Shirley Albert
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Shirley Albert

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"Shediac's Shirley Albert pumped for big show"

When country music promoter Ron Sakamoto called Shediac native Shirley Albert to ask her if she would like to perform at the Country Rocks The Hill show that takes place this weekend, Shirley couldn't help but wonder if the call was a joke.
I was surprised," the country singer says. "I couldn't believe he was calling me to see if I could do a show with Faith (Hill) and Tim (McGraw). Because I had met him at the CCMAs (Canadian Country Music Awards) last year in Saint John. When I met him, I didn't know there was a concert coming in September.

"At first, I thought it was a joke," she laughs. "But it wasn't."

Shirley says she had a difficult time keeping her involvement in the show a secret. She was told not to let the cat out of the bag until an official announcement was made.

Shirley will be joining Moncton band The Divorcees and several other acts on the big stage this Saturday, opening up for headliners Tim and Faith.

It's another step in the right direction for Shirley, who has been performing in the area for over a decade. She performed a showcase at the CCMAs last year, and she was nominated for Country Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards for her self-titled album earlier this year. Her album, which was recorded in Nashville, has yielded several singles that have been receiving airplay across Canada.

Her latest single "When You Start Talking", was released a few weeks ago, and it is getting airplay here in Moncton, as well as a handful of radio stations in Edmonton and other western cities.

Shirley says it is difficult for an up-and-coming artist to get attention at radio, but if you have the right radio tracker working for you, it helps.

A radio tracker is someone who knows the ins and outs of the radio business and will help an artist choose an appropriate single and will lobby on an artist's behalf for radio stations to play it.

"If you've got a good tracker, and (the radio stations) know your tracker and he's got a good history at that, they will play your song," Shirley explains.

Getting her music out to the masses is Shirley's goal.

"It's a hard racket. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm going to record, getting the music out there on the radio hoping they'll play it. Keep going to events like the CCMAs, hoping to meet someone (who might help further her career) ... what we all want is to be signed up (by a record label), you know?

"But if we can't, I'll just do my independent thing. Hopefully I'll get more shows. Maybe not as big (as this one), but hopefully it'll open some doors."

Shirley's first performance was at the age of five when her father, but throughout her younger years she says she was too nervous to perform on stage. At 20, she began working at The Bayou, a bar in Shediac and she was bit by the country music bug. She began performing and entering singing contests.

Shirley took the first place spot at the 1996 Hot Country Talent Search in Moncton, and she was runner-up in the 1997 Maritime Broadcasting System's Startrack in Saint John. She showcased at the ECMAs in 1998, and in 2002, she was featured in the regional finals for Project Discovery.

In November 2005, Shirley traveled to Nashville to work on her second album which was produced by Toronto-born, Fredericton-raised J.R. Vautour.

The album has done well for her across the country, earning strong reviews and getting her airplay.

Shirley doesn't write her own material, instead she selects songs from professional songwriters to interpret. For her self-titled release, Shirley chose songs by artists such as Gilles Godard, Willie Mack, Joe Nichols and Terri Clark.

She says choosing songs takes time.

"I have to relate a whole lot (to the song), and the people have to relate too. There's a lot to listen to, but when the right one comes along, you know it."

Shirley says she plans on heading back to Nashville in the near future to get to work on a follow-up album.

In the meantime, she says she is a little nervous about Country Rocks The Hill, but she is looking forward to the opportunity.

- Eric Lewis - Times and Transcript, August 30, 2007

"Shediac’s Shirley Albert On Market Stage Tonight"

· Country music
singer a big hit during
recent Discovery
2002 regional finals

Determined may be the best word to describe this Maritime talent. Shediac native Shirley Albert has made a name for herself as an awesome vocalist and performer in the Maritime country scene and she’s done it all without management or a record label.
“I started singing with my father when I was only five years old”, she remembers. “I began singing on my own abut 10 years ago”.
Since she started singing, Shirley has been recognized numerous times for her vocal talent. Most recently, she was a crowd pleaser at the regional finals of Discovery 2002 at the rockin’ Rodeo in Moncton. The winner of the contest was Kevin Chase, but the crowd reacted well to Shirley’s performance as well.
Shirley’s first major talent search was the 1996 Hot Country Talent Search where she finished first place. Next up was the 1997 Regional Talent Contest held in Moncton where she took first place again. She was a runner-up in the Maritime Broadcasting System’s 1997 Startrack competition in Saint John. At Startrack, her second place prize got her $5,000 and free studio time which Shirley joked, “I’ve never used”. one of her biggest accomplishments was showcasing in the 1998 East Coast Music Awards in Halifax.
A showcase is a performance held for music industry executives and potential employers. It allows musicians to show off their talents for the executives who can then offer to “buy” the artist’s show. They will talk to performer and, if both parties are interested, an agreement is settled and the performer will perform in the employer’s bar, club or whatever else.
Shirley’s showcases in her career have led her to travel as far as Waltham, Massachusetts, where she played in a club in 1998. “It was very cool to go down there and play in a French club. They accepted me and seemed to really enjoy the show,” she remembered.
Shirley has also had exposure opening for some well-known country stars. Just last year, she opened for the band Lace at the Rockin’ Rodeo. She has also played on a bill headlined by country star Julian Austin and also one with Norton native Chris Cummings and Moncton native Shirley Myers.
Shirley performs covers at her shows, as well as originals. She doesn’t write the originals though. “People will come to me with songs and if I like them and they suit who I am, I’ll sing them,” she said.
Shirley cites young star Lee Ann Womack and the legendary George Jones as her main musical inspirations.
If you would like to see Shirley perform, check out this week’s Music at the Market where she’ll be performing alongside Canadian country star J.R. Vautour.

· The Music at the Market happens every Friday night at the Farmer’s Market on West-morland Street in Moncton. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the music starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

- Eric Lewis - Times and Transcript - August 23, 2002

"Shirley Albert"

Shirley Albert, from Shediac, New Brunswick, has been a fixture on the Maritimes club and talent contest circuit since the late 80’s; and she now makes her national recording debut with this self-titled album produced by fellow New Brunswicker J.R. Vautour. The album has already yielded a nationally charted single in Get Lost, with a follow-up release Look What Love Does To Me, showing similar promise.

The first five songs on the album come from the Gilles Godard song catalog, and at least two of these, Get Lost and When You Start Talking will also show up on the just released debut album by Sherida Eastman. A third, No Ordinary Woman, co-written by Godard with Canadian star Terri Clark, is also featured on Clark’s last album.

Shirley Albert delivers the material with a strong, pure-country vocal style, not too far removed from yet another New Brunswicker, and namesake, Shirley Myers. Albert’s vocal work is still in the maturing stage, but shows breakthrough potential.

Among the key tracks here is the honky tonk flavored When You Start Talking; the ‘booze cure’ song Gentleman Jack and a strong ballad effort in Somebody Save Me, a tune previously recorded in 2000 by Nashville artist, Chalee Tennison. Listen also for a solid “child to adult” message song in Wonder To Wisdom, and Under The Same Moon, a nifty country offering penned by Canuck hit-maker, Larry Wayne Clark.

The album was produced by country singer J.R. Vautour, and recorded at studios in Nashville and at Outreach Studios in Keswick, NB.

- Country Music News - Larry Delaney

"Shirley Albert realise son reve"

MONCTON - En août 2006, la chanteuse Shirley Albert, de Shédiac, se trouvait parmi les 30 000 spectateurs au mégaconcert d'Alan Jackson/Brooks and Dunn à la Côte magnétique. Aujourd'hui, elle réalise son rêve de partager la scène avec des géants du country.

Shirley Albert, qui mène une carrière en musique country depuis 15 ans, connaît bien les chansons et la carrière de Tim McGraw et Faith Hill. En spectacle, la chanteuse de Shédiac a chanté souvent des pièces de Faith Hill. Shirley Albert se sent très honorée de faire partie de la distribution de ce mégaspectacle
- L'Acadie Nouvelle - Sylvie Mousseau


1st single - Get Lost,
2nd single - Look What Love Does To Me
3rd single - No Ordinary Monday
4th single - When You Start Talking



Smooth, pure, country voice.

Not words someone would have uttered to Shirley Albert when she was growing up.

Shirley’s musical influences in her formative years would surprise many who know her today and who’ve listened to her music. She credits KISS and AC/DC among her early influences. While Shirley manages to belt out a harder edge sound on the rock infused Biker Chick on her current self-titled album, her musical influences today remain deep-rooted into country music with the likes of Lorrie Morgan, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Lee Ann Womack and Sara Evans.

Having spent most her teenage years in the area of Shediac, New Brunswick - a rural, seaside village known for its claim as the world’s lobster capital and its warm-water, sandy beaches - Shirley was surrounded by country and western music from a very early age when her father played fiddle in a band and where she would often accompany him on vocals.

Fresh from her opening gigs for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Prairie Oyster, Shirley’s journey to country music stardom started, however, a few years ago. And it has been a world wind, roller coaster adventure indeed and ever since.

At 20, Shirley began working in local bars and her focus turned quickly to country music. And she has never looked back since. While she has often dreamt of the glitz and glamour of Nashville, Shirley has never forgotten her roots and her legion of faithful fans while often playing in bars and events all over the Maritimes. Her down-home, unpretentious, genuine and simple personality penetrates through the core of who she is, bares the essence of her voice and radiates in her performances on stage.

Her remarkable talent has been recognized on many occasions including first place at the 1996 Hot Country Talent Search in Moncton, New Brunswick and runner-up in the 1997 Maritime Broadcasting System’s Startrack in Saint John, New Brunswick. In 1998, Shirley was showcased at the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also was in the regional finals in Project Discovery 2002.

However, it was in November of 2005 when the ball started rolling at full speed when Shirley traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to record her second album.

Before recording her self-titled album, Shirley recalls a time where song selection was important to her not only for commercial success, but also in order to be true to her art and to herself. “Before going down to Nashville, I was given a number of song choices from some reputable songwriters in the industry, but I wanted to take my time in selecting the right songs for this album. I wanted to be able to identify with some of the lyrics or felt it was important that my fans could easily associate with them. As soon as I heard a demo of Gentleman Jack, I fell in love with it immediately. This particular song really struck a chord with me. But I was advised that it wasn’t a radio-friendly song, therefore, I shouldn’t record it. But it was important for me to put the song on my album as I felt a strong connection to it and thought my fans would too. I was very headstrong and adamant that I would record it. And, the final product is incredible and amazing, and I hope that listeners will also fall in love with it.”

While she keeps Gentleman Jack waiting in the wings, her self-titled record has already spun three hits with wide-Canada appeal (Get Lost, Look What Love Does to Me, No Ordinary Monday) with a fourth one (When you Start Talking) currently burning up the airwaves on heavy-rotation from Moncton, New Brunswick to Edmonton, Alberta.

If that wasn’t enough, due to the strong, early buzz of her 2005 album, Shirley was selected from over 200 artists from across Canada to perform at the 2006 Canadian Country Music Awards’ New Artist Showcase. And recently, she was nominated in the Country Recording of the Year category at the 2007 East Coast Music Awards.

The self-titled album is filled with songs written by some of industry’s best, including Terri Clark, Gilles Godard, Tim Nichols, and Willie Mack. Whether it’s the car top down, driving along the highway Get Lost; the sultry, bad boy inspired ballad Wrong Water; the feel-good, love-sick up-tempo When you Start Talking; or the leave-it-all-behind for some fun-in-the-sun No Ordinary Monday, Shirley Albert’s self-titled album will make you dance, sway and swoon. But more importantly, she will make you sing along and put a smile to your face.

Shirley is determined to bring it one step higher every day. There will be a lot more of Shirley to come.