New Artist Spotlight: Shelly Fairchild
By Amanda Eckard

"I've got a lot of sass, and I think you can hear that on some of my songs," said newcomer, Shelly Fairchild. "I wanted this album to be sexy and swampy."

Fairchild caught the attention of iconic motorcycle company Harley Davidson, who invited her to perform at their national convention, numerous bike rallies and have generously provided Fairchild with Harley stage clothes.

Infused with the rock and soul of her native Mississippi Delta, Fairchild shares her history every time she sings. She grew up in a musical family and her "Paw Paw" bought Fairchild her first guitar on her sixth birthday.

Influenced by Country Music superstars Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr. and Travis Tritt, Fairchild landed major roles in musicals and national theatrical tours, including the lead in "Always, Patsy Cline" before signing with Columbia Records.

To capture the contrasts that make Fairchild unique, she worked with an atypical team on Ride, veteran Country Music producer Buddy Cannon (Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire) and Kenny Greenberg, a respected hot-shot guitarist and CMA Musician of the Year nominee who has produced rocker Edwin McCain and cutting edge artists Allison Moorer and the Mavericks.

Fairchild wrote four tracks on her album, including first single "You Don't Lie Here Anymore." Ride is set for release on May 3.


What moment in your life would you relive if you could?

"I built a little ladder with my grandfather when I was about 6 or 7. We were outside and it was a really hot Mississippi day and I remember him leaning down to me and saying, 'Baby, you're a really hard worker. Don't ever let anybody tell you that you're lazy.' I don't know why, but for some reason I've carried that with me. He's gone now, and I would love to be able to visit that day again."

Do you have a lucky charm?

"A friend of mine gave me a necklace that has a four leaf clover and a cross on it and I carry that with me everywhere I go."

What kind of album, other than Country, would you like to make?

"Maybe a Christmas record, or a Gospel record - that would make my Momma happy."

What instrument do you wish that you could play? 

"I keep a Blues Harp in my purse at all times. I'm trying to master that sucker."

What does Country Music mean to you? 

"Country Music represents a lot to me. It means family, it means gathering together to have a great time, it means laughter and some tears, and it's what I grew up on. It means my childhood and a huge part of why I am who I am."

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April 19, 2005
© Kristin Barlowe