Kelen Heller, Cavalen, By All Means, 7 Stone Riot

Kelen Heller

Cavalen

By All Means

7 Stone Riot

Sat · August 19, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Kelen Heller
Kelen Heller
Heavy Rock from Greenville SC
Cavalen
Cavalen
Rock from Birmingham AL

Birmingham, Alabama lays claim to a vibrant, complex cultural history. While rock 'n' roll has always had its place in the Magic City, its influence has paled in comparison to its hard-hitting neighbors in Southern powerhouses like Nashville and Memphis—until now. Cavalen has just graduated from the riff-heavy, soulful school of hard rock, and now they're primed to break out in a big way.

The hellraisers in Cavalen spent years individually honing their craft, before coming together more or less unexpectedly in 2014. Vocalist, Shellina Ryals calls them "an accidental rock band," the first inklings for which came from a set of lyrics she posted on Myspace years prior. When her now-husband Steven spotted them, he sent over a few songwriting suggestions, and their musical (and personal) partnership was soon off and running. Years of happy collaboration followed, with the Ryals playing host to numerous musical gatherings in their home in Birmingham. Shellina also loved singing in a band at their church with guitarist Jesslyn Parmley and drummer Issac Mixon.

One day, motivated by a health scare, Shellina called Jesslyn and said, "Want to be in a band?" The latter's enthusiastic answer led to the quick formation of a rock band, Two State Nation, which made its debut at a local open mic event. After a freak winter storm in 2014, in which the city froze in ice for four days, Shellina and Jesslyn barricaded themselves indoors, cranked up the heat, and lost themselves in an impromptu songwriting session. The fruits of this ultimately resulted in the transition to Cavalen. Guitarist Steven Ryals, Bassist Alan Light, and drummer Brad Hardin round out the current lineup, with Shellina also handling all of the lyrics.

As she says, the band's main message is as raw and compelling as their bluesy, distorted, garage-tested riffs: "We make music that represents our honesty about life; some days we feel shitty about love, or want to wreck someone's face for their insulting ignorance about gender and race. What we talk about is real—real life," Shellina explains, nothing that Cavalen aims to "be tender, without being weak."

As Steven sees it, "Our music is about celebrating a strong female personality instead of fearing it." That sentiment echoes especially strongly in songs like "Delicate Side," which finds Shellina sneering lustily, "I'm more woman than you'll ever be a man / How can you think that you're man enough, if you can't recognize your equal?"

Her husky, powerful vocals are an obvious focal point in Cavalen's sound, holding court amidst the razor-edged rock riffs and insistent percussion. Steven cites Stone Temple Pilots as a major influence on his guitar playing, while Shellina finds deep inspiration in revolutionary talents like Bjork, Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks, and AC/DC—a seeming grab bag of influences that makes perfect sense once Cavalen's grungy, soulful, gritty rock 'n' roll anthems hit your ears and grab hold.

With fire in their bellies and love in their hearts, Cavalen are excited to hit the road throughout 2017. They've already been racking up kudos for their hot, sweaty, loud live shows, but one story in particular stuck with Shellina, and goes a long way towards explaining exactly what kind of band Cavalen is. "In your hometown it's beyond heartwarming to be accepted by your peers; however away from home we are blown away by the kindness we have received from audiences. We want to connect to as many people as possible on the road," she says. "One man gave us all $60 from his own pocket, just to tell us he believed in us and wanted us to eat good. For a hard working man from our state to give you that kind of money just because your music touched him—well, it never leaves you.
By All Means
By All Means
Hard Rock from Huntsville AL

By All Means is a high energy 4-piece hard-rock band which combines equal parts melodic and crushing guitar riffs, catchy hooks, and tight solos. Strengthened by hard-grooving, aggressive bass and drums. With vocals that convey just the right amount of emotion; blending screaming with singing, the angst-heavy lyrics flow between perceptive subjectivity and growling anger.
7 Stone Riot
7 Stone Riot
Rock from Birmingham AL
Venue Information:
The Nick
2514 10th Ave S
Birmingham, AL, 35205
http://www.thenickrocks.com/