by Sarah Barber
Excellence in any field—whether mixing cocktails behind a bar or composing original music—demands hours of committed practice. However, in the case of local band Shakin’ Not Stirred, talent compensates for divided attention, as all four musicians have full-time careers and consider musical performance their “playtime."
Amazingly, they’ve managed to launch their first CD, which includes mostly original arrangements and comes across as effortless. While it is evident from their album cover photographs that this group of guys and gals fits the baby-boomer demographic, their sound is equally '60s-era folk.
Lead-singer Michelle Coleman’s buttery voice holds its own against the energetic strings of acoustic guitar, bass and mandolin, but leaves plenty of room for the gestalt effect of her bandmates’ three-part harmonies. The vocal collaboration in “Hang Tough” will make anyone wish they could carry a tune as well, while “Set Your Sails “ begs for a sing-along.
Though double-oh-seven famously uttered the words in all seriousness, Shakin’ Not Stirred keeps solemnity to a minimum. With upbeat, sometimes humorous lyrics and occasional end-of-song giggles, they’re not quite A Mighty Wind material, but they know folk is fun. Expect a lot of life in their live performance when they celebrate their self-titled debut. Take the whole family to meet the artists at the Linen Building at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 27. A mere $7 will get you in, and there's a full bar (ID required) in case you need a martini that's, uh, shaken—not stirred.