SHELLY PHELPS: Lead Vocals
JIM PERRY: Lead Guitar
JOEY ALBIN: Bass Guitar
JEFF HOLMES: Drums
ADAM RAY: Keys and Saxophone
JAMES METCALF: Percussion
Roots- Rock, Blues-Rock, Soul-Rock
Bonnie Raitt, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Dusty Springfield, Julie London, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner, Sara Vaughn, Patsy Cline, Joan Jett
Oklahoma City, OK
"Retro Soul-Drenched Roots-Rock"
Singer-songwriter Shelly Phelps’s band, aptly-titled The Storm, was founded on the other side of personal and professional upheaval. The sextet’s latest record, Singing The Bones by Shelly Phelps and The Storm, out March 12, 2024, is a potent dose of redemptive retro soul-influenced roots rock.
“This album isn’t about the aftermath. It’s about when your life has been burned down and you reassemble it into something new,” says the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based singer-songwriter.
Shelly pens darkly cinematic songs that her band brings to life with its fluency in a bevy of American musical traditions, including soul, R&B, funk, blues, jazz rockabilly, and rock n’ roll. The Storm formed in 2019, and it is a wrecking crew of a band, featuring Shelly on lead vocals, Jim Perry on lead guitar, Joey Albin bass guitar, her husband, Jeff Holmes drums, Adam Ray keys and saxophone, and James Metcalf percussion. To date, Shelly Phelps and The Storm have released the singles, “Legendary” and “Singing The Bones.” Shelly is also a critically-acclaimed solo artist who, prior to forming The Storm, issued 2015’s Beautiful and Burdened, 2004’s Girl on the Wire, and the 2019 single, “Dark Dreams.”
Shelly is a storyteller songwriter who explores the shadowy sides of love, desire, nature, escapism, beauty, and spirituality. As a vocalist, she is dynamically expressive, spanning sensual low tones, growling mid-range, and soaring high tones. She brings a dramatic flair to her singing and performing informed from her career as a theatrical actress. Shelly is beloved for her stunning Patsy Cline musical revue—an annual tradition of sold-out shows at the historical Pollard Theater in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Shelly was born to be an authentic Americana artist. As a little kid, she remembers waking up to her mom singing along to records by Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Kitty Wells. During this time, she has a distinct memory of hearing Hank Williams’s “Take These Chains from My Heart,” and recognizing the metaphor in the writing. “In my little brain, I knew he said one thing and meant another. I thought, ‘there’s got to be a way I can do that,’” she recalls. At 6 years of age, she wrote her first song about a close friend of hers who died tragically.
Shelly also got her start performing at 6, sitting in with a professional live band, and she can still remember the thrill of being in front of an audience for the first time. She would go onto hone her craft singing in church choirs, and paying her dues in the cover band circuit before focusing on her career as a singing and performing songwriter.
Her latest album, Singing The Bones, is a milestone entry in Shelly’s recording continuum. It is a darkly cathartic album themed around rising from the ashes, and reclaiming your place in the world. The album’s opener, “Chills All Over,” exudes a rockabilly-infused energy and dark playfulness that recalls The Cramps. The sensual and smoky “Love on Fire” Shelly wrote for her husband, drummer Jeff Holmes. “Music is our life. It’s how we met, and how we spend our time. I wanted to use the symbology of music to show that we each need something the other has,” she says.
The empowering and evocative “Legendary” tucks infectious pop-rock hooks into ominous Western movie atmospherics. This theme of resilience and reclamation is further explored on the album’s haunting title track which manages to be both gritty and vulnerable. Here, Shelly sings: As I gather up the fragments of the past/Remnants of the stories and the scars that I’ve amassed/As I summon up my wisdom and my longing and my dreams, I start to feel my breath, and then my voice and then my scream.
Shelly has made a bold and uncompromising statement with Singing The Bones. “Making this record taught me to stay true to my vision,” she says. “Keep asking for what you want until you get it.”