Listen Lady Brings Feel-Good Music to Denton

Left to right: Jo Higginbotham, Luke Peterson, and Evan Partlow-Shelton

Over a year ago, our local friend Jo Higginbotham hosted a show at Backyard on Bell for his first EP Second Thoughts, a catchy, feel-good, pop-Americana tune. Since then, he and his lead guitarist, Evan Partlow-Shelton, formed and founded their current project, Listen Lady.

Higginbotham gives the credit to Partlow-Shelton for the idea of Listen Lady. It was “his baby in the first place.” The two experimented with the project in 2011 as seniors in high school. They created music with elements of live mixing and used laptops to create extra sounds. The project soon crumbled due to them graduating and moving to different parts of the state. However, Partlow-Shelton returned to DFW in 2014 and contacted Higginbotham to create a new band, The Fry Street Gems. Though that project was short-lived, the guys soon met their third member of Listen Lady, Luke Peterson (a.k.a. Look of the Year).

Listen Lady is experimental in genre. The band mixes elements of rock, electronica, and R&B.

“The idea came from wanting to be more limitless in producing music,” Partlow-Shelton said. “I remember being 16 and seeing artists blur genre lines and I wanted in on it. I wanted to be able to reach beyond segregated genre groups and just allow people to dance and really connect to the music and focus on that instead of trying to fit into any particular clique.”

The band wants to have a style that is unique, one that cannot be compared.

“I hope to see us take over the Denton scene and all of the DFW area,” Partlow-Shelton said. “We're also wanting to be a connection point for other artists for more featured tracks on our upcoming album. Ultimately I want to see Listen Lady blossom, and change the up the usual music game with something unique, fresh and for everyone.”

The band has an inclusive message of wanting to have music for everyone. Higginbotham is doing more than contributing to that idea; he’s active in making the music community in Denton one that is accepting of female artists and women in general.
If you’ve been to Midway Craft House recently, you might have stumbled into a new event: Ladies' Night.

Higginbotham had the idea when he happened to play a solo show at Midway and the lineup was himself and the rest being women. He got together with Megan Berthhold, a local female artist, and held the first event. The turnout was so good they decided to organize more.
“I noticed that it can be uncomfortable for female artists, since there are a lot of creeps out there,” he said. “The event is meant to not only showcase female artists and their talent, but to be a safe space in a way to where if anything was going down, you’d have a whole room to support you.”

The next Ladies’ Night will take place on June 22.

If you’re already a fan of Higginbotham and want more, don’t worry — he’s hoping to release an album that he considers his true debut before his birthday in October. For updates on Listen Lady, follow their Facebook page and their Instagram @lstnldy