Zella Whelms

Zella Whelms

 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Zella Whelms is a lyrically driven female fronted dynamic folk rock trio. There's an authentic sense of vulnerablitity to their songs which invites listeners in to their audacious vocals and sounds.


Singer/Songwriter, Katherine Werner, began recording a demo of her solo work in February 2010.  Shortly after the recording process she contacted an old friend, Ed Lytle, to play upright bass and on the recommendation of the recording engineer, brought on Katherine Monnig to track drums. They continued onward forming a project originating from a quiescent acoustic/folk sound. The music quickly evolved into funky folk rock or “folk dipped in pop with sprinkles of adult alternative”, as described by Far-I-Rome Productions, Rome Ntukogu. They’re currently recording their debut album at New Fidelity studios.
Zella, Katherine’s (Werner) great-grandmother, made her living as a musician during the Great Depression. She traveled across country in the back of a pick-up truck with only a banjo in her hand and the clothes on her back. Leaving a legacy for her perseverance in a time of economic hardship and struggles of being a female musician of her time. The meaning of the word Whelm is to overcome in thought or feeling. Zella Whelms represents this philosophy of life and does so through the expression of music. The process of this begins with Katherine (Werner) setting the emotions and vibe of the song with her lyrics and guitar. She'll bring the song and energy to Ed and Katherine (Monnig) where they then compose their own parts for bass and drums. Together they collaborate on arrangement and dynamics bringing the song together as a whole.

Being a group just a year, Zella Whelms, has quickly progressed through Cincinnati’s music scene with the goal of spreading their music nationally. They have just been featured on a New York based radio station, Break thru Radio, for a Cincinnati edition of “Spotlight on the City”. They have played in many local festivals such as The Clifton Heights Music Festival 2, 3, and 4 and Adjust Your Eyes Music Festival. Zella Whelms has shared the stage with such acts as You, You’re Awesome, Magnolia Mountain, Hurray for the Riff Raff (from New Orleans), Shiny and the Spoon, Josh Eagle and The Harvest City, Matthew Shelton, Peter Adams and the Nocturnal Collective, Acarya, The Skeetones, SHADOWRAPTR, The Harlequins, and many others. These shows have been performed around the tri-state in such places as MOTR Pub, Northside Tavern, The Southgate House lounge and ballroom, Mayday, The Comet and many other local venues.


Currently in studio recording debut album!

Set List

Set list contains all original music lasting anywhere from 40-70 min.