It’s no coincidence Joan Shelley‘s latest album, Over and Even, was released in early September. The Louisville folk singer’s 12 new offerings evoke seasonal transition just as well as shuffling over crunchy leaves or biting into a campfire s’more.
Over and Even is her third full-length release and features guest musicians and friends like Will Oldham, Nathan Salsburg and Glen Dentinger. The songs tackle loves and lives lost and found and pull you along like a river that ebbs and flows. Her voice is both gentle and haunting, easy like a stroll through the woods but stoic like a lover who’s about to break your heart.
A recent NPR review said it best:
“‘Over and Even’ doesn’t branch into uncharted territory subject-wise, but Shelley writes the sort of relatable, clear-eyed poetry about landscapes both physical and emotional that Joni Mitchell made shine on ‘Blue and Ladies of the Canyon.’ While Shelley’s trills are more Emerald Isle than Golden Coast, ‘Over and Even’ is a gorgeous dead ringer in both sound and style.”
Shelley is in the middle of a 19-date U.S. tour, which brings her home Friday, Sept. 18, to the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater ($15, 8 p.m.).
She kindly took time out of her busy schedule to answer some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
Playing a show in a ’50s American-style diner in Japan where everyone is somehow dancing.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
Inspirational kitten posters. Also, a dolphin I “sponsored.”
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Anchovies and green olives.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
6 years old — that’s when I was at my most inspired for coloring, I think.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
A very intoxicated person once told me I looked like a “sexy Claire Underwood,” which I guess means she thought Robin Wright wasn’t already sexy and that I look much older than my age.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
My dog Dwight, or Wendell Berry — depending on how long we were stuck there.