C. Shells is a children's musical duo comprised of Cindy Kays and Shelly Craig. Together Cindy and Shelly have over 40 years of musical experience. Shelly, a Hampton Roads native, has been a featured solo performer at many local clubs. An accomplished guitarist and teacher, Shelly performs a diverse variety of music from blues to bluegrass. A native of Lancaster, PA, Cindy has performed folk and Celtic music at colleges and clubs in Virginia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Shelly and Cindy have performed together for the past 14 years as a children's duo. A talented songwriter, Shelly writes much of the group's material. The mother of two teenage daughters, Shelly swears that everything she writes about is true! Using stringed instruments such as the guitar, banjo, Dobro and mandolin, as well as various percussion instruments, puppets and entertainment props, Cindy and Shelly encourage the children (and adults, too!) to participate with hand motions and singing. Their song repertoire ranges from traditional and contemporary folk songs to Disney tunes and original songs. The duo are regulars at many festivals and libraries throughout the mid-Atlantic states. They are also members of Young Audiences of Virginia. Performing as 'Cindy and Shelly,' they present their educational programs in pre-schools and elementary schools throughout Virginia. Cindy and Shelly released their debut album, self-titled, 'C. Shells,' on the Southern Branch Music label, in 1995. Fun for all ages, the album features 10 original songs and two cover songs. 'C. Shells' was awarded a Parents' Choice Silver Honor in July 1998 for excellence in children's music. In March of 1998, they released their second album on Southern Branch Music titled, 'Animal Tails,' a fun-filled journey of songs about some of the animals in the world we live. In October 1998, 'Animal Tails' was awarded a Parents' Choice Approval Seal. Their third album, 'Just for Fun!' released in July 2001, features all new songs as well as some old favorites. 'Just for Fun!' was awarded a Parents' Choice Recommended Seal as well as an iParenting Media Award. 'Cool Cats' was released in the fall of 2005 and was awarded a Parents' Choice Approval Seal in the spring of 2006 and also earned an iParenting Media Award. With a delightful mix of songs and musical styles, 'C. Shells' will have children of all ages laughing, smiling and stamping their feet. From rock 'n' roll to Cajun, waltzes to ragtime, blues to bluegrass, Cindy and Shelly want everyone to have fun at their concerts, so check your repertoire of dog barks and duck quacks and bring them to the show! Tidewater Parent May 2000 Departments - Music BEATLES, BUG SPRAY AND BEACH MUSIC By Karen Haywood Queen Animal Tails, Southern Branch Music Hardly a week goes by when Cindy Kays and Shelly Craig's band, C. Shells, doesn't perform somewhere in Hampton Roads. The duo's latest recording, Animal Tails, is almost as fun as a live performance by the group. In 'Arachnid Boogie,' by Shelly Craig, we learn how spiders are different from other bugs. 'You need eight legs to do this step, Arachnid Boogie is really hip.' Nothing profound here, just a little education with smooth harmonies and a grooving boogie beat. The traditional 'Over in the Meadow,' again features fine harmonies. During 'Chameleon Come,' I closed my eyes and listened to the flute. Who says learning about lizards can't be fun? I was alerted by another parent to a valid concern about 'The Ballad of Fang,' which describes how the family dog, tired of hearing the hamster wheel squeaking all night, eats up the mother hamster and her babies. This song might be one to fast-forward through, especially if your children have small pets and tender hearts. 'Radamus the Platypus' showed off some good guitar work but a nasal voice sneaked in for an appearance here, too. The rest of the animal kingdom is covered with 'How the Camel Got His Hump,' 'Mosquito Blues,' 'Ringo the Raccoon,' 'Cyril the Skunk,' 'Blue Crab Blues,' 'Glorious Worms,' and 'There Ain't No Bugs on Me.' Another thumbs up from the carpool driver. The picky carpool gave this recording a double thumbs up! What's the Carpool? The carpool is a group of children who range in age from 2 to 14. These kids are kind enough to listen to the selections we choose to review and offer up their opinions. Beware, this is a picky crew and favorable reviews from them is rather rare. The Beacon - The Virginian-Pilot November 1998 HONORS AND AWARDS C. Shells, children's musical duo of Cindy Ressler Kays and Shelly Craig from Virginia Beach, were awarded the 1998 Parents' Choice Approval Seal for their second Southern Branch Music release, 'Animal Tails.' Their first recording 'C. Shells,' was awarded a 1998 Parents' Choice Silver Honor earlier this year.
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