11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Sally & George

Sally and George (Photo by Molly McCormick Photography)Photo by Molly McCormick Photography

Now don’t call Nashville musical duo Sally & George by those names! Instead, show your hip musical knowledge and call this husband and wife team by their proper names of Shelby & Joel. Their stage name is in tribute to Shelby’s grandparents.

Sally & George are upright bassist Shelby Means (formerly with Della Mae) and guitarist Joel Timmons (formerly with Sol Driven Train). They have just released a brand spanking new full-length album called “Take You on A Ride” and its first single is “Fish for Free.”  If this video for the song doesn’t make you laugh and smile you just need to go back to bed.  These two have a fresh rootsy sound that’ll make you wanna hear more…and more! They are also in the running for best LP cover of the year! (I made you look, didn’t I?)

With safe shows starting to happen, S&G will be making some November appearances in South Carolina. Hopefully we will get a chance to hear the new songs closer to home soon. Thank you, Shelby and Joel, for giving us a fun 11 Questions and a great new record to enjoy in the meantime.


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

Joel: Shelby was born in Lexington, KY, grew up in Laramie, WY, and moved to Nashville in 2010.  She moved to Music City to surround herself with great musicians and improve her playing and singing.  I am from Sullivan’s Island, SC (outside Charleston), and moved to Nashville in 2015 at Shelby’s behest. 

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

Joel: The first cassette tape I ever bought was Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 from the BMG tape club mail order.  More recently I bought Susto’s Ever Since I Lost My Mind on vinyl at Grimey’s. 

Shelby: Most likely it was Blue by LeAnn Rimes in my middle school days at Wal-Mart (choices were limited in Laramie!). I recently purchased Uakti’s Aguas da Amazonia (music composed by Philip Glass) at the urging of my friend who said it was wonderful music to drive to! I found it at a flea market in Laramie, WY and just recently got the stereo fixed in our van.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

Joel: The first concert I saw was Aerosmith on their Get a Grip Tour in 1993.  I had been to other music events as a child, but this was the first real rock concert, and the volume, power, and spectacle blew my mind.  4 Non Blondes opened.  The last concert I saw was this summer, July 4th in Pinedale, WY.  After we performed as Sally & George, we sat in the grass and ate a watermelon while Timmy the Teeth played. 

Shelby: The first live concert I saw was Alison Krauss in Cheyenne, WY with my dad. My mom won tickets on the radio by answering a trivia question about her. It was a magical show. They were on the road promoting So Long So Wrong. Alison was still signing autographs after the show at that point and I had her and her band Union Station sign my shirt! I was in heaven.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?


Shelby: I second that!

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Joel: I prefer to get my coffee and pizza at separate establishments.  For coffee, it’s Dose or Crema, and for pizza it’s Five Points Pizza at the walk-up window. 

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Joel: Gillian Welch: Soul Journey  

Shelby: Alison Krauss: So Long So Wrong

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Joel: Dino’s!

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Joel: Robby Hecht, Melody Walker and Gillian Welch.

Shelby: Maya DeVitry, Molly Tuttle and Yola. Goodness, that would be a fun night!

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

Joel: The 5 Spot, Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, Acme Feed & Seed and City Winery

Shelby: I’d add the Ryman and Station Inn. But seriously, just thinking about playing music for a live audience at these places makes my heart happy. Can’t wait to return to the stage when it is safe.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

Joel: I’d like Jack Johnson to move to Nashville.  We could hang out and make banana pancakes and plan surf trips.

Shelby: Yes! Joel, good one. I’m biased but I’d love for my brother, Jacob Means, to move to Nashville. We love creating music together and it would be much easier to write and record if we were in the same city. He is busy in Boston, studying global jazz and contemporary improv on the mandolin. 

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

We released our second Sally & George album, Take You on A Ride, on October 30.  We are playing a few socially distanced live shows, but in general we are trying to figure out what to do while the pandemic continues. Writing songs, practicing, creating online content and spending lots of time outdoors.


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