DESPITE a self-imposed 30-year musical silence, Lancashire singer-songwriter Corrie Shelley has returned with a vengeance releasing three albums in quick succession along with an EP, ‘Ghostlight’ which arrived in 2020.
And if that wasn’t enough, she is also the driving force behind the ‘Mines, Memories and Music’ project which chronicles the lives and times of Lancashire miners.
But her recent successes were beyond her wildest dreams immediately after sitting her school’s music exam.
“I left school in 1987 and stopped writing and playing after I got a grade C at 16+ in music,” said Corrie.
“I thought I was crap and therefore couldn’t follow my dream of being a music teacher so I spat my dummy out, sold all my instruments and moved to Aberdeen.
“But I came back to music in 2015 after going to a ukulele festival, and after buying one our guitarist Les Hilton taught me how to play it. I played him one of the songs I’d written for my exam, ‘Love is Blind’ and he really liked it and suggested I take up writing again which I did and that’s how I found the passion again.”
Corrie’s band, with husband Stephen on percussion, bassist Nicki Louise and guitarist Les has been described as ‘Folk with a smattering of country,’ and listening to ‘Five Minutes More,’ ‘Storm Coming’ and ‘’My Shoes’ it’s easy to understand why, but there is far more at work here and a full listen to Corrie’s back catalogue is strongly advised.
“I just want to carry on writing songs that people want to hear and to play at the major folk festivals, even on the smaller stages. I’m also currently working on ‘Mines, Memories and Music,’ a new project where I’m interviewing former miners and their families and writing original songs based on the interviews. The plan is to take the project on tour around the north of England through the mining communities and into local schools, running song writing workshops with the children. Hopefully the album will be ready within the next 18 months.”
Before then, Corie has several gigs lined up:
5th September; Bradford Colliery Memorial Celebration.
11th September: Wigan Diggers Music Festival.
17th September: Sutton Manor Colliery Reunion.
3rd October – Edgworth Folk Festival.
26th November – Great British Folk Festival (Introducing Stage) Butlins Skegness.
“Music has always been in me from an early age, any chance to get up and sing and perform I jumped at it. I love seeing the reaction of people when one of my songs has hit a chord with them, somebody once told me to not hide behind the music stand, people have come to hear you so they must like you. They want you to succeed.”
Indeed we do Corrie, indeed we do.
Painted Memories: 2016 The Leaf and The Cane: 2017 Forget Me Not: 2019 Ghostlight (EP) 2020
Mines, Memories and Music: www.minesmemoriesandmusic.co.uk