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Upcoming shows: Gratis: Seazoo... Sounds From The Other City 2020... Lindsay Munroe... Aoife O’Donovan... Joan Shelley... glowe... Milky Wimpshake... Born Ruffians... The Lovely Eggs... Angel Olsen – Leeds... Andy Shauf... Alice Boman... Dana Gavanski... Mr Ben & The Bens... Penguin Cafe... Erland Cooper... Peggy Sue... Smoke Fairies... Happyness... Douglas Dare... Joep Beving... Leif Vollebekk... The Lovely Eggs... The Dears... BC Camplight... Tokyo Police Club... The Handsome Family... Pictish Trail...

When: 7.30pm on Saturday 23 May 2020
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

PLEASE NOTE: This show has sold out! Watch this space for details of future Joan Shelley shows in Manchester.

We’re delighted to be welcome Joan Shelley back – this time, to the Kings Arms!

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer who lives near Louisville, Kentucky, not far from where she grew up. Like the River Loves the Sea is her fifth album. She draws inspiration from traditional and traditionally-­minded performers from her native Kentucky, as well as those from Ireland, Scotland, and England, but she’s not a folksinger. Her disposition aligns more closely with that of, say, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, or her fellow Kentuckian Tom T. Hall, who once explained – simply, succinctly, in a song – ‘I Witness Life’.

She’s not so much a confessional songwriter, although Like the River… gets closest to such subjectively emotional impressions as perhaps any album to date, and she sings less of her life and more of her place: of landscapes and watercourses; of flora and fauna; of seasons changing and years departing and the ineluctable attempt of humans to make some small sense of all – or, at best, some – of it. Her perspective and performances both have been described, apparently positively, as ‘pure,’ but there’s no trace of the Pollyanna and there’s little of the pastoral, either: her work instead wrestles with the possibility of reconciling, if only for a moment, the perceived ‘natural’ world with its reflection – sometimes, relatively speaking, clear; other times hopelessly distorted – in the human heart, mind, and footprint.

Since the 2015 release of her album Over and Even, Shelley has crossed the US and Europe several times as a headlining artist, sharing shows with the likes of Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Doug Paisley, Daniel Martin Moore, the Other Years and Michael Hurley. She has opened for Wilco, Chris Smither, Andrew Bird and Richard Thompson. Jeff Tweedy produced her previous record at The Loft in Chicago, and her current record Like the River Loves the Sea was recorded at Greenhaus Studios in Iceland.

Tour support comes from James Elkington. Chicago songwriter and guitarist James Elkington – who has collaborated with everyone from Richard Thompson to Jeff Tweedy to Tortoise – has announced his new album, Ever-Roving Eye, out 3 April on Paradise of Bachelors. He recorded his sophomore album at Wilco’s Loft, expanding upon his ‘beautiful, complex, and assured’ (Pitchfork) 2017 debut Wintres Woma, as well as his recent production and arrangement work for the likes of Steve Gunn, Nap Eyes (he produced their upcoming Snapshot of a Beginner) and Joan Shelley. Casting glances back to British folk traditions as well as toward avant-garde horizons, these brilliant new songs, as accessible as they are arcane, buttress Elkington’s brisk guitar figures and baritone poesy with strings, woodwinds, and backing vocals by Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station.

PLEASE NOTE: This show has sold out! Watch this space for details of future Joan Shelley shows in Manchester.

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