The Story of The Clamfish
Shelder the Electric Clamfish is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and storyteller from Mayne Island, British Columbia. She performs her eclectic-art-folk compositions on accordion and ukulele, drawing inspiration from her travels as a nomadic musician and from historical Canadian legends and folk tales. She has been compared to the likes of Pete Seeger and Gordon Lightfoot, but with a twist. In the past year and a half, Shelder has completed 3 tours across the country and back in her Toyota Echo, playing house concerts, music festivals, parties, bars, cafes and old punk lofts along the way. She is currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is studying piano tuning and has recently finished recording her first full-length album, Notes of a Vagabond.
Shelder began songwriting as a young child, composing her first piece of music (about eating plums) at the age of four. When her family relocated from Edmonton to Mayne Island, she was embraced by the creative local community and began to hone her composition skills. She picked up trumpet in high school and focused on classical trumpet studies at the University of Victoria, where she also studied music education. After graduation, Shelder toured as a trumpet player with the bands Blackberry Wood and Compassion Gorilla, traveling around British Columbia, The Yukon, England, The United States and most of Mexico. Although Mexico was a life-changing experience (she still craves the tacos to this day), the highlight of these travels was playing on the same bill as The Rolling Stones at the legendary Glastonbury Festival. Following this stint of traveling, Shelder taught middle school band and choir for a year on Salt Spring Island. Her experience as a teacher lends her to engage openly with audiences, through interactivity and vibrant story-telling.
Her music has been described as wacky and unconventional, yet audiences relate to her lyrics, as they are drawn from real life experiences. She enjoys researching old stories from various regions of Canada and turning these stories into folk ballads. Shelder also incorporates traditional Canadian folk songs into her performance, and combined with her own compositions, this makes for quite the educational and entertaining experience for audiences of all ages and from all walks of life.
In the next few months, Shelder is looking forward to touring her new album, recorded by Jude Pelley in West Dublin, NS. Plans are in the works for a tour with John Muller to Newfoundland in August, so stay tuned on this website for upcoming info! She enjoys performing at a variety of venues (especially house concerts), so if you are interested in having an Electric Clamfish at your next event, please feel free to get in touch! Check out the music page for a sampling of recordings and music videos. Happy Clamfishing!