper, Robert Smith, Nile Rodgers, Larry Carlton, and Brian May can be detected in Rob's playing, but he was equally impacted by the lessons in creativity from the legendary Frank Zappa.
"Frank Zappa taught me that my job as a guitar player was to steal from as many sources as I could assimilate in order to come up with a style that was uniquely my own."
Rob is also a talented graphic novel writer and the book review editor at World Literature Today.
One month before his 9th birthday, Dave witnessed the Beatles famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and knew his path in life would be a musical one.
His influences include old-school bassists, James Jamerson, The 'Duck' Dunn, Paul McCartney, Willie Dixon, Bob Babbit, Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, David Hood, Willie Weeks. and The Funk Brothers.
When not playing bass, Dave can be found reading or discussing the virtues of Calvin & Hobbs.
Shelly Phelps and the Scarlet Street Players present a powerhouse performance that is both laced with nostalgic influences and fresh, original elements of performance and song-craft that stem from the unique character of the lady and her band. The cocktail of these forces is potent: the band's live show is like a thunderstorm rolling through the venue, the simultaneous beauty and primal strength of the entity are threatening, but impossible for an observer to tear away from.
Anchored by front-woman, vocalist and songwriter Shelly Phelps, the band weaves seamlessly through a catalog of songs that dance across the genre lines of rhythm and blues, soul-jazz and rock. Phelps and her band have formed an airtight live unit since their conception in 2013. This follows Shelly's 2004 album “Girl on a Wire”, which quickly became a fan favorite and featured “Throbbin” Rob Vollmar on guitar. Vollmar's association with Phelps continues to this day, as he carries lead guitar duties for the Scarlet Street Players. With the rhythm section combo of Dave Cochran on bass guitar and Zev Stein on drums, the Players are a band of true and experienced pros. The groove is eternally present, whether it's a frenetic and high energy roadhouse blues or a laid back trip through jazzland, Cochran and Stein carry the songs with equal parts grit and grace, and Vollmar's guitar can switch from light applications of color to crackling white hot lightning before you realize it. And let's not forget the lady at the helm, because Phelps' voice is a force of nature all its own. Powerful and commanding attention, she moves from croon to wail at will, rolling notes over the jagged or smooth emotional terrain that the songs pass over.
It comes as no surprise after seeing Shelly Phelps on stage, where she moves to the music with a subtle aura of confidence, power, and theatricality somewhere in the cross-hairs between dance and performance art, that Phelps is an experienced actress. It is not uncommon to spot Phelps credited in a local theater production, where she has notably played legendary singing icon Patsy Cline in “Always... Patsy Cline”, and recently performed as eight different characters in the two woman play “Parallel Lives”. Part of Phelps' artistic genius is her ability to blur what many would think of as separate talents. Beyond the presence of her theater skills in her music performance, Shelly's understanding of narrative, character, perspective and motive transitions easily from theater work to songwriting.
Phelps brings her love of theatrical story-telling and a full cast of characters and on the band's newest record “Beautiful and Burdened”. “We travel through some mysterious and haunting territory”, says Phelps, “Exotic worlds of film noir, femme fatales, and magic while addressing real-world themes of enlightenment, secrets, redemption, darkness, and truth.” Released in November 2015, the new album showcases the now two year old band and Phelps taking the listener across "Verses become scenes, songs become character arcs, and this album becomes its own alternate reality filled to the brim with cinematic visions of characters facing the crossroads between virtue and sin."eleven songs that navigate a dark and magical landscape that lies somewhere between the tone and geography of a black and white noir thriller, a fantasy novel, and a wealth of historical locales. Verses become scenes, songs become character arcs, and this album becomes its own alternate reality filled to the brim with cinematic visions of characters facing the crossroads between virtue and sin. A Voodoo Priestess in New Orleans, an old house offering residence to dark people (and even darker secrets), magical spells of pure and toxic intent, and of course a femme fatale or two... these are the the people and places that populate the world in “Beautiful and Burdened”.
Vollmar, the ace guitarist who was a co-writer on “Beautiful and Burdened”, felt the magic during the making of this record, saying “I’ve never worked harder (or had more fun) than I did recording this album with this batch of musicians and that comes through for me as a listener when I hear it now. Craft and exuberant diligence placed at the service of a great song equals magic.". This record is not to be missed, and is certain to catapult the band to new heights. Featuring eleven songs, including “Scarlet Street”, the band's namesake, this album was not only the fruition of the creative powers of Phelps and her band, but also the support of their existing audience. “Beautiful and Burdened” was backed by a highly successful crowd-funding campaign, where Shelly and the Player's crowd showed up in full force to help bring the project to life. “It’s been a long wait”, says Phelps, “but it was the support and generosity of our fans that kept us moving forward and determined to craft a fully-realized collection of songs.”.
Co-produced by the renowned Trent Bell at Bell Labs, “Beautiful and Burdened” is a tour de force of artistry on all fronts.
Influenced by the music of Led Zeppelin, System of a Down, Rush, Tower of Power, and Max Roach, Zev's perception of music was changed when he saw Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 with his dad in Chicago when he was a freshman in high school.
Zev is currently a student at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha, OK where he is pursuing a music degree.
Zev is also an bona fide NPR junkie. "Listening to people talk about stories and the news is fascinating to me."
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" ... their live show is like a thunderstorm rolling through the venue,
with simultaneous beauty and primal strength ... "
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Ring in the new year with us at one of the most unique venues in Oklahoma City. Dinner, Performance by Shelly Phelps and the Scarlet Street Players, Party Favors, Midnight Champagne Toast, Reserved Seating and Late Night Female Illusion Show! Dinner Service begins at 6:30 pm; Showtime: 8:00 pm- 9:30 pm
DECEMBER 31, 2015
THE BOOM DINNER THEATER - NYE SHOW
2218 NW 39th St
Oklahoma City, OK
Shelly Phelps and The Scarlet Street Players will take the stage at NOIR Bistro & Bar located in the historic Paramount (Pictures) building on Film Row in downtown Oklahoma City.. Experience casual eating and drinking with a "Film-Noir" attitude. No cover charge!
Showtime: 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
JANUARY 23, 2016
NOIR - BISTRO & BAR
701 West Sheridan
Oklahoma CitY, OK
Shelly Phelps and Rob Vollmar join Miss Brown to You, Peggy Johnson, and Sunshine Hahn for an acoustic tribute to Joni Mitchell's ground-breaking "Blue" album at OKC's legendary Blue Door. You don't want to miss this show! This show will sell out so get your tickets today!
Showtime: 8:00 pm
MARCH 19, 2016
THE BLUE DOOR - JONI MITCHELL TRIBUTE
2805 N McKinley Ave
Oklahoma CitY, OK
That is, if you want free music.
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