Ken Harrison 6:41 p.m., Dec. 12
Sound description: Selis calls herself "The Queen of Roadhouse Rock."
RIYL: Rita Coolidge, Patty Griffin, Lone Justice, Sophie B. Hawkins
Overall community rating: 4.0 stars
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Influences: Patty Griffin, Eva Cassidy, Joan Osborne, Lone Justice, EmmyLou Harris, Rita Coolidge
Singer/songwriter Eve Selis used to be in the San Diego cover band Heroes, along with her friend Mattie Mills. Selis left the group in 1998 to go solo, though the band and Mills are still performing today. Selis and Mills later collaborated on a book and website, Forty Schmorty: Life Keeps Happening.
For years, Selis was involved in a government-related cover-up. On September 9, 2000, she was to sing the national anthem at the America West Arena in Phoenix. The performance was supposed to be capped by an American bald eagle being released from a balcony to circle the arena and land on its trainer's wrist. However, the bird instead chose to land on top of Selis's head. She maintained her composure and even managed to bow for the audience, most of whom likely thought the landing had been planned that way.
Says Selis on her website, "The trainer asked us not to speak of it, for fear of the eagle losing his congressional approval. This bird, which is an endangered species, was the only bald eagle sanctioned by the U.S. government to fly free at sporting events, rallies, military celebrations, etc. So we understood and kept it on the down low. We recently heard that the bird had retired, so what the heck. The truth must be told."
Selis says her music has been legally downloaded over two million times on the Internet due to her successful self-marketing. She's sold 35,000 CDs, her music is heard in four movies, and she has performed on CNBC, ESPN, and the BBC. She has opened for Travis Tritt, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Doobie Brothers, Joan Osborne, Heart, Dwight Yoakam, Garry Allan, Chris Isaak, and Hootie & the Blowfish.
The Selis band frequently includes "Cactus" Jim Soldi and Sharon Whyte who, along with Mark Intravaia (the Monroes) have their own band, Cactus Twang & Whyte. Soldi played with Johnny Cash for four years and Ricky Skaggs for two years. She's frequently seen around town playing with Tim Flannery and the duo Berkley Hart.
Her album Angels and Eagles was released in early 2008. She won Best Americana Or Country at the 2008 San Diego Music Awards, and Best Americana at the 2010 Awards. She is married to Tom Gulotta of Reelin’ in the Years.
Her full-length Family Tree was released November 11, 2011, followed by a UK tour in June and July 2012 with Jeff Berkley. She headlined the Americana Festival UK on July 6, 2012, at the County Showground, Newark, Nottingham.