CITY OF OURAY: Sisters of SHEL kick off music series

By Sheridan Block

A touch of folk, a pinch of pop and a hint of classical sounds will create a beautiful blend of harmonies when the sisters of SHEL take the stage during the Mountain Air Music Series in Ouray on Thursday.

The Fort Collins-based band of the four Holbrook sisters — Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza (SHEL) —  will kick off the third annual event in Fellin Park, capturing the attention of concertgoers with their uniquely crafted tunes and whimsical sense of style.
“There are a lot of different facets to (our music),” said lead vocalist and mandolinist Eva Holbrook. “We’re all classically trained musicians and we play acoustic instruments and have a drum kit.”
If she had to cluster the band’s music into a specific genre, Holbrook guessed “Americana” or “indie rock” would best fit their sound. The band cites influences that include The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.
The group has spent some time touring across the country over the last few months and spends half their time in Nashville, Tenn., with their record label Moraine Music Group. SHEL has been professionally performing together for nearly 14 years, garnering much attention and appreciation for the group’s talent with an ever-growing fan base across the nation. The sisters have a lengthy musical resume that includes performances at distinguished music festivals such as South by Southwest, Lilith Fair and Nashville’s Music City Roots. SHEL released their first full-length, self-titled album in 2012, which was well-received by critics and fans alike.
Having grown up in Colorado, Holbrook said the family has been through Ouray several times, and she is enthusiastic to actually have the chance to perform in town. She added that concertgoers should expect a diverse and dynamic experience, as the group will take them on a ride with their performance.
“We want to draw people in for an experience… they can come and listen and get lost in the music for a while,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to meeting the community and playing some music up in the mountains. We’re so excited to be coming back to Colorado.”
SHEL will headline the first installment of the month-long Thursday evening music series. Bluegrass, indie folk group Taarka from Lyons, Colo., will be the opening act. As with all opening bands throughout the series, Taarka will also perform at O’Brien’s Pub from 9 to 11 p.m.
Concerts are free and are family and pet friendly. Each week a local non-profit organization will benefit from beer, wine and spirit sales. Additional non-profit groups will also be fundraising by selling food and running entertainment for children. A wide selection of food, beverages and treats will be available for purchase. Music begins at 6 p.m.
The Mountain Air Music Series and Ouray Chamber Resort Association appreciate concertgoers' participation in keeping the concerts safe and fun for family and friends by being courteous of others. The committees request that attendees not bring outside alcoholic beverages into the park, keep pets on leashes, monitor children and refrain from smoking marijuana in public (which is prohibited by state law).