Mysti Mayhem and Spellbox
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Mysti Mayhem and Spellbox

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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The first notes ring out of the Alvarez Misty is controlling, soon to be joined by the trademark mandocello, (a clever blend of a Mandolin and Cello), that Shawn wields as though an extension of the man himself. The first song is “Time for a Change”, a song written by Misty about the absurdity of the MTV of today. As the song begins I am captured most by the uncanny ability these two performers have to “bounce” the sound of the guitar and mandocello back and forth off of each other. She reaches the mic and then reaches the audience immediately with a sultry tone in a songlike manner. “What’s this on my T.V.?” The question rings through the room clearly and leaves you wanting the next line.

The hammering sounds of the mandocello are reminiscent of the many Led Zepplin albums I have at home, but it is a mandolin that Led uses, this is a mandocello. It has 8 strings paired together like a mandolin but the body is big allowing a resonate bass to the relatively high pitch of the strings.

This uncanny skill that the duo shares increasingly captivates the audience. As I look around I see people applauding the intro, the verse, and the chorus; unable to break away from this music. The lyrics are pronounced and delivered well despite the difficult tone range that Misty uses to illustrate her meaning.

In the time I watched this show I saw an audience increase of from about fifteen people to a good fifty by the time all was said and done. The songs performed are well structured to easily follow one another; yet another benefit for the audience.

The C.D. is great, but the experience at the show is greater still as you can see the swaying and movement behind the sound. Altogether a great stage show and one you should catch. - J. Bileyu


Spellbox are a duo springing up from the dark taverns (are there any other kind?) of Gainesville Florida and claim that they “Play as one, sound like five and captivate all.” Having recently toured around the country, they have performed over 200 shows as far west as LA and as far east as Cincinnati. Their press kit compares their sound to Janis Joplin, Ani Difranco, Led Zeppelin, Heart, Fleetwood Mac and from this century, the White Stripes.

The disc opens with “Egyptian Death March” that has a great feel and sound likes a uber produced version of a bedroom recording session, with a delightfully cheezy sounding fuzz guitar the likes of which I have not heard in years. This one also offers up a tip-top vocal performance by lead singer Mysti Mayhem (Is she kidding with that name) and the lyrics are a commentary on art versus consumerism. The melody also caught my ear in addition to solid acoustic guitar parts with mandolin support by Mandocello. Track two slows it down with the bluesy “U Gotta” and is a good showcase for Ms. Mayhem’s muscular vocal chops. `

“White Horse” is a pretty folk tune with an accessible chorus, stripped down instrumentation and another fine vocal performance. This one sounds like Spellbox has played it live many times in an intimate acoustic setting. Mr. Mandocello also sings a few lead vocals on songs like “Mandocello” and although he ain’t got the voice of his counterpart, he is certainly competent in selling a song and blends well with Mayhem who in turn offers up great supporting vocals. “Market St” is a strolling blues rocker that features alternating male/female lead vocals and is supported by some beautfully played harmonica that would make Paul Butterfield proud. The disc closes with “Open Mic”, which is an appropriate title to end a jewel of an acoustic record. This talented duo sounds like they could play this entire set in a coffee house without batting an eye; and the simple acoustic approach allows the purity of their alluring songs so shine through. Madmonk Grade: A - MADMONK News Artist Radio


"... the simple acoustic approach allows the purity of their alluring songs to shine through." News Artist Radio

"...Mysti Dawn Mayhem and Shawn Spencer - two people who play as one, sound like 5 and captivate all." -Adrienne Harris

"There is a need for raw talent in American music again. Beyond the shallowness that comes along with every pretty face you see on the T.V. there lies some talent but not since the 90s has there been, in my opinion, a truly talented group or artist until Spellbox." -Interview for The Sun

"There's no doubt that Mayhem's voice ranks high among the stars, comparable to Janis Joplin with a Tori-Amos-inspirational feel." -Florida Alligator

"A great mix of vocals, instrunmentals and lyrics. Very passionate and original. Spellbox is in a category of their own."-CDBaby Skydo

"Combined, the duo attacks the stage in a synchronous brilliance without one flaw of miscommunication." -UF Avenue Writer - Skydo


Discography

All available on cdbaby.com/spellbox
Egyptian Death March 2005
Long Way To Rock 2006
Believe 2007
Misty Dawn 2007
Trial By 12 2007

Photos

Bio

SPELLBOX is a rock, blues, and country duo of world class talent, based out of Durham, North Carolina and touring widely. Their debut album, Egyptian Death March, is available from cdbaby.com/spellbox. Their recent recordings featured Cactus Moser and Curtis Stone of Highway 101 and production by KG of Tenacious D and Boy Johnny John Spiker from Trainwreck. They produce their own videos. Mysti is the 15th artist out of more than 8000 on the internet community SellaBand to reach the goal of raising $50K through fan investments in order to record a top quality album, entitled Diversity. She is producing it herself along with Cactus Moser and Chris Stamey. Diversity was introduced at the world famous Paradiso in Amsterdam on August 15. Bring a treat to your stage with the spellbinding artistry, entertainment, and professionalism of SPELLBOX.