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EP Review: Shelley Skidmore – Self-Titled EP

Artist: Shelley Skidmore

Album: Shelley Skidmore – EP

Year: 2016

Label: Reelhits

Genre: Country

I was digging through Spotify a little while ago—as one does and stumbled upon this little gem of a country EP. Shelley Skidmore released a five-song EP back in 2016 with Reelhits, and I’m so excited because it’s country! It’s got that late 90s, early 2000s feel. The songs are relatable, catchy, and timeless.

Shelley grew up in a musical family in Stanton, Kentucky in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She’s been singing since she was a little girl with her first stage performance at the age of five. It shows! Shelley has a phenomenal stage presence, she’s fun-loving, and has a great sense of humour—three things you need in this industry. Don’t you let this goofy redhead fool you, she’s also a hardworking, and dedicated musician. By the age of 12, Shelley had studied piano, voice, and mandolin. She also attended Belmont University in Nashville to earn her degree in Music Business. You may also recognize a couple of her songs, “Done Runnin,” and “I’ve Got You And You’ve Got Me” from ABC’s primetime series, Nashville.

Her wit and humour are showcased incredibly well in the first song on her EP, “White Picket Fences” which pokes fun at the all too relatable stereotypes of small town living. I’m a sucker for songs like “Pawn Shop.” This song is touching, and it leaves you thinking about the message, which she sings beautifully in the bridge. “Dreams don’t die even when they’re broken/tomorrow when that sign says “open” that guitar or that wedding band/will start a new dream second hand.”

She’s taken an interesting angle in this song. Rather than pinning the dreams to the people, Shelley tied them to the objects.Things for someone else to pick up and make their own dreams with. It brings to mind one of my favourite songs, Chely Wright’s “Emma Jean’s Guitar” where a guitar is picked up from a pawn shop and given a new life.

Shelley picks the pace back up with “Makin Babies.” This song is just plain adorable; I can’t even begin to explain how cute it is, you’ll just have to listen for yourself! “What You Need from Me” is a beautiful ballad featuring, Shelley’s husband, Greg Bates. It’s a song about knowing that no matter how hard you try, you can never be the person someone else needs you to be.

She closes off her EP with “Back In The Saddle,” an upbeat tune that’s just downright fun as hell. It features a very well known, very talented group of women: Brandy Clark, Deana Carter, Kathy Mattea, and Matraca Berg—the original composer of the song who’s version also featured a star-studded group of women.

This EP is the perfect display of Shelley Skidmore’s talent, her sense of humour, and humility. If you’re a fan of late 90s early 2000s country, I’m pretty positive you’ll most definitely love this EP.

Favourite songs: Pawn Shop, What You Need From Me