SPB & JMNZ BIO
One of the most exciting dynamic duo’s to emerge from the burgeoning Cowichan Valley music scene, SPB & JMNZ teamed up in 2016 and have started to create a buzz in the community.
“She” , SPB is Sweet Potato Brown, aka Shelley Brown, a new resident of Chemainus. She’s been playing music on the island for 14 years, primarily as an upright bass player for various bands. Folk aficionados know her from THE FLYING ACCUSATIONS, DAVID ESSIG AND RICK SCOTT, and PUZZLEROOT, and Vancouver’s BOOMCHIX. Bluegrassers are are very fond of her bass chops from bands like WISEACRE, and OVERWORKED & UNDERPLAYED. Funk Rockers know her as the glitzy front woman of TUBER.
In this incarnation, SPB writes and sings her own songs, stepping out front with acoustic guitar and harmonica. She can always be counted on to bring a few gems from her three main heroes: Steve Earle, Teddy Morgan and Tom Petty, with emotion, fearlessness and commitment.
“He”, JMNZ, is also know as J.Paul Morelli, a 15 year resident of Shawnigan Lake, transplanted after 40 plus years in the vibrant Toronto music scene, where he earned his glowing reputation as a pro blues guitar player and composer for several film projects. His unassuming demeanour has caused many a jaw to gape in awestruck surprise when he gets his telecaster to fly! A consummate musician with an incredible ear, and commitment he generously shares his knowledge and love of the guitar with his students at the Shawnigan Lake School.
The music they play together draws from many genres: country, folk, blues, classic rock, and sometimes, as the occasion warrants, swing-jazz, if there’s room for SPB to bring in the upright bass. They are at their most compelling when they choose to sing a classic song in harmony, like “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young, “Mr. Tambourineman” by Bob Dylan, “Four Strong Winds” by Ian and Sylvia, or “What am I doing here” by Blue Rodeo.
Also in 2016, the pair became enthusiastic supporting members of the fiddle-driven rock band , SKELLIG http://www.skellig.ca. Shelley plays electric bass and sings harmonies in the band fronted by husband and wife team of Chris and Lisa Burness, with their son Caleb Burness on drums, and Will O’Shaughnessy on keys. Paul gets to shred on many a Zeppelin-like guitar solo, or Traditional Irish Jig. Based in the Vancouver Island town of Ladysmith BC, SKELLIG is a favourite at community events such as the world famous Christmastime “Ladysmith Light-up” , and Ladysmith Days Fireworks at Transfer Beach.
Together, SPB & JMNZ are hitting their stride as they build and rely on their experience and the strengths each brings to the mix. Audiences are reminded why “live” is always the best way to experience music.