Shelley Miller isn't afraid to take chances. A writer's writer, less interested in genre than honesty, she pens darkly soulful tunes about life just outside the lines. Folk? Perhaps...late-night jukebox folk. Gospel for
non-believers folk. Had-one-too-many-and-lived-
to-tell folk. Rock hymns for the unhemmed folk.
A versatile guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and intensely emotional performer, Shelley has performed at venues and festivals around the country including: The National Women's Music Festival, The Old Town School of Folk Music, the Chicago Country Music Festival and The Chicago Folk and Roots Festival. Her new band, Soft Ledges, will make its live debut in July 2015.
"Miller gives off a darkly emotional ferocity reminiscent of Radiohead's golden "The Bends"/
"OK Computer" records or PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me", and the band's instrumentation sparkles with the crisp air of something Superchunk might have written..." - Nicholas M. Garcia, The Daily Journal
Shelley's released her fourth solo album, February, in spring 2012. A noisier, more eclectic affair than her first three albums, February finds Miller enlisting the piano, banjo, electric guitar and a cadre of toy instruments (and other local musicians) to help weave her stories. Special guests include Allison Russell (Po'Girl) on vocals and Joe Darnaby (Brighton, MA) on guitar.
Miller's songs have won awards in numerous contests, including the Sandy Lee Songfest Songwriting Contest, Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest (Sisters Folk Festival), Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest and Blooming-Tunes Songwriting Contest..
In addition to her solo work, Shelley has lent her voice, guitar and percussion skills to numerous other artists, both live and in the studio. She plays drums with the lo-fi Americana band The Gold Harvest. She teaches guitar, songwriting and Wiggleworms at the Old Town School of Folk Music. When not playing music, Shelley can often be found careening her bicycle through the streets of Chicago...singing.
What Critics Are Saying:
"Shelley Miller is a songwriter’s songwriter; the sort that other artists will pick through her catalog over time for songs to cover. While this is true, it’s hard to imagine most artists interpreting Miller’s songs with the same mix of comedy, tragedy and warm-hearted grit that she manages on When It’s All Gone, You Come Back. Miller inhabits her songs like a second skin..."
- Wildy's World, March 2010
"When It’s All Gone, You Come Back is a must have CD. This is songwriting and performance at the highest level. I think that Shelley Miller’s When It’s All Gone, You Come Back will be one my top picks for the year 2010."
- Don Sechelski, The Muse's Muse
"Listening to her is like pulling up a pair of very, very soft faded jeans over bare skin."
- Les Reynolds, indie-music.com
"Her voice is so important to her sound it's akin to a Stradivarius violin – rare and difficult to duplicate. You likely won't find this brand of breaking, heartfelt folk on American Idol, but if there was “Americana Idol” we'd be texting her in."
- Hannah Frank, Chicago 6 Corners, March 2010