Til Willis & Erratic Cowboys * John Maxfield * Shelley Miller
"Incognito seething rocker" - Expository Magazine
"A songwriter's songwriter...Miller inhabits her songs like a second skin..." - Wildy's World
Finalist - 2012 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest
Official Showcase - 2012 Folk Alliance Midwest (FARM) Conference
Semifinalist - 2012 Dallas Songwriters' Association Songwriting Contest
Semifinalist - 2012 Show Me the Music Songwriting Contest
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.
With a voice that darts between little-girl whisper and bluesy shout, Shelley Miller can bring a room to its knees - or get it jumping...sometimes all in one song. A versatile guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and intensely emotional performer (both solo and with her band, Shelley Miller and the BCC), 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. Four of her tunes appear in the soon-to-be-released indie movie 'Critical Nexus'.
"I love when Shelley plays at The Store. With just an acoustic guitar and her voice, she has the ability to take her audience on the emotional roller-coaster that most full bands wish they had."
- Rick LaCour, Booking Manager, The Store, Chicago, IL
Shelley released her fourth album, "February", in April 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 to help weave her stories. Special guests include Allison Russell (Po'Girl) on vocals and Joe Darnaby (Brighton, MA) on guitar.
Shelley's released her third album, "When It's All Gone, You Come Back" with a standing-room only show in March 2010. Featuring support appearances by members of Dolly Varden, Brighton, MA, The Micah Walk Band and Moxie Motive, "When It's All Gone..." showcases Miller's captivating voice and deepening maturity as a songwriter. Hailed by the AltCountryForum blog as "an absolute must", "When It's All Gone..." has received airplay on radio stations, podcasts and web stations around the world.
Miller's songs have won awards in the Indiegrrl, Mid-Atlantic, Blooming-Tunes, Dallas Songwriters' Association, Song of the Year, A Call to Arts and Just Plain Folks songwriting contests. In addition to her two CDs, she has appeared on the acclaimed Bloodshot Records 2007 release 'Songbook: Volumes 2 and 3', and on compilations released by Waterbug Records and SBS Records.
In addition to her solo work, Shelley has lent her voice and guitar skills to numerous other artists, both live and in the studio. 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
John Maxfield is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He released his first album in 2002 and founded Tantrum Niche Records that same year. He has since released many albums of his own and produced records for other bands and solo artists, such as Geoff Koch, Jonathan Toth From Hoth, Elise Pipitone, and many others. He frequently performs solo and with a band throughout the United States, and uploads music regularly to www.johnmaxfield.net, SoundCloud, and Facebook.
There are people who write songs, and then there are songwriters… people who write simply because they have no other choice, poets in denim who wonder if they’re poetic at all. It’s talk of fire, and the breath of storms passed that stirs the echoes of longing to express one’s self… Til Willis came along after the birth of rock and roll, but before the setting of the sun in the home state of Elvis. A state that as John Magnie says, “Eats the roots of American music.” And, out of this climate Til strode with the confident swagger of a man possessed with the desire to be a songwriter. Growing up on rock and roll made back during a time when “rock and roll” mattered, and it wasn’t about fashion and packaging, Til strives to deliver substance in his own orchard of sound. A listen to any of his albums, The Thought I Had, Shadow of the Future, Lovesick, Crimson Wind, or Cindershine confirms this level of commitment. It’s not bubblegum pop, or mindless distortion… This is American Rock, and Til has brought it to life on stages from Mississippi to California, Colorado to Oklahoma. He has headlined his own shows, as well as opening for such notable acts as Jesse Robinson, The Subdudes, Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos, Fainting Goats, and Pete Seeger. He has composed scores for plays by playwright Steve Goode, and student films made at the University of Colorado. He has produced albums for artists like Drew Fowler, in addition to producing all of his own recordings. In short Til Willis is an energetic young singer/songwriter with a voice that thunders, and a musical passion and vision that screams the haunted howl of hellhounds down a dusty road.