Don't Bother To Knock

In addition to creating audience-facing editorial content, I also write press releases. The sample below was crafted for Shepley Metcalf and Ron Roy in 2015.

PRESS RELEASE - Don't Bother To Knock
Shepley Metcalf & Ron Roy

Shepley Metcalf and Ron Roy may call Boston home, yet it took a journey halfway around the world for their paths to cross.

The two musicians met by chance in 2005 at a vocal workshop in Tuscany. Since then, Shepley and Ron have distilled their respective passions for song and keys into a smoldering sound that’s propelled the two to venues across the country and even the Arts section of the New York Times. Between Shepley’s soul-bearing, witty expression and Ron’s prodigious piano playing – a loving nod to jazz, classical and cabaret – affecting live audiences and listeners alike is a natural habit for this musical pair.

Shepley and Ron’s debut album, Something Irresistible paid homage to the sparsely recorded catalog of New York jazz legend Fran Landesman. For Shepley, excavating these songs involved some serious detective work, including a trip to England to meet with Ms. Landesman herself: music production by way of archaeology. In her own words, Shepley lives for the hunt of underplayed yet ear-catching songs. And for her latest album with Ron, Don’t Bother To Knock, Shepley is going deeper, this time trawling the depths of eras past for tracks that have all but vanished with the passage of time. The new album features irresistible songs once performed by latter-day luminaries like Nat King Cole, Anita O’Day and Fats Waller, resurrected and flush with new blood courtesy of Shepley phrasing and Ron’s arrangements.

“Most of these songs haven’t actually been heard for decades!” says Shepley. “And after years of performing the songs together, Ron and I decided that the best way we could celebrate their existence would be to venture back into the recording booth.”

Indeed, a stand-alone listen to Shepley’s reimagining of each tune suggests a familiarity that feels both fresh and instinctual. On “No Soap, No Hope, No Mouse, No House Blues”, a 1950s ditty, Shepley balances a contagious playfulness with the weight of decades. Her spin on “You’re Not The Only Oyster In The Stew” is an irreverent but sincere love note that seems tailor-made for today’s cultural climate of excess and choice. And once it’s time for the album powerhouse - Mildred Bailey’s “Have You Forgotten So Soon” - Shepley’s marriage of words and melody comes full circle. Spoken memories of movie palaces, Coney Island amusement games, and moonlit hayrides accompany Ron’s pining keys. With songs like these, the past is always with us.