Exclusive Video Premier / GUITAR WORLD

We’re excited to share Shelly Waters’ new video for “Drive,” the title track from her new release out now on Moonwatcher Music.

Waters’ strong, deep Americana and Country sound and distinct voice are showcased here. This twangy, soulful song expertly conveys the lyrical meaning. That sense of longing, of knowing there’s gotta be more.

Waters shares, “I was inspired to write Drive by a story about a man who dreamed of taking a road trip. He worked, he planned, he dreamed, life happened…but so did cancer. Reflecting on his father’s life, the man’s son realized his father left him more than a car and an unfulfilled dream, but a life lesson. The son put his busy life on hold to take that trip…to find some answers…to Drive!”  Check out the video here.

Waters hails from the Cajun town of Rayne, LA. She picked up the guitar at an early age and hasn’t stopped strumming since.

Drive is her first album of all original songs, mining a deep Americana/Country vein. Featuring a wealth of amazing session musicians (Joe Taylor, Blair Shotts, Randall Bramblett and Sean O’Brien Smith), the first single ‘Drive’ highlights Shelly’s soulful croon with a low-slung bluesy sound. (Guitar World / Acoustic Nation)




This Nov. 4 release is singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist Shelly Waters’ debut recording, and she’s backed by some heavy hitters. Producer Joe Taylor adds guitars and mandolin to a crew of Randall Bramblett (Hammond B-3 and Rhodes), Blair Shotts (drums) and Sean O’Bryan Smith (bass). This is a genre-jumping group of Waters original songs.

My favorites are the bluegrass-blues flavored “Little Old House,” the slide-guitar-powered title song, the country-bopping “Dance in the Rain,” the twangy “She Waits” and the beautiful-but-exhausted “Need to Rest.” (HHHH)

Broad-minded Americana fans will dig this one. (Sun Herald)




I love the challenge of attempting to describe genre-less music and their artists. I’m not very good at it but I do love the challenge, nonetheless. Such is the case with new Moonwatcher Records artist, Shelly Waters, and her debut CD, “Drive.” To borrow a line from Donny and Marie, Shelly is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll . . . with a bit of great cajun spice thrown it to make things interesting.

To that point, Moonwatcher Records haunch, Joe Taylor, said of Ms. Waters, “For me her voice has that indefinable ‘it factor.’ I don’t know how else to describe it. She’s got what Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris and other great, iconic singers have—a voice with such distinctive character that you can easily recognize it.”  Boomerocity couldn’t agree with Mr. Taylor more.

It’s been said that the uniqueness of Waters’ voice may have something to do with the meandering path of her life story. Raised in the Cajun country of southern Louisiana and currently living on the coast in the southeast, she can draw for that diverse experience to write the kinds of great songs that she does.
When asked to name influences she runs down a list of names drawn from country, rock and Americana, but then she gets a little antsy and says, “I never wanted someone to hear me in concert and say ‘wow, you sound just like so-and-so. I’m Shelly, that’s who I am.”

Here’s a little insight into Shelly’s “Drive”:

“Little Old House” is a brilliantly written tune that conjures up childhood memories of a simple, humble upbringing that we all long for in contrast to the crazy world in which we live.  The title cut, “Drive,” is a poignant, not so gentle reminder to take advantage of every moment and opportunity afforded to us as well as serving as a personal metaphor for Shelly’s revitalized musical journey.  “Reaching for You” and “One and Only” (an homage to Patsy Cline) reaches back to the “swamp pop” of Waters’ upbringing.  “Need To Rest” was inspired by a small bird that nested on her boat while she was miles out to sea and uses the metaphor to point to life’s little resting places. “State Line” is a funky little rocker that smacks a little of Melissa Etheridge (and that’s a compliment!) while “She Waits” is a storytelling, acoustic-based ballad of comtemplation.

This is a great CD by an up and coming artist who I think we’ll hear a lot more about in the years to come. I’m keeping my eyes on her. (boomerocity.com)




If there is one word we would use to describe Shelly Waters’ music that word would be…real. In a world where most commercial artists have a sound that is about as genuine as a can of Cheese Whiz, Drive immediately stands out because it sounds like a real person with real emotions. Ms. Waters wrote all ten tracks on her Moonwatcher Music debut and they are all reflective and memorable. Shelly has some heavyweights backing her up. Artists lending their talents to these recordings include Joe Taylor (guitars, mandolin), Randall Bramblett (organ, piano), Sean O’Bryan Smith (bass), Blair Shotts (drums, percussion), and Sherry Hill (backing vocals). While Waters’ voice and songs may remind listeners of many classic singer/songwriters from the past and present, it’s hard to pin down exactly who she sounds like. And that’s probably because she isn’t really trying to sound like anyone but herself. If all the pieces fall into place as they should, Shelly may soon find herself playing for some huge crowds. Kickass cuts include “Little Old House,” “She Waits,” “One and Only,” and “Need To Rest.” (babysue.com)



Well-known Rayne Native Releases Debut Album

Signs record deal, revitalizes musical journey

The early years — a little, blonde-haired Rayne girl performing at local festivals and special events —- local fans still remember Shelly Pellerin belting out popular tunes as she fronted a live band.  Today, Shelly Pellerin Waters can be found singing songs from her new “Drive” CD under Joe Taylor’s Moonwatcher record label.

The first time Shelly Waters met the Moonwatcher Records’ owner, she found herself facing an impromptu audition. The veteran producer had heard Waters’ demos but needed to hear the voice devoid of home-production trappings. So he said, “play something for me and sing.”
Waters briefly flashed back to judging panels at youth beauty pageants, but quickly complied.  “She got two bars out and that was enough,” recalls Taylor, who signed on to produce Waters’ Moonwatcher label debut, Drive. “For me her voice has that indefinable ‘it factor.’ I don’t know how else to describe it. She’s got what Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris and other great, iconic singers have — a voice with such distinctive character that you can easily recognize it.”

The uniqueness of Waters’ voice may have something to do with the twists and turns of her story.  From a childhood in south Louisiana Cajun country to her Southeast coastal lifestyle today, there’s a lot of life in the songs Waters writes and sings. When asked to name influences she runs down a list of names drawn from country, rock and Americana, but then she gets a little antsy.  “I never wanted someone to hear me in concert and say ‘wow, you sound just like so-and-so,’ she says. “I’m Shelly, that’s who I am.”

Waters’ songwriting mines experiences for universal emotions. Inspired by a tiny bird that perched on her boat while she was miles out to sea, “Need To Rest” uses the metaphor to point to life’s little resting places.  “Drive” is a poignant seize-the-day reminder, inspired by a never taken father-son road trip and a personal metaphor for Shelly’s revitalized musical journey.  “Little Old House” conjures up childhood memories of a simple, humble upbringing.

The songs are rootsy, soulful and catchy, with “great hooks,” as Taylor notes, while Waters’ sultry voice smolders at the center of the mix. It’s truly impossible to put Drive in one stylistic camp, owing to Waters’ gumbo of disparate influences.  Both “Reaching for You” and “One and Only” (an homage to Patsy Cline) hearken back to the “swamp pop” of Waters’ upbringing — a regional subgenre perhaps best known for Phil Phillips’ 1959 hit “Sea Of Love” (later covered by Robert Plant and the Honeydrippers.)  On the other hand, “State Line” is mid-tempo rock with just the right touch of funkiness, while “She Waits” is a storytelling, acoustic-based ballad comparable to any big Nashville hit.

While there may be resonances with other iconic female singer/songwriters (both Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams come to mind) the product is “pure Shelly,” and a product of her undeniable creativity and soul.  In bringing her musical vision to life, Waters has been assisted by a merry cohort of copacetic sidemen, from Grammy-nominated Joe Taylor (who lends his formidable guitar skills) to well-known session pros Randall Bramblett (Widespread Panic, Bonnie Raitt) on Hammond B3 and Rhodes piano, Blair Shotts (Rihanna, The Roots) on drums, and Sean O’Bryan Smith (Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum) on bass.  Famed New York City recording engineer Mark Richardson (Alchematic Productions) captured the sound at Salt Creek Recording Studio and Grammy-winning mix/master engineer Chris Theis (Theis Mix) put the final touches on the project.

Perhaps as a testament to Waters’ writing, singing and musicianship, these respected musicians are leaving the cozy confines of their usual studio habitats to hit the road with Shelly, playing dates that include shows with Loretta Lynn and Hooray For the Riff-Raff.
“These players just love Shelly,” Taylor enthuses.

And surely Acadiana locals will enjoy Shelly’s new CD, “Drive.”

(Shelly is the daughter of Jimmie and Charlene Pellerin of Rayne and a 1986 graduate of Rayne High School.)

By Lisa Soileaux, Assistant Editor, Rayne Acadian-Tribune



Shelly Waters was a ten year-old when her parents gave her the idea for a hobby. She learned chords on her guitar from a local auto parts store manager and began playing. Within a year she was strumming with J.B. and the Muleskinners, and by the time Shelly was twelve she was fronting her own country band. As happens, the teenager in Shelly decided not to take the industry offers and she put her hobby in the closet for over a decade. Drive is the result of the muse in Shelly Waters’ life breaking down the door and looking for a ride. The country music she played as a child comes in as a classic influence on Drive though it is the future of the genre that gets the needed growing room. The album opens with “Little Old House” introduces the South Louisiana of her upbringing, keeping country at home with mandolins, staying warm with soft clouds of organ while the slash of guitar chords plays tag with the rock’n’roll in Shelly’s vocal . Drive dials in an AM radio country that pours like the weather over Shelly as she goes for a “Dance in the Rain”, puts funk in the gas tank as she heads to “State Line” and freckles the air with firefly notes as she answers the gypsy call in the title track. (thealternateroot.com)



Shelly Waters’ debut release for Moonwatcher Music has seen her link up with a whole heap of talented musicians, who have worked with stars like Keith Urban, Rihanna, Widespread Panic, The Roots, and others. It is testament to her talent that Shelly has also got these same musicians to head out on the road to support her as she embarks on a tour that includes dates alongside Loretta Lynn.

While her label boss asserts that “these players just love Shelly,” she looks set to gain plenty more fans with her latest, 10-track album. There is no doubt that ‘Drive’ could only have been made in the United States, with a distinct Americana flow that brings in tints of rock and a strong Country music swagger too.  Whether it is with the country-blues laden ‘Reaching For You,’ or the inspiring title track, Shelly never fails to impress with the musicality of the tracks. However, it is Shelly’s voice that really carries the day and makes this album stand out. Take the stripped back ‘She Waits’ for example, which lets the listener focus on the lyrics while the guitar plucks play lightly and organ lines bring a depth of feeling.

With a soulful and emotive delivery that is all her own, Shelly Waters shows exactly how she impressed Moonwatcher Records boss, Joe Taylor when called to audition for him. Taylor says that he made his mind up to sign Waters after just “two bars,” but there is much more than that on offer here.

With a rich, lush production backing her up, Shelly Waters looks set to become a real leading light of Americana, and will be sure to please and appease fans of everything from this style, through to swamp pop, country, acoustic rock, and folk.  At times the influences can seem to be writ large, such as the Dire Straits-sounding guitar lines on ‘Revolve,’ but it would be unfair to compare this album to closely to that of others. Shelly shows she is her own woman, with her own voice as ‘Drive’ offers a relaxed yet emotive selection that deserves attention from fans of Americana, rock, and more.

Well worth a look…(PopcultureZ, UK)




Ten singer-songwriter tracks mixing up country, rock and blues. The key to Waters sound in that trio is country, with a brace of tracks that is more sounds of Bakersfield than today’s radio. Not to say this is retro, far from it. Tracks like “Dance in the Rain” do come across like a Patsy Cline outtake with authentic sound and mix. However, “Revolve” is an all together more modern sounding track – still country, but atmospheric, with Clapton-esque lead work from Joe Taylor. The clear single here is “Promises” which melds an R&B beat and pop hooks for a great chorus – it’s not hard to visualize a crowd singing along to this one. “One and Only” is a more straight forward bluesy ballad, think Etta James, while “State Line” adds a bit of Hammond driven funk to the proceedings. The singer-songwriter field is overcrowded at the moment, but Waters songs are well worth searching out if you’re a fan of those first sentence genres or just good music in general. Produced by Joe Taylor. (San Diego Troubadour)



Shelly Waters releases new record – Drive is out November 4

In August, local country music songstress Shelly Waters opened up for Loretta Lynn at Boone Hall Plantation, and now she’s releasing a brand-new album. Drive features Charleston musicians including Joe Taylor, Randall Bramblett, Blair Shotts, and Sean O’Brien Smith. Recorded at Taylor’s Charleston studio and released on his own Moonwatcher Records, the 10-track album is slated for a Nov. 4 release on Amazon and iTunes. (Charleston City Paper)

Posted by Kelly Rae Smith on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 5:12 PM





There’s a new artist on the Americana scene, but Shelly Waters is not a beginner. A native of Louisiana’s Cajun country, Waters previously worked in the genre known regionally as “swamp pop,” but Drive finds her, well, driving down many of the various lanes that the Americana tag offers. And clearly her eyes are on the road. “Dance in the Rain” is a classic country shuffle that’ll get listeners off the hay bale and onto the dance floor, “Reaching for You” is a bluesy torch song that recalls Patsy Cline and “She Waits” is a quiet tearjerker about an absent lover. The album’s title cut is also one of its most striking; “Drive” has an unmistakable Allman Brothers Band feel to it as it borrows from “Midnight Rider” but it is Waters’ strong voice that’s the star, plaintive one moment and determined the next and with all the emotion heightened with slide guitar interplay from Joe Taylor. Fans should be thankful for whatever it was that made Waters decide to tweak her sound as Drive reveals a stunning talent not far from household name status. (antimusic.com)



Pittsburgh in Tune

Shelly Waters showcases her vocals, songwriting chops on sublime new album ‘Drive’
I doubt I’d ever get tired of hearing Shelly Waters sing. The Louisiana native has one of those voices that lures you right in and proceeds to envelop you in sonic warmth. Hopefully latest album “Drive” will be the album that puts the talented singer/songwriter on the map. Waters has earned comparisons to the likes of Shawn Colvin and the great Emmylou Harris, but takes pride in the uniqueness of her emotive vocals. “I never wanted someone to hear me in concert and say, ‘Wow, you sound just like so-and-so,’” Waters explains. “I’m Shelly, that’s who I am.” She’s filled the 10-track release with a host of first-rate tunes that showcase her voice and writing chops. My favorite cuts are “Little Old House,” the title track, “One and Only” and the rocking “State Line,” but Waters also scores with “Dance in the Rain,” “Promises” and closer “Need to Rest.” Highly recommended. —Jeffrey Sisk (Pittsburgh in Tune)



Bluegrass with a twist and a view at Edisto Island festival

While most people are heading to Halloween-related events or driving north to leaf-peep this weekend, one of the most laid-back festivals of the fall takes place Saturday at a picturesque coastal plantation.

The music at Edisto Island Mostly Bluegrass Festival shares the starring role with the grounds of Westbank Plantation, where the sea breeze wafts through centuries-old live oaks with tidal creeks winding in the background.

In that location, a bunch of kids playing kazoos might be enough, but festival organizers recruit performers to equal the stunning location.

The headliner is Hurray for the Riff Raff, which is Alynda Lee Segarra’s take on Americana music. Segarra’s rootsy folk sound has landed gigs on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Conan” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

Shelly Waters with the Joe Taylor Group brings a Creole-Country flavor to the festival, while the rest of the lineup is more bluegrass oriented – Southern Flavor Bluegrass, Blue Iguanas, Flatt City, Blue Plantation, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, and Lonesome River Bank.

Doors open at 11 a.m., music starts at noon, Hurray for the Riff Raff takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the gate. Bring your own chair, but leave the cooler at home. Dogs are allowed on leashes. Beer and wine is available at the festival. Concessions feature the Roti Rolls food truck and Po Pigs Bo-B-Q. More info: www.edistobluegrass.com (The State)

Joey Holleman