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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Starnes & Shah

Genre: Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Junkies' Description:

Dania Abu Shaheen (Shah) & Zilpha Starnes (Starnes) are two folk musicians from the opposite ends of the Earth. We don’t know how a girl from Texas and a girl from Lebanon started a group, but lets be glad they did because their interesting spin on the folk genre is bliss. Normally, the keyboard has to sit on the sidelines during many of history’s folk songs, but it’s a refreshing twist to hear it to be front and center in many of their newer tracks thanks to Starnes. Then we have Shah’s guitar work. Their early material is much more on the acoustic side while their later material needs an outlet or two. Unplugged material is the most vulnerable while the electric guitar gets your blood pumping. Shah does a great job playing in both instances. Their poetic lyrics spill out onto the mike quite nicely as they sing most of their songs together in harmony. All of this together, you have yourself two ladies that are sensational singer/songwriters.


Lucinda from Starnes&Shah on Vimeo.



Official Bio:

Starnes&Shah, featuring vocal duo Dania Abu-Shaheen (guitar/vocals) and Zilpha Starnes (keyboards/vocals), was formed in Astoria, NY in 2005. Bring a poet/songwriter from Lebanon together with a choirgirl from Dallas, Texas, and you get a unique musical counterpoint.

The songs range from pared down acoustic ballads to rock anthems complete with choral arrangements and layered guitar effects. They are stories rendered with Dania’s poetry and music. Zilpha’s harmonies play between exchange and tension to produce a signature sound.

On November 12, 2011 Starnes&Shah will release "Red Brick Tide," their third full-length album. "Red Brick Tide" packs a rock'n'roll punch with vocal and compositional complexity. Quirky synthesizers and hard-driving guitars augment the duo's trademark harmonies to conjure up nuanced narratives.

Starnes&Shah have released an acoustic EP titled "Here Again on the Island" (2006) and two full-length albums, "Summer in the Woodshed" (2007), and "Pink White Blue Green" (2009), featuring full band arrangements.

S&S have played shows in Northeastern cities including Burlington, Portland, Boston, Philadelphia, and their current home city, New York. They continue to play regular shows in New England and New York, and will be touring to promote "Red Brick Tide" in the spring and summer of 2012.


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