Mermaids In The Basement / Press

“Artist: Mermaids in the Basement Album: Reach Review by Rhonda Readence Mermaids in the Basement (MITB) are an extraordinary musical act with a diverse range of influences and styles that converge to form the eternally pleasing rhythms and lyrics that MITB has become legendary for. With Sheela Fortner on vocals, accompanied by J. Jill Harris on guitar, Beth Whyle on bass, Robert Gibson on drums, and Jennifer McLaughlin as a performance artist, Mermaids in the Basement have combined their various skills and talents to create a well-rounded band that is enjoyable to listen to. Their latest album, Reach, kicks off with "Reachdeep," a stripped down track with a catchy beat and well-written lyrics. Fortner's vocals are strongly delivered and this track is a great introduction to the rest of the album. "Wouldn't Change A Thang" has a melodic hook and a relaxing vibe that lends itself well to the lyrics that speak of acceptance. Instrumentally, this piece is executed skillfully.”

Rhonda Readance - REACH CD REVIEW

“What do you enjoy most about performing? "It is a sacred act of being spiritually naked. I enjoy most that every time I am on stage I feel as though I am being reborn." - Sheela Fortner (Mermaids In The Basement)”

“Album Title: The Chronicles of Dotti Molsin Artist: Mermaids in the Basement Review by Rhonda Readence Vocalist Sheela Fortner, bassist Beth Whyle, guitarist J. Jill Harris, drummer Devon Barrett, and performance artist Jennifer McLaughlin make up the band Mermaids in the Basement, a rock powerhouse whose eleven-track The Chronicles of Dotti Molson will stay in the mind of listeners for quite a while.”

“Their new CD, “The Chronicles of Dotti Molsin,” is said to be their best work yet. You can’t ask for more than a great group of southern women with heart and soul that perfect the art of rock. They will take you from moments of young love’s blinding effects to being older, wiser, and “free” of needless worry. The soul and emotion in the voice of Sheela Fortner is so real not only will you feel that she connects to every word, but you will find a connection within yourself as well. As a former sailor myself, I have to say I love track 7, “Sailor Girl,” which has a fun beat and very real emotions about moving on. Track 11, “Second Chances,” takes you to that moment when you’ve loved someone so much that you take them in again and again. Mermaids in the Basement touches the emotions of everyone who has ever loved and twists them into a good time, fun loving rock song that brings you off your seat!”

“Excerpt taken from October 2010 Tidewater Women Magazine “Lyrical Ladies. Women Making Music” by Katharine Fogarty SOUL JOURNEYS The world of rock has known all-female bands, but none quite like ” Mermaids in the Basement.” Lead singer Sheela Fortner’s voice ranges from clear, direct vocals to a growly, powerful roar as she grabs the microphone stand and leans it over, moving across the floor. She’s a compact fireball with short blonde hair and intense eyes. “I should have known love, but I didn’t believe it, I should have known, but I couldn’t conceive it,” she sings, backed up by powerful drums, tasteful electric guitar, the low harmony of electric bass, and the beautiful movements of a signing performance artist. These songs speak about relationships, soul journeys, and the longing to become authentic, not the usual stuff of hard rock. The band is one of Tidewater’s premiere all-female rock ensembles.”

“Mermaids in the Basement, or MITB, are local celebrities in the GLBT community of Hampton Roads. Firstly, they are an all-girl rock/alternative band, which is not an easy find these days. Their music can stand up to most mainstream rock bands out today.”