Last Saturday night in Danville at The Wild Vine, I had the pleasure of hearing a band new to my ears, called The Shillz. Though they usually perform as a quartet, they were a trio on this night, playing without their bass player. But all three musicians contributed their talents in a way that maximized their three-person lineup. What I saw featured Camden Wheeler on lead vocals and tambourine, Dave Carter on guitar and vocals, and Holly (last name?) on drums and percussion. They've got a unique sound built around roots music, covering the range between Blues, Rock, and R&B, in a pleasing, seamless fashion. The Shillz worked in some original songs that sounded just fine, interspersed with good covers from The Kinks, Beatles, Stones, and more. Their style is infectious. Camden has confidence, charisma, and, hey, guess what? She's got the chops, too. A fine singer who draws you in with her performance. Dave is the consummate rhythm guitarist. It was cool watching him carry the band with his guitar, without another instrumentalist to lean on. But he pulled it off. He and Camden traded songs and vocals, and harmonized well together, too. Holly's brand new to the band. But offhand, she looks like a keeper. There's something compelling about a band with two women in it. She smiles a lot, having fun, but Holly more than holds her own rhythmically, too. She provided a tasteful pulse behind the vocals and guitar. It was refreshing seeing players who genuinely loved what they were doing. Infectious enthusiasm flowed throughout the small club, and the dance floor was full most of the time. Discovering new music and bands can be a real joy. I look forward to catching The Shillz in action again sometime soon.

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Jim Hudak

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