Shelly Bhushan knows how to push the goose bump button: that little spot on the back of your head that makes your hair stand on end and sends a tingle down your arms; the spot that makes you smile with a lump in your throat; the spot that makes you blink twice and whisper 'Wow!' When she wraps her smooth, warm alto around a lyric and leans into the mike to deliver her soulful message to an enthusiastic crowd, you can feel the electricity in the air. Bhushan has power to spare, but it's the song that comes first and her ability to hold back creates the tension that is the mark of all great singers. Bhushan's skills as a singer, songwriter and arranger are showcased on The Shelly Show, recorded live in the studio and produced by Bhushan and drummer/percussionist John Celentano. The mini-album only has four tracks, but their range and diversity show a restless creativity that's not easily contained by neat categories. 'Goodtime' is a gritty bit of Memphis funk accented by Ben Hoffstein's churchy organ and Bhushan's multi-tracked backing vocals. 'Run' is a mournful ballad that showcases Bhushan's knack for delivering a big emotional statement. 'Taken' explores the complex sentiments stirred up when the object of desire is already involved in another relationship. Bhushan's vocal here is delicately balanced between love and anger, hope and despair. 'Too Hard To Fall' wraps things up with an emotional ode to lost love accented by Julia Kent's swooning cello. Underlying every tune is Bhushan's soulful delivery, the sanctified keyboard work of Ben Hoffstein and John Celentano's sympathetic rhythm tracks. Lyrically Bhushan's able to capture those everyday moments of happiness and grief and spin them into deeply moving vignettes that will bring nods of recognition from anyone who's ever been in or out of love. Bhushan has been able to build a considerable buzz by word of mouth. With no agent and no hype she's managed to turn heads and win new fans with every gig. Bhushan and her band will tear the roof off your venue; in a few years you'll be telling people you knew her before she was a star! - J. Poet.
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