Ronnie Shellist has been honing his harmonica skills for the past 20 years. His musical career began in 1997 working with singer/songwriter Hugh Fadal from Austin,TX. Blues great Gary Primich was a huge influence on his music as well as Guy Forsyth and Walter T. Higgs who lived and played in Austin in the mid 90’s. “If it weren’t for those guys, I never would have pushed as hard as I did to learn how to get that sound out of my harp” Thanks to a great blues scene in Austin at the time, Ronnie had an up close and personal experiences in the scene that heavily influenced his ultimate musical direction. His style is a combination of mostly Chicago and West Coast blues influenced by funk and jazz greats such as Grant Green and Maceo Parker.
In 1998, Ronnie moved to Colorado where he teamed up with the band Available Jones, a high energy funk/rock band, and toured the US in 2000. He has worked with many greats in Colorado throughout the past 15 years including such locals as John Alex Mason, Lionel Young, Rich Reno, Bob Pellegrino, Rex Peoples and many others.
By 2006, Ronnie began posting performances on YouTube which currently have over 10 million views. Ronnie’s live performances include opening for such greats as BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Robert Cray and the Neville Brothers. His first official CD was recorded in 2007, titled Chicago Sessions: Blues Revue said: “the show belongs to Shellist’s toneful harp..” Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine. His newest CD “Till Then” was released in March 2012, and features both original songs, and a few classics. It has rave reviews from harmonica greats Kim Wilson and Charlie Musselwhite.
Currently Ronnie performs in/around Denver, CO where he resides, but also travels extensively around the U.S. with his music and harmonica workshops. He works with Kilborn Alley, Corey Dennison, Gerry Hundt, Matt Hendricks, Eric Noden, and Ken Kinsey around the Chicago,IL area. Ronnie is a Hohner Music artist, endorser, and clinician. He has traveled the U.S. from coast to coast with the Hohner Roadshow. These shows are a mix of performance, teaching, and product demonstration.