Jim Shelley (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jim Shelley (born February 29, 1952) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, writer, painter, and former teacher. Since the release of his first album, 12 Songs in 1979, Shelley has usually recorded his albums in his home studio on a four or eight track machine, more often than not, performing all the instrumental and vocal parts himself, though in recent years he has employed a full band on a number of occasions.

Shelley was born in Miami Beach, Florida and raised in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Shelley is a relatively prolific writer, having released more than 500 songs on over forty records, most of them since 1989. He played a prominent role in the 1990s lo-fi music scene.

Over the last couple of decades, Shelley has performed live sporadically on the East Coast, mostly in the central Shenandoah Valley where he lives, with various rock bands under the names of Book of Proles, The Plague Dogs, The Karl Rove, Fear + Whiskey, and most famously, Book Of Kills.

On February 10, 2010, Shelley announced on the "official" band web page, that he was disbanding Book Of Kills "forever," though he left open the possibility that the group might play an occasional benefit in the future. A month later, on March 13, 2010, Book Of Kills performed one final time at the Little Grill in Harrisonburg, the venue where they delivered their first live show in 1994.

In early 2010, Shelley created a new, more improvisational group called Fear + Whiskey. Fear + Whiskey disbanded in early 2013 after playing a handful of shows and releasing one album.

In August 2013, Shelley played a six song set with original Book Of Kills members, Brian Temples and Dustin Bugg, in McGaheysville, Virginia. A few weeks later, he joined forces with Casey and Jane Firkin, and George Nipe III, all three of whom had formed part of later Book Of Kills line-ups with Shelley from 2000-2010, for three shows. That admittedly temporary group then broke up.

Former Alternative Press writer Jim Santos described Shelley as "one of America's great unknown songwriters."

Selected discography[edit]

  • 12 Songs (1979)
  • What I Did On My Summer Vacation (1983)
  • Bloom Or Die (1989)
  • For The Good Of The Cause (1991)
  • Don't Stop The Scream (1992)
  • The Haunted Life (1992)
  • Wee Jim's Blackeye (1993)
  • Big Business Monkey, Volume One (1993)
  • Songs For A Gone World (1994)
  • Detritus (1994)
  • Big Business Monkey, Volume Two (1994)
  • Saint Judas (1995)
  • Writing On The Wall (1996)
  • Splendid Trigger (1996)
  • Nothing You Can Say (1997)
  • So Far In Every Direction (1997)
  • If I Should Fall (1998)
  • Welcome To Concrete (1999)
  • Songs - 1983-2000 (2000)
  • E.P. (2001)
  • Hoggett Heads (2002)
  • All About You (2002)
  • Wasp 51! (2003)
  • Rockin' The Cheetah's Ass: Book Of Kills Live (2004)
  • I Can't Give You Anything But Love (2005)
  • The Monkeyclaus Sessions - The Karl Rove (2006)
  • Monkeyclaus Plus - The Karl Rove (2006)
  • Adventures Of An Inspired Amateur - Box Set (2006)
  • Different (2007)
  • The Plague Dogs (2008)
  • This Is Your Book Of Kills (2008)
  • Toward The Escape (2009)
  • The Strange One (Outtakes & Demos) Volume One (2010)
  • Bona Fide (2011)
  • The Pleasures Of Saying Goodbye (2012)
  • Psychic Diving (2012)
  • Fear + Whiskey Anthology (2013)
  • Riding The Echo Down (2014)


  • Alternative Press - issues 45, 49 and 61.
  • "For The Good Of The Cause" by Jim Santo for Jim Santo's DemoUniverse, [1]
  • "School House Rock" by Jennifer Holl for The Daily News-Record, [2]
  • "Teacher/Musician Loves Walking Around Bridgewater" by Jennifer Bonds for The Daily News-Record, [3]
  • "More Stuff" by Bryan Baker for Gajoob.com, [4][dead link]
  • "Under The Radar" by Rob Christensen for TapeOp Magazine, [5]
  • Bookofkills.com [6]

External links[edit]