“That scream is primal!” – The New York Times
“Half the fun in seeing this volatile NYC jazz-folk-blues-punk outfit lies in watching the unfamiliar react the first time lead singer Shilpa Ray opens her mouth. Typical reaction: shock and awe. She looks tiny and jovial (especially surrounded by her menacing, dudely band mates), but goddamn can she ever shriek, alternating jazzy, evocative moans (she’s inspired Billie Holiday comparisons, and for once they don’t sound totally ridiculous) with a nuclear-grade, paint-evaporating, continent-shifting howl loaded with more volume, rage, and pathos than the entire Ozzfest lineup combined.” – Village Voice
“With lush arrangements in her Happy Hookers material, Ray is free to let her powerful voice explore its own snags, peaks and valleys in a joyous and inquisitive way. From a Bessie Smith coo to a dirty rasp, she intones lyrics about the messy business of being alive which, taken on their own, read like poetry.” – NY Press
Mere months after the demise of her former project â€“ the critically-acclaimed Beat The Devil â€“ Shilpa Ray is already stirring up a ruckus with her new band. Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers hits the ground running, taking Shilpa’s voice and songs to new heights: grinding blues, sleazy jazz, and disturbing rock tied together with pop and punk sensibilities. The result? Something like a vulgar Ella Fitzgerald crooning in front of a wall of distortion and thunderous, pounding rhythms.
The band reads like a who’s who of recent NYC rock luminaries â€“ members of Creaky Boards, Soft Black, Kapow!, and cult rock producers The Negatones. Their live shows are already a notorious commodity: theyâ€™ll be a featured act at the Rock For Rights benefit at Lincoln Center later this month and at the BAM Sounds Like Brooklyn festival. Recorded by Jay Braun (Cat Power, JSBX, Fiery Furnaces, The Stills, Chuck D) their debut album A Fish Hook An Open Eye captures the band’s raw and unique sound in 8 solid tracks, demonstrating depth, ability, and emotional scope. It eclipses anything from Shilpa Ray’s already-lauded past. But Shilpa is not looking back: it is the band’s goal to release and viciously tour this record throughout 2009.
> May Pianos Residency (Wednesdays):
> 5/13 New York, NY â€“ Pianos with Drink Up Buttercup, the Wild Yaks & more
> 5/20 New York, NY â€“ Pianos with Ford & Fitzroy, Overlord and Higgins
> 5/27 New York, NY â€“ Pianos with Secret Toy Surprise, Native Black & the Octagon
> 7/16 New York, NY â€“ Castle Clinton: Sly Stone Tribute Concert