Gig Seeker Pro


Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | INDIE

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of debut CD Days and Years"

(Vol. 24 No. 3, Issue #270)

There's something comforting about listening to a CD filled with music that could have been created in any of the past five decades. "Days and Years," the debut CD by the Washington, DC-based folk band Shosho, is such a CD. Despite its exotic-sounding moniker, Shosho is actually a folk band, and its CD is filled with acoustic textures and honed-down arrangements. There are hints of bossa nova, exotica, and an occasional syncopated beat, but for the most part, Shosho sticks with a folk formula.

And why not? That formula has worked for decades and works for Shosho because it puts the emphasis squarely on singing and songwriting –– two things at which Shosho excels. The four-person band has been around for just over two years and is fronted by female singer-songwriter guitarists Tricia Khleif and Wendy Lanxner (who also chimes in on flute and mandolin). Rounding out the band is bassist Franz Kellner and drummer Bob Novak. The songwriting pair balances each other well: Khleif provides mostly humorous and political songs and Lanxner typically offers ballads and pop-oriented pieces. Both are fine singers that virtually always sound engaged with what they're singing.

Lanxner's ear-catching "Maybe" opens the CD with a deft mandolin hook and bouncy tempo. Khleif's "What's Left to Us" is an ominous, minor-key political tract that looks at both class inequality and war without mentioning specifics. Less subtle is Khleif's "Hand-Held Freedom," which boasts an anti-imperialism lyric that seems at odds with its jaunty waltz-time tempo and flute ornamentation.

Lanxner brings to mind Rickie Lee Jones with her jazzy vocal shading on the wistful, surrealist memory piece "Gotta Get At That Day." Even more wistfulness is expressed in Khleif's melancholy "Falling Down," which marries a beautiful acoustic guitar line to virtuoso fretless bass runs.

There are hints of influences here, and it's easy enough to feel the presence of Joni Mitchell, Indigo Girls, and Suzanne Vega on some of these songs. But Shosho does a good job of forging a distinct musical personality –– not an easy feat when working with basic instrumentation. During the course of these 14 songs they successfully fuse American folk music with progressive, world-influenced ideas.

The production here –– done by the band and Hyattsville's Tom Espinola –– makes the songs shine by leaving things out. The sparse, naturalistic sound is in itself bracing, because it's so rarely heard these days. Anyone who has thought that the massive compression used on modern CDs is overkill should wrap their ears around "Days and Years." – Tony Sclafani
- Music Monthly, March 2007

""One of the finest discs I've heard all year!"" - George Maida, WCVE-FM

"Acoustic Rock Musicianship Second to None"

"I stumbled on these folks at a little club on my birthday this year, and what a perfect gift it was! Even though they were flatlanders, I knew I had to play them on my regional Vermont show. Thanks to Shosho for the beautiful vocals, thoughtful lyrics, knock-out stage presence, and acoustic rock musicianship second to none." - James Sharp -


Days and Years - release November 2006 (Raining Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


"The Indigo Girls crash into Jethro Tull and Yes." - XM Satellite Radio

Shosho pulls you into a world somewhere between rock and folk, with explosive bass and percussion, rich vocal harmonies, and a powerful combination of guitars, mandolin, and flute. The band's debut album, Days and Years, features 14 artfully crafted songs exploring a wide range of human experience, such as love and war, memory and longing, and critical social and political issues. Shosho blends influences from across American and world music for a sound that is colorful, challenging, and inviting.

The members of Shosho are seasoned musicians with reviews in the Washington Post, MTV Online, and elsewhere, and they have played major venues in both the US and Europe. Singer Wendy Lanxner and bassist Franz Kellner were members of the world-beat group Bottomland, featured on National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered. Wendy's voice, mandolin, guitar, and flute can also be heard on recordings by several artists, including Suzanne Brindamour's You Are Here and Amikaeyla Gaston's award-winning Mosaic. Franz Kellner has developed his unique voice on the five-string fretless through stints with many bands, including Graphic Shadows and Strange Boutique, favorites of the 1980s DC music scene. Singer-guitarist Tricia Khleif has studied musical styles from blues to Middle Eastern. Her haunting vocals and passionate, provocative songwriting reflect her experiences in a wide array of cultures. Virtuoso percussionist and drummer Bob Novak has toured Europe as a solo artist and has performed with many bands, orchestras, and jazz and world-music ensembles.