Singer/Songwriter living in Nashville, Tennessee
For the last couple of guests of our “Nashville’s Most Stylish” series, we bring to you three independent designers and one singer (and no, we’re not recycling Holly Williams!). Say hello to Shelly Colvin, who’s musical roots were embedded even before kindergarten (her father was a Baptist minister of music). But as our most recent multi-talented Nashville ladies have shown us, the true creatives don’t settle in just one outlet. Take Shelly for instance. She recently launched her album, Up the Hickory Down the Pine, and was cast in small roles on television shows like VHI’s “Rock the House” and blockbuster movies like Spiderman 3 (who said her roles were that small?). She has also been a stylist and fashion consultant to other talented folks like Mumford and Sons and the Punch Brothers. Take a look below to find out more about Shelly’s varying interests in fashion and music and for a complete (when I say complete, I mean in list form and everything) itinerary for your next trip down to Nashville.
When did you decide you wanted to pursue music?
I’ve had a passion for making music since I was just a kid but didn’t know how to pursue it professionally until I left college and moved to LA. I stumbled upon a cold audition for a singer in a girl band that was listed in one of the trade magazines. Admittedly, I wasn’t very good, but somehow managed to get the gig. That first band didn’t get off the ground (and I won’t incriminate myself by telling you about it) but it did lead to meeting many of the folks I still work with today.
How would you describe your music/songs to someone who’s never heard it before?
I would say its a blended cocktail of my bluegrass, country and gospel learned from singing with my family growing up in Alabama, mixed with a hippy country rock that comes from working with people like Chris Hillman and Jackson Browne back in LA, then throw in a little rock n’ roll from singing and playing with bands like The Black Crowes, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Brendan Benson, Jack White, and The Weeks, etc.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find inspiration from an infinite number of things….my dog, my husband, my log cabin, other people’s stories, pretty textiles, Jim Harrison’s poetry, too much wine, etc… : )
Does living in Nashville reflect or influence your work at all?
Absolutely. There’s a direct, palpable influence just living somewhere so much musical history was made. Its simply in the air here. Its also easy to be influenced by the so many incredibly talented people living here. The music community is so supportive collaborative, and the level of talent pushes me to be better. It’s all positive pressure here.
Describe to me your personal style.
My style is to always be comfortable. I wear mostly basics mixed with vintage jewelry and accessories. But when it comes time to put on a dress, I’m a textile addict so I love interesting fabrics that drape the body.
How has fashion been a part of your career – I know you’ve worked previously as a stylist for Mumford and Sons.
My work in fashion has stemmed from working for clothing designer, Billy Reid. He’s an extraordinary designer and person, from whom I’ve learned so much. I began styling artists and customers out of his Nashville shop, which led to working with Mumford & Sons, The Alabama Shakes, Old Crow Medicine Show, and others. I’m around artists all the time, so it’s nice to be able to lend a hand when they need it. Most bands don’t have the time to think about what they put on to wear for a show or photo shoot, so I’ve enjoyed being helpful when needed. It’s another fun creative outlet for me.
Where are the best places to shop for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces in Nashville?
I’m always thrifting for those one-of-a-kind pieces. My favorite vintage shops are Savant on 12th Ave, and Wonders on Woodland in East Nashville. I’ve found some great pieces at the Nashville flea market as well.
Any places you’d recommend a visitor must go and see when in Nashville?
I’m not sure where to start here…there are so many. If you were doing Nashville in a (long) day, I would recommend trying to squeeze in as much as you can of the following:
1) Breakfast at Marche Artisan Foods in East Nashville
2) Trip to the Country Music Hall Of Fame
3) Visit some fun local shops around town: White’s Mercantile, Billy Reid, Imogene + Willie, Peter Nappi, Savant Vintage, Hatch Show Print
4) Lunch at Mas Tacos in East Nashville
5) Stroll through Cheekwood Botanical Gardens or The Frist Museum, and the lobby of The Hermitage Hotel.
6) Dinner at Cafe Margot, Rolf & Daughters, City House, Husk, Capitol Grille, or Lockland Table (all wonderful)
7) Then head to the Grand Ole Opry or a show at The Ryman, followed by a night cap at Robert’s Western World on Lower Broad
How would you describe the city of Nashville?
Nashville is a city that feels like a town. You might prefer other climates to our middle Tennessee weather, but you’ll never find better people. It’s the kindest city I’ve ever been to. You can’t help but fall in love with it.
Your absolute favorite places to grab coffee or brunch.
Favorite coffee: Barista Parlor
Favorite brunch: Margot Cafe or Margot’s sister restaurant, Marche Artisan Foods