june shellene
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june shellene

Evanston, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Evanston, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter


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"About WAIT 'TIL MIDNIGHT ENDS & June Shellene"

About Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends, June Shellene

“A very, very, very good piece of work.” Rick Kogan, WGN Radio

Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends is a phenomenal experience from start to finish. June Shellene’s extraordinary piano playing coupled with her exotic voice make for some of the best sounding music to be found.
Reviewed by: Rhonda Readence

June Shellene’s jazz-infused album is a timeless classic. A voice beyond compare, Shellene’s latest release
embodies a timeless quality that brings to mind numerous jazz greats before her.
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Reviewed by Annie Reuter

Her style is a cross between Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, and Ella Fitzgerald, giving the listener a delightful taste of something modern and something old fashioned at once.
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Reviewed by Andrea Guy
- Various

"A Massage for the Ears"

Review Summary:

June Shellene’s album Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends encompasses smooth jazz, blues, and even a bit of country in a 13 track journey through June’s creativity. Extraordinary piano playing coupled with June’s exotic voice makes for some of the best sounding music to be found. Jazz lovers will be delighted with this offering and lovers of quality music of any genre will be equally pleased when they listen to this album. Wonderfully produced and engineered, the sound quality is amazing, not to mention the instrumentation, composition, and performance. Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends is a phenomenal experience from start to finish.


The music of June Shellene can best be described as a massage for the ears, and the mind. Relaxing, calming, and smooth, it has the power to wash away the every day troubles that weigh us down. June’s album Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends is a culmination of June’s impressive musical experience that spans decades. From the soothing opening notes of the first song to the quiet ending of the last, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends is an album that will delight jazz aficionados and blues lovers alike. The album opens with the title track where the listener is treated to June’s extraordinary piano playing. It is light and performed with the skill of someone who is clearly very comfortable at the keys. June’s voice is strong and commands respect while still retaining a softness. The rhythm of this piece is graceful and the composition is simplistic and pleasing. “Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends” is the perfect way to begin the album.

“Not Good Enough Blues” is up tempo with a bluesy vibe. This piece is exceptional and June’s vocals are spot on. The lyrics carry a slightly tongue-in-cheek humor to them and June’s delivery is excellent, showing a fantastic understanding of the way blues should sound, which notes to emphasize and which to soften. The musicianship on this piece is fantastic as well, especially the guitar work. “The Craziest Game” takes the album down a whole new path with an unexpected Spanish flair, boasting her diversity of style. June’s vocals during this track are strong and she hits the high notes with perfection. This song is an all around winner, perfectly engineered, and performed with brilliance.

After the dramatic ending of “The Craziest Game,” the soft and slow beginning of “Make A Little Time For Love” is haunting and thought provoking. The lyrics are masterful and deal with the beginning of the end of a relationship, for no other reason than people are too busy to make time for love. A lesson everyone should take to heart, June delivers it with angelic vocals and an overall feel of 1920’s jazz, complete with a crowded, smoky room, a sexy songstress in a slinky black gown, and a lightly tinkling piano. Exceedingly well done, “Make A Little Time For Love” is perhaps Shellene’s signature song.

“One City Block” is more story than song, one that carries a slightly sinister undertone. This track is full of imagery as June takes us through the city, describing in detail what she sees. The most visual of all the tracks yet, “One City Block” is written more for the mind’s eye than the ears, and is the most lyrically sound piece on the album yet. “Lincoln Avenue” is a track with attitude and the saxophone playing is extraordinary. June’s voice is silky and smooth, the very epitome of jazz singing. Every note is clear and thoughtful. “Stone Cold Sober” slows it down so the listener can fully feel that it is a lyrically compelling masterpiece about the blossoming of a new love, and then the inevitable comedown from the high. It’s full of beautiful sadness, with a melancholy mood and excellent instrumentation throughout.

Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends continues with fluid and light piano work on “Just In Case,” a track that would be the perfect addition to a movie soundtrack. The sound quality is stellar and this is another perfectly produced piece with clarity of sound and clean notes throughout. “Tattoo” shakes things up with a country flair and foot tapping rhythms. Clearly, June Shellene is able to branch out into other genres besides jazz and blues, and this track is a fun one. Lively, upbeat, with lyrics that are humorous without losing focus, “Tattoo” is an unexpected surprise that will delight lovers of country and rockabilly. “Crazy Sue” brings the rhythm of the album back home, with slow tinkling piano under June’s haunting voice lamenting the plight of a woman named Sue. Sue is crazy. One of the saddest melodies on the album, this piece will make listeners think and feel. June’s voice carries emotion and sincerity and the cello playing is a brilliant touch that brings the sadness of this song home.

“Polar Bear Blues” offers sad humor and imagery regarding the plight of polar bears stuck in zoos. Another thought provoking piece, June makes listeners contemplate the life of polar bears in captivity and perhaps how they feel having nothing to do and nowhere to go. The trombone playing is a nice touch and adds the flair that is needed in this slow, sad number. June picks it back up with “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down,” a much needed lift. The sadness of the preceding two tracks fades as the jazzy New Orleans vibe of this piece digs in. One of the most instrumentally sound tracks on the album, this piece has blaring trumpets, trombones, clarinets, and the best collaboration between the musicians yet. Upbeat, uplifting, lively and loud, this track is by far the best example of the talent and diversity of June Shellene and her band of exceptional musicians.

The album ends with “Before The Fall”, and is the perfect way to close Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. By now, the listener is familiar and comfortable with June’s voice and her fantastic piano playing, not to mention her extraordinary lyrics and the way her music can bring forth emotions and memories. “Before The Fall” is a short, sweet track that embodies the June Shellene experience. Her music is played with confidence, talent, and the remarkable surety of one who has been doing something she loves dearly for many years. It is evident that June Shellene’s passion is music and she has done an outstanding job channeling this in her album Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends.

Review by Rhonda Readence.
Rhonda Readence is a freelance writer based out of Cleveland Ohio who currently writes the Artist of the Week feature for Exciting City Magazine. Rhonda has been blessed with a great love of writing and music, and has somehow managed to combine those two passions to become a music writer. Rhonda also blogs daily on her myspace page, www.myspace.com/sickchick88, about a wide range of topics including music, writing, and life in general.

- Reviewed by: Rhonda Readence

"Don’t wait ‘til midnight ends to listen to this CD!"

When you listen to Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends you may feel a sudden calmness take over you. It is a quiet album, much like the time just after midnight when most of the world is at rest. June’s has a voice that is both sexy and gentle at the same time. Her style is a cross between Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, and Ella Fitzgerald, giving the listener a delightful taste of something modern and something old fashioned at once.

The music combines jazz and blues, the kind of sounds you expect to hear in a dark martini bar, smoky and full of romance. The song “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down” sounds like something from the 30s or 40s. “The Craziest Game” is a wonderful Spanish-flavored track that will the have the listener reaching for castanets. “Tattoo” is old school blues that you’d expect to hear on a street corner in New Orleans or maybe being played by someone riding on a boxcar traveling down the rails.

Just as those songs feel like they were pulled from another time period there’s “Make A Little Time For Love” where she sings about two lovers doing things separately such as watching TV or surfing the Internet. The song details a couple that is growing apart because they are busy with other things instead of their relationship. June sings the song as a third person that is observing the couple. It is a little bit voyeuristic, in a helpful way. June is like a guardian angel, reminding them to make time for love.

“Lincoln Avenue” is an up-tempo number that has a very sexy sound, thanks to June’s vocals and the wonderful sax playing by Steve Eisen. The music for the title track, “Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends” is a perfect fit for the lyrics. With your eyes closed you can envision a perfectly starry night as the tabla beats make you want to sway.

Each song on Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends takes you someplace different, whether you feel you are traveling back in time by listening or if it is to a particular point in a relationship. June does this in the most soothing manner possible. Songs such as “Crazy Sue” are sung so sweetly that they really feel like a lullaby. Even the way she plays the piano seems light and airy. Even the songs that are peppier are delivered in her gentle manner.

This is an album that takes all the stresses out of your day. It makes you want to kick back and sip a fine vintage and just chill, letting June’s lush vocals wash over you. It makes you want to snuggle close to someone you love. This album will move you to slow down your pace, to sit back and just enjoy and maybe even do what one of the songs suggest, “Make A Little Time For Love.”


Reviewed by Andrea Guy. Andrea Guy hails from Southwestern Pennsylvania where she collaborates with several friends on an online music site called Mossip on Livejournal. Mossip features music reviews gossip and the editorial column, Elfslut says that is Andrea's pet project among other fun musical features. - Reviewed by Andrea Guy

"June Shellene’s jazz-infused album is a timeless classic"

With soulful vocals, June Shellene impresses on her latest release, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. No newcomer to the music scene, Shellene’s first album The Lost Art of Love won two achievement awards from Billboard Magazine. A powerful vocalist, Shellene satisfies the listener as she blends jazz, blues and soul on Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends.

Self-produced with bassist Jim Cox, this 13-track album combines delicate piano, fitting percussion and soulful saxophone features throughout. Despite the talented musical accompaniment, it is Shellene’s powerful vocals that leave the greatest impact. Her singing style blends well with the music, soaring at the perfect moment and fading to a whisper when she sees fit. Having been featured in David Mamet’s film, House of Games, and taught piano and voice at the Old Town School, pianist and singer-songwriter Shellene, continues to display her passion for music on her latest LP. Whether she’s singing about things she wishes life would present her on “Not Good Enough Blues” or belting out her emotions in between horn features on “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down,” Shellene’s talent is undeniable.

Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends begins with the six-minute long title track. A glimpse of what’s to come on the remaining 12 songs, Shellene’s voice accentuates the piano, bowed bass and percussion accompaniment. The seductive “Make a Little Time for Love,” brings to mind Rosemary Clooney’s infamous “Mambo Italiano.” With upbeat percussion and a European vibe that transports the listener back in time, it is a song easily enjoyed on repeat. This standout track combines accordion, bass and percussion alongside Shellene’s pitch-perfect singing.

Though the piano is the chief instrument heard on most of the album, additional saxophone and horn interludes add diversity. “Lincoln Avenue” showcases Shellene’s sultry singing style combined with soulful saxophone accompaniment while “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down” switches gears with a slow story-like introduction with trumpet and clarinet features.

“Tattoo” is a refreshing change from previous songs on Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. Not a complete escape from her jazz roots, the track embodies an intriguing rustic country vibe. While previous songs could easily be envisioned in a jazz club, “Tattoo” has a telling southern influence that brings to mind soul music championed in Memphis. Next, “Crazy Sue” further diversifies Shellene’s music. With beautiful cello accompaniment, the emotion-filled song tells the tale of a woman lost and alone. With soft piano and wavering cello, the slower music accentuates the story within the song.

A voice beyond compare, Shellene’s latest release embodies a timeless quality that brings to mind numerous jazz greats before her. Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends is an album that no doubt will stand the test of time. Continuously evoking emotion throughout each track, one can hear her passion for music on each song and only wonder at the power her next album will evoke.


Reviewed by Annie Reuter, a New Jersey/New York-based freelance writer and music blogger, covers shows in and around the tri-state area. Some of her reviews and interviews have been featured on MTV.com, RollingStone.com and AbsolutePunk.net. In addition to these sites, Annie keeps up her own music blog, yousingiwrite.blogspot.com, where she has interviewed members of Switchfoot, the Ataris and most recently, up-and-comer Colbie Caillat. - Reviewed by Annie Reuter


Still working on that hot first release.



Pianist and singer June Shellene celebrates the release of her second CD, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends, a self-produced (with bassist Jim Cox) collection of original songs. Her first CD, The Lost Art of Love, won two achievement awards from Billboard and her songs haves been covered by an array of artists, from jazz pianist Judy Roberts, to Broadway powerhouse Patti Lupone. Fans of Sons of The Never Wrong know June as the popular trio’s pianist, while theatre fans may remember her as a performer/musician, a writer (Dealing at Northlight Theatre) or musical director/producer (Steppenwolf’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, in Chicago and on Broadway.) Her voice is featured in David Mamet’s classic film, House of Games, and her teaching schedule has included piano and voice at the Old Town School and music theory for Ravinia’s Education Outreach.

Go to www.juneshellene.com for details.