Monday, July 26, 2010
Music Monday: Shelley & Cal
So a while back, somebody contacted me about this Eugene, Oregon based band called, Shelley and Cal. They thought Meltingpot fans might want to know about them because they're an awesome band, but also because they happen to be married and an interracial couple. Now while I love to support mixie families everywhere, I'm not going to listen to somebody's music just because they found love across the color line. But, I was intrigued so I listened to some of their music and actually really liked it. I also think they're both really cute and very down to earth. Even though they're wonderful musicians, I really found myself thinking, I'd just like to have them over for dinner or something.
Of course dinner was out of the question, but they did agree to answer some of my questions. Here's what they had to say.
THE MELTINGPOT: Welcome to the Meltingpot Shelley and Cal. Can you tell us about the type of music you play?
Shelley and Cal: Uplifting Rock/Gospel. We both love the same types of music. We grew up in the 70s and 80s during decades where we were exposed to every sound imaginable. We trained on jazz, hymns, classical, and choral, but also had fun rocking out to rock and pop on the radio when radio was still real radio. So our music is influenced by classic sensibilities and old school styles, as well as improvisation, syncopation and just plain good grooves.
MP: Who plays what instrument?
S&C: Shelley sings leads and plays guitars. Cal plays bass, sings beatbox and backup vocals.
MP: So, of course I want to know, did you fall in love first or start playing music together first? Either way, can you give us some background on how you two started making music together?
S&C: Cal and his brother, drummer Edwin "E3" Coleman, rented a house together after college. Ed joined a band called 'Pyramid Breakfast' (this was Shelley's first band), and came back to the house excited about how good this band was. After a few months, he told Cal that they needed a bass player. The day before my first rehearsal/audition the lead singer called me and asked if she could come to my house to say 'hello' and drop off the band's CD to learn songs from. It was Shelley, and when she walked up to the house, it was love at first sight. We both admit to getting overwhelmed with the amount of 'instant like' we were both feeling at one point during that first conversation we had together.
We played with that band together for the next few years. It was a heck of a lot of fun, because we all got along very well together. We did a lot of laughing with the band. What is also wonderful about that experience is that the guitarist and flautist fell in love and got married. They now are married and have two kids.
MP: Wow that’s a lot of love in one band! How does being an interracial couple influence how you are perceived in the music business if at all? How does it influence your music?
We don't really know if it influences how we are perceived in the music business--and at this point in the journey for us, we aren't really concerned about that possibility...we never have given it much thought ever.
We also think that in this day and age, there's more acceptance of interracial marriages than ever before which is obviously to our benefit...now that's not to say that there aren't still haters out there, but there are so many more people who just 'get it' nowadays, and they don't think that there is a racial divide between humans. We have always believed that there is only one race--the human race.
I think being a mixed couple actually influences our music to be even better and more unique and positive in some way. When you see things from many angles, you somehow want to help folks that are closed-minded to open their eyes too and 'see the light' that they are missing, and enjoy what is out there. We don't have to fear each other, we just need to celebrate each other's differences by respecting each other and sharing God's love.
MP: I know you guys have a new baby girl. Are you going to let her into the family business?
She's already in training to be in the family band. We just love to introduce her to the world of sound and song. She really engages already and she's only eight months old. We are not wanting to push music on her, but feel that if we get to enjoy music embedded into our daily lives, then why not bring her inside our world and hearts from day one and see if she has a natural bent? We both grew up in family bands, so it will be fun for us to see her in the mix. Secretly, we're hoping she's another little Sheila E!!! WE NEED A DRUMMER! ;>)
MP: That would be too cute. So last question. Where can people see you guys perform and/or buy your music?
People can visit Eugene, Oregon, which just happens to be an awesome city for arts and outdoors, and they can come see us at our regular home gig at a fun place called 'Cafe 440' every other Tuesday night from 8-10pm. It is located at 440 Coburg Rd, Eugene OR. They can also go to our website and see what other dates/venues we may be playing throughout the year.
They can buy our music online at a bunch of spots, just do a Shelley & Cal search.... for sure at itunes and amazon.com and all the main sites like that, and through our label at pennysgang.com. You can also follow us on twitter and on facebook.
Well, thank you very much and we wish you a lot of luck. If you guys ever make it to the City of Brotherly Love, maybe we can have that dinner.
Meltingpot readers I hope you enjoyed the music. If you have another musician or group who you think Meltingpot readers should know about, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.