Greetings, Clamfolk! Here is where you can find everything to do with everyone's favourite accordion toting crustacean, Shelder the Electric Clamfish. Feel free to look around and explore, listen to some music and watch some videos. I will update this page regularly with upcoming events. If you're interested in having me come play a house concert or a show in your town, please send me a message - I would love to stop by on my next tour!

Winter recap...and summer tour news!  

Alright. It's been a LONG while Clamfolk, since the last Clamblog...but better late than never right!?


I write this post from my friend Francesca's apartment (Ghostly Hounds) in rainy Montreal. Reflecting on the time that has passed since I was last in Montreal, what has changed - in my world and in the world in general. Montreal looks the same as it did 2 summers ago, but a lot sure has changed. The last year for me saw a tour to Newfoundland and back with my intrepid touring partner Mr. John Muller. After a month of galavanting around the rock, playing old seaside pubs in Gros Morne, an extremely traditional folk festival on Fogo Island, hardcore punk bars in St. John's and everything else in between, we dragged our weary bodies back to Halifax for the fall, winter and spring. I spent those months mainly teaching (private lessons and substituting all over the Halifax school district), booking shows, playing shows, promoting shows, practicing practicing practicing, brainstorming some new material, and shoveling snow. I'm still doing all that (minus the snow) - that's one thing I've really learned, is the work is never done, and it seems that's the case no matter what job you do.


John Muller and Shelder the Electric Clamfish with everyone's favourite weatherman, Frankie MacDonald!


Upon returning to Halifax, I was fortunate enough to be part of the Halifax Music Co-op Inventions 2016 production, alongside my musical brother, Jont and the Infinite Possiblity. We had the pleasure of working with local arrangers, taking five of our original compositions and arranging them for a massive community orchestra and choir (aka a 100-person back-up band)!! Quite the upgrade from either playing solo or with one or two other musicians maximum! It was an incredible collaborative experience to work with all these musicians, and to have my songs completely transformed into something new. Now when I play my songs solo, I must imagine the energy of that incredible back-up band behind me. If only I had a massive tour bus to take everyone (and Viv my make-up artist) all across the country with me!

In the midst of substitute teaching all over Halifax - teaching mainly high school and junior high band, strings, elementary music and choir, but also French, drama, biology, history and a whole slough of other subjects I'm barely qualified for - I also ended up jamming for the winter months with a band of wacky fellows playing the entirety of Jesus Christ Superstar. I love teaching and I can't imagine not having it in my life in some way - but it's also exhausting and sometimes overwhelming. So jamming on JCS every week is what got me through a long winter of full-time teaching. We learned the whole musical in 'tab-form' - for a classically trained sheet-music reading musician, it was actually more of a challenge for me to read tabs/chords. But I rose to the challenge (cheated a little bit with some sheet music) and had a total blast in the process. This project culminated with a series of community singalong shows in Halifax and the South Shore, which were an absolute riot. A great way to wrap up my time in Halifax before heading west again on tour.


Which brings us to the present - I'm heading west now for a while, returning to my homeland of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Playing a series of house concerts all across the country with my friends Becky Siamon (first leg of the journey) and Zoe Guigueno (Della Mae) from Toronto onward. We'll finish the Canada tour at our home festival Campbell Bay Music Festival. Zoe and I grew up playing music together on Mayne Island, but over the years have focused on our own projects and bands, touring the lands separately, so I am excited to reunite soon with my bosom friend and make the symbolic journey home together. The rest of the summer sees me returning to Hootstock in Forest Grove, BC, ArtsWells (with Compassion Gorilla), Quadrapalooza and then the world famous Accordion Noir in Vancouver. As happens every summer, I'm bound to hook up with other bands along the way - this element of spontaneity both equally terrifies and excites me. The constant process of learning to trust the universe and go with the flow.



So...what has changed since I was last in Montreal? I realized I am more relaxed when it comes to driving than I was 2 years ago, even in big cities, which is maybe a metaphor for life. There will always be chaos, and we must learn to meditate and appreciate it all. I've also become a lot more relaxed (read...confident) with teaching large groups of teenagers. Realizing teaching, performances, songs, life, etc will never be perfect, but that's okay. I've learned to embrace and love the lows and highs, the insecurities, the anxieties of every aspect of life. There is a lot of darkness in the world these days it seems, but without the darkness, we cannot appreciate the light. And that is what we must focus on.


The adventure is never over friends...it is only just beginning. See you on the road this summer!!


Shelder the Electric Clamfish





New Album "Notes of a Vagabond" Out April 22nd!!  

They've arrived folks! I officially have an album now, in my hands that is, but it will be unleashed to the world on April 22nd. You'll be able to find it on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Bandcamp, on the music portion of this website and anywhere else online where you can download music. I'll also be playing a few Nova Scotian CD release shows:

April 22nd: (Official Album Release Party) Halifax Music Co-op
May 7th: West Dublin Community Hall
May 21st: Wolfville House Concert

And, although it's not an actual "CD Release Show," I'm playing a show with my good friend John Muller on May 1st at Art Happening Bridgwater, as part of a fun-raiser for AHB, as well as the Bridgewater Interfaith Foodbank, and you can get my CDs there too!

It was an incredible learning experience for me to record this album. Working for the first time with musicians learning my songs, recording live off the floor in separate rooms of an old Nova Scotian haunted house. Learning just how much you can do with technology and just how far (or not) I wanted to go with all those possibilities. As well as arranging and producing, I learned a lot more about recording techniques, mixing and mastering - although I doubt I could do any of these things on my own yet. Regardless, these are the best recordings I have of my music to date, but because of all that I've learned, the next one will be that much better. I suppose that's how it is with any project over the years.

"Notes of a Vagabond" is a journey for the listeners. Across Canada and down to Mexico and back, I sing tales of Nova Scotian pirate legends, French Canadian folk legends, homesickness and culture shock, a host of inspirational characters I've met on my travels, and of course, everyone's favourite Canadian hobby -  moose hunting. There's even a jazz treat thrown in the middle - an instrumental piece titled "The Bikini and The Vespa Madly Race Down The West Coast," which I wrote and performed while in university but was waiting for the right time to actually record. I'm eternally grateful to all the people who helped make this project happen: Jude Pelley (recording and mandolin), Martin Maunder (mixing), Andy Meyers (mastering), Jeff Wheaton (upright bass), Patrick Murphy (drums), Jacques Mindreau (fiddle), Julie Kennedy (fiddle), Ariel Palacio (accordion and guitar), Shannon Nesbitt (cover art) and Shaela Kinting (inside art). And an especially big thank you to all the people who donated to my Kickstarter Fundraiser last year - you'll be getting your autographed albums and panties in the mail very soon!

If you wish to read an album review written by three Mayne Island sheep, click here. I quite like the genre "Deep Sea Punk Folk" - it's always been difficult for me to put my music into a category but I find this suits it very nicely.

I'm very excited to share my music with you very soon. And in the meantime, please spread the word!!

Shelder the Electric Clamfish


Happy Clam Year!!  

Happy New Year, Clamfolk! 
It’s been quite a busy fall - thought I would do a quick recap here as we head into 2016. The end of summer tour was a success, made it all the way back to Halifax with my Argentinian accordion-toting friend, Ariel Palacio. We had great house shows in Northern Ontario and Montreal, as well as a really fun night at the Rock Island Lodge in Wawa, right on the shores of Lake Superior. We finished off the tour with a wild show at Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown and a final set at the annual Black Street Party in Halifax. Before returning to Halifax, we circumnavigated all of Prince Edward Island, which took a relaxed two and a half days. We even stopped for a surprise visit at my friend Daisy’s parents' house – I knew only their last name and the small town where they were from - with that information, I was able find her cousins, then her aunt and uncle and then finally her parents.  We were invited in for coffee and ended up playing an impromptu show for the neighbours and family - a true Maritime adventure!! 

Ancient petroglyphs at Lake Superior, Ontario


Electric Clamfish with the World's Largest Potato - O'Leary, PEI

Shelder and Ariel at The Black Street Party, Halifax, NS (photo credit Annie Wilson)

 Double accordion madness in West Dublin, NS (photo credit Ariana Brophy)

Shortly after I arrived back in Halifax in September I began working at the Halifax Music Co-op, teaching music lessons on trumpet, piano and accordion. The Co-op is a community music school – offering the chance for anyone who wants to join to play in an orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz band and or to sing in a choir. A huge array of ages, levels and people from all over the community are involved. I really enjoy this kind of one on one teaching – my students range from elementary school kids to retirees, some are brand new beginners and some are rather experienced already. It’s a challenge to meet everyone’s different learning needs, but I really like figuring it out. I learn every day from my students and I’m constantly working to improve my own skills on all my instruments. 
In addition to teaching, I’ve also been doing some solo shows as well as jamming on trumpet with various bands around town – including Jont and the Infinite Possibility and also Band Transatlantic. The fall was spent finishing the recording and mixing for my new full-length album, recorded by Jude Pelley (Pennybrook) and mixed by my friend Martin Maunder (Burgerfriespop). There’s a full cast of fantastic local Nova Scotian musicians on there, including Patrick Murphy on drums, Jeff Wheaton on bass, Jude Pelley on mandolin, Jacques Mindreau (Krasnogorsk) on fiddle, as well as Ariel Palacio on accordion/guitar and Julie Kennedy (from Twin Kennedy on the West Coast) on fiddle. Mastering begins soon on Salt Spring Island with Ramesh Meyers and then I’ll send it off to get turned into an actual CD! Stay tuned for the release date, Clamfolk – estimated early April!!

Shelder and The 'Mudflats' AKA Jeff and Patrick after finishing recording at Pennybrook Studio


Full band plays a set in the yurt at the Harvest Hootenanny at Common Roots Farm in Halifax, NS

After the album is released, I'll be planning my summer tour to promote it in Eastern Canada - hoping to play as many Maritime music festivals and house concerts as I can - including finally making it to Newfoundland. Keep checking this website and my Facebook page for updates on upcoming shows. I hope you all have a wonderful and joyous 2016, wherever you may be. And I hope to see you on the road sometime this year as well!

From Coast to Coast,
Shelder the Electric Clamfish

Middle of the Country Update 

Alright, quick post here before Ariel and I peel out of the Prairies and head on to Ontario. The journey has been great so far - Robson Valley Festival was a total hoot - it was a great way to finish off my tour in BC and to see a lot of my Western Canada musician friends before heading east again. Our first show together in Edmonton was a grand success - we shared the stage with local musicians Ariana Brophy and Eva Foote. I also hadn't really heard too much of Ariel's solo music (just his amazing accordion stylings with Compassion Gorilla). And I must say - his guitar playing and accordion playing completely blew me away - and that isn't showing signs of stopping!!

After a great visit with some of my family in Edmonton, we bolted for Regina, where I was scheduled to give a ukulele lesson to my friend Patty, as part of her reward for donating to my album fundraiser. It was great to be back at the farm again and also to play some ukulele tunes with her and Ariel! The next morning we bolted off again, for Winnipeg, where we were playing at The Neighbourhood Bookstore and Cafe with another local musician, Daniel Monkman. I admit I did a poor job advertising this show, so it was quite lacking in attendance, but Daniel brought some of his die hard fans along - thankfully! Not complaining here, but I am realizing just how much work it is to be a touring solo musician - you can spend forever at a laptop doing promotion work and indeed you need to, or else no one will come to the shows and then alas, you make no money. I see now why people have managers...anyone want a job working for the Clamfish? But in all honesty, I do love this life I have chosen and compared to other jobs, it's pretty darn fantastic. I get to travel the country and meet amazing people and learn from so many other amazing musicians, doesn't get better than that.

So we've been taking a bit of a rest here in Winnipeg at my friend Natalie Borhn's house (bass player for Slow Spirit), using the internet and the proper kitchen. Our next show is at Larry's Woodworking Studio in Nolalu on Tuesday, so we are off to go camp somewhere in the boonies of North Ontario for a few days of rest, yoga, reading, and....actually PRACTICING some music. Yes, that too - when you're on tour it's hard to get some time in just to practice music without performing for an audience. That's the whole reason we do it all, right?

There was just a crazy thunderstorm here but it has now subsided (really, I thought the world was about to end, but apparently that's quite a normal occurrence here)! So we are about to clean up and hit the road for Ontario. If you know anyone in Nolalu, Marathon (Wabikoba Lake to be exact) or Wawa, send em our way! More details to be found on the Shows page.

Cheers from the Prairies everyone!!

Shelder the Electric Clamfish (and Argentinian legend, Ariel Palacio)

A recap...of the whole country! 

Hola amigos!! Here I am on the other side of the country in Golden, BC. The last time I wrote a blog post was when I left Nova Scotia...clearly it's been a good tour, as I've barely had time to write anything in the interim!!

John and I had a most fantastic trek across the country - playing shows in West Dublin (followed by an epic sausage cook-off), Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary and Chase. We were ravaged by bugs in North Ontario, swam in a McCain fries tailings pond in Manitoba, just to beat the heat, and we ate horrible gas station burgers in Saskatchewan. After we played in Calgary, we stopped in Canmore on a whim, only to end up playing the locals open mic, where we were very well received! Special thanks to Holly the bartender for letting us crash at her pad! We really didn't know where we were going to stay that night... After our most gorgeous show in Chase, I dropped John off outside Kamloops, where he hitchhiked back to Victoria to visit his Point Street House friends. I then made my way north to Prince George, where I was playing a house show for my friend Rob Prideaux, who generously donated to my album fundraiser to have me come up and play a house concert! Thanks Rob for all of your support - a true patron of the arts! 

Bye bye John!! You were a hilarious and amazing tour partner!!!

Thus ended the 'pre-tour tour' as I called it, because I then reunited with my friends from Compassion Gorilla for our month long tour of BC. We played a fun outdoor show in Williams Lake before heading west to Bella Coola. The road to Bella Coola (nicknamed the Freedom Highway) was certainly the most harrowing road I have ever driven. Basically, you drop 4000ft in about 20km on a small dirt road barely big enough to fit two cars. On one side of you is an avalanche waiting to happen, on the other side is a massive drop off. But then you emerge next to the river and voila - surrounded by epic and majestic mountains on all sides. What a beautiful setting for a music festival. Special thanks to my friend Kenan (from High Society) for being a great co-pilot and teaching me how to use my low and 2nd gears properly We had a great time at the festival - jamming with some fantastic musicians, playing the after party, and...hanging out with Fred Penner backstage all weekend!! I don't really know what Fred was doing in Bella Coola, but it was pretty cool to meet a childhood hero and get to do some emceeing with him and watch him play some amazing music. After the festival, I had a few days off until the next festival, so I visited my friend Wild Mike at his grizzly guiding lodge in the valley, where I learned the history of the land and the fishing habits of the bears. Then it was off to Hootstock, a wild festival put on by my friends Astrid and Steve in the middle of the woods near 100 Mile House. It was so wonderful to see so many of my BC musician friends again and meet some new friends as well! Amazing music and food all weekend with a lot of great jams in between. 

Can you believe the Clamshell survived the Freedom Highway??

Shelder the Electric Clamfish and Fred Penner at Bella Coola Music Festival!!


Hootstock Music Festival, photo by The Magical Jessaja!!

Then it was back to the coast for me, for a few days at my parents' house on Mayne Island. I saw some old friends, ate my parents' food and had some great swims at Campbell Bay and off the Miner's Bay Dock. John and I were reunited for a day, where we played a show at Point Street House to all our Victoria friends. Then a great series of island shows (Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring, Chemainus) before heading back to the interior. Compassion Gorilla has since been joined by two sexy Argentinian musicians from the clown band Entangados, introduced to us by our trombone player Dan, who met these cats in Mexico this past winter! It's been so great playing with Fede and Ariel and learning more about music from them. Our best show was probably the Wapiti Festival after-party in Fernie, a wild audience as always!! 
We just spent a few days of rest in the mountains near Golden and here we are, using the internet before heading back into the mountains and then to Robson Valley Music Festival.

Compassion Gorilla horn section with Fede (bass) and Ariel (accordion) from Entangados!! On the ferry across Kootenay Lake.

After Robson, I will be returning to the east coast, playing shows along the way. And I am pleased to announce that Ariel (from Entangados) will be my touring and musical partner for this batch of shows. I'm excited to show him Canada and help him with his English (which is already quite good) and also get better at my Spanish,,,Mortal Culiau!!!!

And...introducing my new touring partner, Ariel Palacio!! Vamonos!!

And so I'll leave you with our upcoming tour schedule back to Halifax - hope to see you down the road, Clamfolks!!

August 18 - Cha Island, Edmonton, AB (with Ariana Brophy and Eva Foote)
August 20 - Neighbourhood Bookstore and Cafe, Winnipeg, MB (with Micah Cohan Erenberg)
August 25 - Larry's Woodworking Studio, Nolalu, ON
August 26 - House Concert, Marathon, ON
August 27 - Rock Island Lodge, Wawa, ON
September 4 - House Concert, Montreal, QC (with Francesca Daoust)
September 8 - Baba's Lounge, Charlottetown, PEI (reunion with John Muller!!)
September 13 - Black Street Party, Halifax, NS!!

And then we will sleep...

Adios, amigos!!
Shelder the Electric Clamfish

The Clam It Up and Mull 'Er Over Tour 2015 - Starting NOW!!  

Greetings Clamfolk, from my favourite house in Nova Scotia! Pennybrook House in West Dublin, Lunenburg County. First off - thanks to everyone who donated to my successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign! Recording of the CD is well underway - in fact I have an EP out now for this upcoming tour (which is also available for purchase here at the Store). We'll finish the full CD when I return in September and then I'll be sending everyone their rewards (CDs, panties, t-shirts...)

Tonight, John Muller, Pennybrook and myself are sharing a show at the legendary West Dublin Hall just down the road, and it's our kick-off show for our cross-country tour, aptly named "The Clam It Up and Mull 'Er Over Tour 2015." Tomorrow we head west, with our first non-Maritime show being a wonderful back-yard potluck in Montreal.

Hoping to catch us along the way? Here are the upcoming dates:

June 27: West Dublin Hall, West Dublin, NS (with Pennybrook)
July 2: Backyard Party, Montreal, QC (with Francesca Daoust)
July 4: Free Times Cafe, Toronto, ON (with Cory Paul Hill)
July 7: My Dog Joe, Hamilton, ON
July 11: Cornerstone Music Cafe, Calgary, AB
July 13: Golden Ears Farm, Chase, BC
July 15: House Concert, Prince George, BC*
July 17-19: Mountains to Dust Music Festival, Broom Forest, BC (John only)
July 24-26: Hootstock Music Festival, Forest Grove, BC*
July 30: House Concert (Point Street House), Victoria, BC
July 31: Mayne Island Community Hall, Mayne Island, BC (with Compassion Gorilla)*
August 5: Treehouse Cafe, Salt Spring Island, BC (with Coddlefish Foxtrotter)*
August 7: Blue Mule Espresso Bar, Nelson, BC (with Compassion Gorilla)*
August 20: The Neighbourhood Bookstore and Cafe, Winnipeg, MB*
August 26th: House Concert, Marathon, ON*
August 27th: Rock Island Lodge, Wawa, ON*
September 13th: Black Street Party, Halifax, NS*

*After our Victoria show, John and I shall be parting ways (John's making his way back East earlier than me), so the return shows are alas without him...but stay tuned as they will most likely include an Argentinian folk musician instead!

Really, the tour actually started off last weekend, at the most wonderful festival - Full Circle Music Festival, right on the Bay of Fundy in a wonderful old barn. I brought my friends Jeff and Patrick up with me to back me up on stage and we played a high-energy afternoon set to a great crowd of barn-dancers! It was also such a thrill to share the stage with other amazing musicians such as The Barrowdowns, Ben Caplan, The Modern Grass and The Unseen Strangers (from Toronto). Not to mention...some epic mud-sliding ensued! No pics of that...sorry, it's difficult to bring a camera while mud-sliding.

Shelder and The Mud Flats (Patrick on drums, Jeff on bass) at Full Circle Music Festival. Photo by Daniel Collins.

See you on the road, my friends!!
-Shelder the Electric Clamfish

Album Fundraiser and Upcoming Tour! 

Happy Spring everybody! It really is an amazing feeling to have survived such a crazy East Coast winter (apparently the worst anyone has ever seen in over 50 years!) and then come out the other side and see the flowers and birds return to the land.

Throughout my stay here in Halifax during the cold winter months, I have added some East Coast inspired songs to my repertoire. It is time to begin recording these songs (as well as some of my older tunes) to create my first full-length album. In about two weeks time I will be heading into the studio at my friend Jude Pelley's house on the South Shore to begin the recording process. I have been rehearsing my tunes with some local musicians here and am very excited to be playing them for the first time with a full band! My friend Shannon Nesbitt from Vancouver will be doing the artwork for the album. We'll have a demo of some of the songs ready for my upcoming summer tour, and then finish the full deal by Christmas of this year. To help fund this process, I have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Five days in and I am already more than halfway to my goal. If you'd like to check it out, you can click on this link! Lots of great rewards including a signed copy of the CD, Electric Clamfish undies and t-shirts, music lessons, piano tuning and even a concert. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your fellow Clamfolks!


As mentioned above, I'll also be embarking on another big tour this summer, with my friend John Muller, a fantastic singer-songwriter living in Halifax, but whom I met whilst in Victoria. The tour will kick off at Full Circle Festival, which I am very excited to be playing at this year and with a full band to boot! Then on June 26, John and I embark for Montreal, with shows planned afterwards in Toronto, Hamilton, Regina, Calgary, Chase and 100 Mile House. John will be heading off to The Mountains to Dust Festival on Vancouver Island, while I'll be rejoining my bandmates from Compassion Gorilla to play at Bella Coola Festival. I'll be performing a solo set at Hootstock Festival as well, in Forest Grove, BC. Compassion Gorilla has many more tour dates around the province, and after we play Robson Valley Festival in mid-August, I'll be making my way back to Halifax for yet another cross-Canada journey. Stay tuned for specific dates and locations for this epic tour!!

Happy Clamfishing everyone!

-Shelder the Electric Clamfish

Here's a Lighthouse in Yarmouth for y'all to enjoy!!

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Previous events


Accordion Noir

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Russian Hall , 600 Campbell Ave, Vancouver, BC

Playing as part of the international accordion extravaganza Accordion Noir! Spots at Drink-o-bingo on Thursday Night, Accordion Alchemy on Friday night, busking at Trout Lake Farmer's Market on Saturday afternoon and Geoff Berner's album release party on Saturday night!

Jesus Christ Superstar Singalong

Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS

Cap off your long weekend with a good ol’ community punked-up-folk singalong rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar. Lyrics will be projected on the wall so you can belt it out with the rest of the apostles, market vendors and lepers. Please note that this is a “concert-style” i.e. not staged, version of the musical.

All ages show, admission by donation (suggested $10).


KAMP Cabaret Take-over

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Kamphyre Studios, 6070 Almon Street, Halifax, NS

An eclectic evening of performances from Germany’s Weimar era, as popularised by "Cabaret, the Musical". This fabulously KAMP evening aims to raise funds for our ambitious upcoming presentations and, in doing so, feature the world from which our characters were plucked before “KAMP” begins. This evening hosted by Garry Williams gives insight into the culture of the era, highlighting the popular tunes, films, inspiring figures, locales, and stories from this fabulous and fraught time period in Germany's history.

Inventions 2016: Shelder the Electric Clamfish and Jont and the Infinite Possibility

 —  —

St. Patrick's Church, 2263 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS

Come hear your favourite Electric Clamfish tunes re-imagined by local Halifax composers, played by an entire orchestra and choir! Most epic show of the year! Also featuring the music of Jont and the Infinite Possibility.