Maxwell's Country Series Presents
SPINN, Chelsea Carlson
1039 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ, 07030
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
As one Taste Of Country reviewer said, “’Fight Like A Girl’ is a song that needs to be heard now, tomorrow and in the months and years to come. Shorr owns it like Martina McBride owns ‘Independence Day’”.
For Kalie Shorr, hard work and music have always gone hand-in-hand. Even when envisioning her own success, she never even bothered to dream it would happen overnight. “I remember I was having lunch with my future manager when I first got to Nashville,” says Kalie. “And he was like, ‘How do you see the path of your career?’ So I kind of nodded and said, ‘So, here’s my ten year plan.’ His eyebrows kind of raised, and he was like, ‘Okay.’”
In the days of get-famous-quick and figure it out later, Kalie’s steady rise has elements that harken back to another era: growing up in Maine the youngest of six children raised by a single parent; falling in love with music watching her mother sing church hymns and national anthems; winning over rowdy Portland crowds as a country inspired teenager opening up for pop punk music bands. Yet, there are also moments that could only have happened in the digital age of the here and now.
“I knew I had to do something to get beyond Portland,” remembers Kalie. “So I posted a video on YouTube of me covering Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday.’ And it quickly got a few thousand views. Well then one day I got this email that said ‘Hey, I work with Perez Hilton. Are you over 18?’ And I was like what a sketchy email! So I showed it to Mom and said someone’s pretending to be Perez Hilton. They’re going to kidnap me. She was like, ‘I don’t know Kalie. I feel like that might be Perez Hilton.’”
It was Perez Hilton, and he was a fan.
“Over the years Perez has given me a lot of encouragement,” says Kalie. “It can be midnight, and he’ll listen to new songs and let me know what he thinks right away. He even invited me to open up for the Backstreet Boys at his birthday party. I met Kim Kardashian. And then I went back to high school the next day. I was only in LA for 18 hours. It was surreal.”
After a glimpse of the opportunities beyond Portland, Kalie knew it was time to make a move. And once her heart was set on Nashville, she did what she does best: made a plan and put in the work. Kalie took extra classes to graduate from high school early, juggled two jobs to save up money for the move and even moved into a small in-law apartment down the street from her mother just so she could get used to paying her own bills.
“I had friends going to football games and parties,” remembers Kalie. “And I’m writing and working and playing shows. So my life was structured so differently. I think that was the moment where I got the drive to make music my life.”
That drive would need to find another gear in Nashville. To get her first gigs, she walked that fine line between persistence and harassment. To pay the bills and leave her mornings free to write songs, she landed a job in one of Nashville’s famed Lower Broadway honky tonks selling hot dogs and cigarettes. To make connections, she had to go out on a limb. Kalie admits, “I didn’t know where to start. I had no idea. I would just walk up to people and give them my business card and be like, ‘do you want to write with me?’ And they were like, ‘No.’ Nashville is friendly but it’s hard.”
The new girl in town would eventually find a home at a new Nashville tradition. In 2014 she was part of the first show of the Song Suffragettes, a weekly live show featuring a rotating group of all female singer-songwriters. The second show even featured Kelsea Ballerini before her first #1 single was released.. “It is such a great community,” says Kalie. “When you’re on stage, you might feel a little more equal than you might actually be. I don’t know where I would have been without it.”
It was during a Song Suffragettes set that an intern for SiriusXM first heard a performance of “Fight Like A Girl,” a song written with fellow performers Hailey Steele and Lena Stone. One pitch meeting later, Kalie’s first radio single was added to The Highway’s weekend show “On The Horizon” as the "YouTube Country Spotlight." A few weeks after that, it was chosen as a “Highway Find,” starting Kalie down the same breakout path of signed artists like Sam Hunt, Cole Swindell, Clare Dunn and Florida Georgia Line.
“When they told me about becoming a ‘Highway Find’, I just started crying,” says Kalie. “We call it the little song that could. For a song that will introduce me, I don’t think there could be a better choice.”
The very moment you meet Stephanie and Cheryl Lynn Spinner you will feel an instant sense of familiarity. People tell them this all the time. Whether you meet them in passing, or you see them live, you may just feel like you have known them for your whole life.
Spinn features the kind of instinctive vocal harmonies that seem to only come from kin, and they create country-rock songs that are deeply personal, and totally danceable. Add in an autoharp (that’s right, I said autoharp..) and feel your soul come to life to the soundtrack of their music. The proud history in country music of family bands singing close harmonies accompanied by autoharp runs deep. From the Carter Family, to Dolly Parton, to Spinn. While the Carters helped define the very notion of country music, Spinn is branching out.
Cheryl Lynn took up autoharp to give their live duo performances a unique twist. Though the autoharp is a big part of country tradition, nobody in Top-40 country plays one these days. Tradition is important to the Spinn sisters — Cheryl sometimes wears one of their dad’s favorite belts onstage, while Stephanie rocks a well-loved, broken-in pair of cowboy boots — and autoharp was a way to connect with country music’s past. It also adds a unique twist to their live shows, and not just because of the way an autoharp sounds.
"Cher has been known to "Rock out" pretty hard know the autoharp!" Says Stephanie. Laughing, Cheryl Lynn adds "I get pretty aggressive, I have to tape the banjo picks to my fingers or they fly across the room and have even popped a few strings on stage!" If autoharp suggests prim old-timey folk, the Spinn sisters give it a modern update, dancing and laughing their way through upbeat, super-energetic shows where it’s impossible to sit still.
The sisters describe their music as “city country,” which makes sense: they’re city girls playing songs with a country edge. The twins grew up in northern New Jersey, in a house where music was always on. “On Saturdays, our mom would be cleaning the house listening to Bruce Springsteen, and you’d go out to the garage and our dad would be working on the car, listening to Kenny Rogers,” Cheryl Lynn says.
They took to music at an early age, creating what they call “our first cohesive song” when they were 5. As kids they sang in a church choir, where they arranged harmonies for their elders and played in bands with friends in elementary and middle school. By high school, it was just the two of them, honing the rock and country influences they soaked up at home — along with acts like Patty Griffin, Sheryl Crow and Foo Fighters — and blended them into their own distinctive “city country” sound. “You have two girls, so in most instances, you would think folk,” Stephanie says. “But we have this pop-country side to us.”
Thankfully, They’ve focused more and more on that pop-country side, releasing two LPs and an EP since 2009. Fittingly, they got an inadvertent boost in 2013 with the arrival of Nash FM 94.7, the first country radio station in 17 years to serve greater New York City. “People were afraid to say they liked country,” Stephanie says. “But when we got a country radio station, everybody was like, ‘Oh my God, I love country!’ That gave us permission to lean a little more toward the country side of our sound than we had before.”
Spinn’s next EP, due in 2017, reflects their new sense of freedom. “This one is just putting everything out on the line for you,” Cheryl Lynn says. “It’s a total representation of us. Listen and you’ll know who we are.”
Chelsea Carlson is a roots-rock singer/songwriter from Morris County NJ. Described as a “young and ambitious” artist on the rise by Elmore Magazine, Chelsea has been taking the local music scene by storm since 2011. With influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to Adele, Chelsea is not your typical “singer/songwriter.” Her original music has been described as soulful, powerful, and full of emotion. Her vocal style has been compared to that of Grace Potter and Anne Wilson, and her songwriting is reminiscent of Carole King. It is Chelsea’s goal to take the heart of classic rock and blend it with the intensity of the blues, energy of modern rock and pop, and raw emotion of alternative music, into something new and exciting.
What started as appearances at local open mics and a dream has led Chelsea down an incredible path over the past few years. Chelsea’s dream of being becoming a professional musician (well, she probably called it “rock star” back then) began when she discovered the magic of the karaoke machine in the fourth grade and began writing her own songs at nine-years-old. That dream actually started to become a reality a few years ago when Chelsea left Berklee College of Music in 2011 to pursue her music career at home in New Jersey. She has performed at many noteworthy venues including the Bitter End in NYC, Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls, the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, and the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg. Her music has been played on numerous radio stations across the country, and her songs have been featured on multiple compilation albums including WNTI’s 55th Anniversary album and the 2016 Singer-Songwriter of Cape May album. In 2013, Chelsea was awarded Top New Female Act at the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards, which marked a turning point in Chelsea’s career and prompted her to head to the recording studio and begin work on her first album.
Chelsea’s debut album, “The Broken Road,” premiered in Songwriting Magazine and was officially released in February 2016. Following years of performing primarily as an acoustic soloist, Chelsea goes back to her rock band roots on “The Broken Road,” which features a full band. Recorded at JackedCat Productions in Hamilton NJ and produced by Dave Pirrocco (Led Zeppelin, Keith Richards), “The Broken Road” captures Chelsea’s unique musical style, combining modern singer/songwriter with roots rock. The title pays homage to Chelsea’s amazing musical journey so far, which she feels has shaped her both as a musician and a person and provided her with so many amazing, unforgettable experiences.
Music is Chelsea’s first love, but performance is a close second! Chelsea regularly performs throughout the tri-state area. Her shows are energetic and captivating. Whether she performs as a soloist, in a duo, or in a full band, Chelsea’s shows always leave the audience wanting more. No matter the setting, Chelsea’s true home is onstage!
In addition to her own music career, Chelsea teaches music lessons and hopes to share her knowledge of and passion for music and the music industry with young, aspiring musicians and songwriters. Through her music and performances she has organized, she has also set up fundraisers for breast cancer research, Hurricane Sandy Relief, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and regularly volunteers and performs at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Chelsea believes that music is a universal language and something that is better when shared.
In the rare moments when Chelsea is not playing music, you could find her playing with her five crazy dachshunds, decorating cakes, going to Renaissance faires, trying (and failing) to learn German, or binge-watching “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix for the four-hundredth time.
In an ever-changing music industry, Chelsea is someone you definitely want to keep your eye on!
Tickets will also be available at the door for $15 if space permits, however, advanced purchase is always recommended.