"We love people and we feel privileged each time we get to play music. We want everyone from all walks of life to get a sense of just how much and how deeply God loves them when they experience our music or see our live shows."
- Shelley & Cal
Eugene, Oregon husband and wife team, Shelley & Cal James joyously create music that soaks into listeners’ hearts and minds and moves even deeper into their spirits -- touching and changing everyone who hears it. Regardless of whether you’re listening to the soul-stirring songs found on Shelley & Cal’s new 4-song release “Something Goin’ On” from 44-4 Records – or clapping along to their captivating live performances – the joy and authenticity that is the very heart of Shelley & Cal’s musical mission always shines through. On “Something Goin’ On” Shelley & Cal reach deep into their diverse musical quiver and shoot sonic arrows into every music lover’s heart and offer something special for everyone.
The first single from Shelley & Cal’s much-anticipated release on 44-4 Records is the elegantly arranged and written "Maybe” which speaks to the hopes, yearnings and questioning that every human heart experiences. The video for “Maybe” (which was produced by Brandon Crouch and directed by Matt Floryan) beautifully illustrates Shelley & Cal’s relationship as artists and family and adds a compelling visual to the already enigmatic and uplifting song.
The whimsical and rockin' title track, “Something Goin' On” is a fun reminder of the joy of discovering that a friendship has possibly turned into true love; while "You Will Never Change” is about a love that will never betray us.
Another shining gem on “Something Goin’ On” is Shelley & Cal’s updated version of “Amazing Grace” which showcases a captivating, rarely heard chorus that brings new life to this cherished classic. "When we perform it, and people hear it for the first time, we've seen listeners’ eyes fill with tears," says Shelley.
Those new to Shelley & Cal’s live shows will find that they are as inspiring as their recorded music. "Our shows are very interactive,” describes Shelley. “The audience often finds themselves moved to sing along as if they were a planned part of the vocal landscape.” The shows feature a section they fondly term the “A Capella Power-Love-Duo." Modeled loosely on the vocal technique made famous by Bobby McFerrin - Cal sings the bass and rhythm parts while Shelley’s vocals soar overhead. All who will experience the live performances of Shelley & Cal can expect nothing less than a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As in marriage, Shelley & Cal are also artistic collaborators who co-write the music and lyrics and work closely with other songwriters. "We want to write songs that all people can relate to and bringing in other writers’ life experiences is one way to do that," says Shelley.
Shelley and Cal both come from musical families where music was a key influence in both of their lives. As a four-year-old, Canadian-born Shelley started singing with the family quartet and toured the Western provinces of Canada with her family performing at churches, festivals and even on local television as the Ratzlaff Family Singers. Shelley’s eclectic musical tastes were influenced by: Carpenters, Heart, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd and classic 80's rock bands she heard on the radio and on Mtv.
Cal’s parents were also musicians. His father was a bass player who toured with Peter, Paul & Mary and Cal Tjader and his mother was a jazz vocalist. Cal studied piano and violin in elementary and middle school and in high school picked up "my dad's class Fender ‘P’ bass and learned how to play contemporary music by watching classic rock videos on MTV and by listening to the stereo. “Classic Jazz, The Police, Missing Persons, ZZ Top, Duran Duran as well as Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire were all major influences," says Cal.
During his college years at the University of Oregon in his hometown of Eugene, Cal played bass in the U.O. joined a gospel choir and also performed with his brother in bands that made the rounds playing blues, jazz and reggae.
Shelley & Cal met in 1993 when Cal's brother Edwin suggested that Cal audition for a spot in the band Shelley helped start called, Pyramid Breakfast. "It was love at first note – both musically and romantically," says Shelley. Neither was completely sure what was happening or how it would affect the band's dynamic, so they did it right, and nurtured their friendship; but it was clearly serious and after a courtship of nearly two years, Shelley & Cal wed. They have been married now for 15 plus years. Adding more bliss to the equation, the ecstatic couple recently welcomed the birth of their first child Eva.
"There are divine messages threaded throughout our music -- messages of hope and reminders of how much God desires a relationship with us and wants to heal the broken-hearted.”
– Shelley James