New York singer Shell Zimet switches from jazz charts to country radio on new single
Those who regularly peruse the Roots Music Report (http://www.rootsmusicreport.com) might be familiar with his beaming smile as his picture was on there for a while, proudly announcing his success with their charts. In fact, it was that which made me curious about New York-based singer Shell Zimet (http://shellzimet.com) because, quite frankly, he didn’t look like a country artist. In fact, the photo of him in the Roots Music Report looked like he was on his way to a Broadway show – to perform.
As it turned out, I wasn’t far off from the truth. Zimet isn’t a country singer. Yet there he was at No. 14 on the main country chart with “Hold On to Your Dreams” and No. 6 for roots country. But the Americana flavors of “Hold On to Your Dreams” have little to do with the focus of his latest album, Now and Forever, which ended up topping the Roots Music Report’s Internet Radio Airplay chart for jazz for 26 weeks. Confused? Don’t be. In an iPod-driven music scene, eclecticism has become the new norm, and Zimet is firmly plugged in the 21st century.
Ironically, while his genre versatility echoes today’s anything-goes attitude in pop and rock, Zimet’s songs reflect the past, whether it’s the jazz standards in his repertoire or the vintage roots of his cowboy side. “I sing jazz, blues, classic rock, Motown R&B, disco, pop, soul, and country,” Zimet said proudly. A natural born performer, Zimet revealed that he sings at least two hours a week to keep his voice in top shape. And, yes, the man can sing quite well, recalling the swagger of Tony Bennett and the soulful depth of Frank Sinatra.
While it may seem odd for a jazz vocalist to make a dent on the country charts, there’s nothing forced about “Hold On to Your Dreams.” At a time when so many artists are drinking from the same well, it’s so refreshing for an unknown talent to wake us all up by doing a Bo Jackson on the charts.