Shirley Green

Shirley Green is not a band of misfits. Shirley Green is not a woman - but was a 1935 Cadillac paint color and inspiration for the band name. Formed in 2013, the five-member group from the Midwest might describe their union and music more easily by what they are not. They aren’t brash nor demure. Their music isn’t trendy, nor commonplace. The expression of the songs is not superficial yet there isn’t a need for the music be so damn serious either. Rather, however, that is often just what it is.

The band describes their music as “experimental, atmospheric modern rock” and jokingly characterize it as having “emotionally-unstable undertones.” Electronic elements and beats are present in many of the songs and punctuate classic instrumentation from guitar, piano, bass, drums, and sax over Alixe Rheeve’s lead vocals.

Very different life and musical histories are expressed in the collective piecing together of this ‘patchwork quilt’ of group members’ individual contributions: Shirley Green songs are vivid, quirky and held together by a common thread of strong melodies.

The five original members - Alixe Rheeve (vocals/keyboards/main songwriter), Tony Kashinn (bass guitar), Tom Robinson (guitar), John Schiefelbein (sax/synth), and Jason Rieve (drums/recording/production) have been steadily writing and recording original music since the group’s inception.

The band is often at a loss when asked to describe their eclectic sound. It’s been suggested that, "If you like Peter Gabriel, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, and Yes - they sound nothing like them, but you’ll probably like Shirley Green."

“There are hints of classical music patterns and layers in the music,” explains Alixe. “The songs are all pretty different, yet similar in that many of them were written in minor keys.”

The members spent nearly a year at a warehouse space in Grafton, Wisconsin, focused on the writing, practicing, recording, and mixing process with their initial group of songs. An audio engineer, Jason not only performed as a musician on the songs, he also recorded, mixed and produced the project for SG.

Shirley Green’s six-song EP, “Lessons”, debuted in May 2014 and the group has begun to enjoy some airplay on Milwaukee radio stations. Two of the band’s recent radio interviews can be heard via their website, and give more insight into the group members and individual songs on the EP.

What is next for the band? “Booking performances come fall/winter 2014/'15 - getting out and playing and seeing how the songs continue to develop as we do this live,” says Tom.

Jason adds, “Our initial focus was on writing, practicing and recording, with Tony and Alixe also taking on getting together a promotional and online presence. We had a great EP release show at Shank Hall in Milwaukee this summer and now we’re ready to hit the ground running with more live shows, in addition to more new music.”

As the band shifts its focus to adding more dates starting in fall/winter, they also plan to add new songs to upcoming performances.

John summarizes, “The best way to know what’s happening next with Shirley Green is to get on the email list through our website and follow us on social media.”

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