This Thursday, Levitt Pavilion Denver is presenting a free show by indie-folk group SHEL – four classically trained sisters from Fort Collins, Colo., whose shared musical mission dates back to when they were still squabbling siblings.
SHEL stands for Sarah, Hannah, Eva, and Liza Holbrook. Homeschooled by their mother and trained by their songwriter father, the Holbrook sisters credit their creative individuality and independence to their musically-inclined household.
“Our parents, it was really important for them to cultivate anything artistic that we were passionate about,” lead vocalist Eva told the Huffington Post. “…And so they were really determined that if we showed a passion for anything, they would support us in any way that they could.”
That encouragement went a long way, planting the seeds of inspiration that came to harvest the group’s individual musical skills that contribute to one, harmonious power quartet. Each sister pitches in vocals and brings a fresh, new take to the table – Sarah provides mesmerizing strings with violin and guitar, Hannah entrances with piano and keys, Eva plays mandolin/guitar and youngest sister Liza supplies drums and beat boxing.
Performing paid gigs early on in their career, SHEL members eventually garnered the attention of festival promoters, signing a deal with Republic Records only to realize that they felt much more comfortable proceeding as an independent band. This self-determined DIY approach has granted the creative liberty essential to SHEL’s unique sound, translating over to all aspects of the band’s musical vision; the SHEL sisters shoot, edit and produce their own music videos and graphic design, and have financed both their releases with the help of their fans and crowdfunding.
For its latest release, SHEL joined forces with Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart and GRAMMY-winning producer Brent Maher on its second EP, Just Crazy Enough, named by AXS as one of the “Best Americana albums of 2016.” True to the band’s devotion to equal collaboration, Just Crazy Enough captures the raw intensity of SHEL’s live performances, conveying personal tales of the transition to adulthood through carefully arranged melodies.
SHEL returns to its home state this Thursday evening at Levitt Denver for a free show with pop artist Megan Burtt. Pack a picnic but be prepared to jump back on your feet as SHEL delivers a spellbinding, adventurous performance.