Harmony on stage and behind the scenes for Fort Collins sister act SHEL

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Photo: SHEL band
The sisters of SHEL, from left to right: Hannah, Eva, Sarah and Liza.

Next week, the Fort Collins band SHEL will open an awards show put on by the Women’s International Music Network. It’s one more step in the group’s climb to national notoriety.

SHEL is an acronym for the names of the four sisters who make up the band: Sarah (fiddle), Hannah (keys), Eva (lead vocals and mandolin), and Liza (percussion) Holbrook.

Before and after the She Rocks Awards, which will also feature Grammy winner Colbie Caillat, SHEL will bring its mix of bluegrass, folk, pop and rock to Denver (Saturday at the Bluebird) and Fort Collins (Jan. 30 at Hodi's Half Note).

The four sisters are between the ages of 21-26, and they get at least some of their musical talent from their father, songwriter Andrew Holbrook. Sarah says their dad pushed the three older sisters to drop out of college and pursue music. Their mom had a harder time with that decision.

"But she embraced it," Sarah says. "She trusted us to be okay."

Liza, the youngest, was still in high school when SHEL formed.

"We just threw her in the van and didn’t really give her an option," Sarah says.

The group is working on their second album, which Sarah expects will be released this spring, called "Laboratory Sessions."

In addition to making albums and touring around the U.S. and Europe, SHEL produces videos for almost every song. Sarah shoots and edits many of them. And, the group's music has been featured on television shows and movies, including the film "The Best of Me," based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote "The Notebook."

Sarah says developing a following on YouTube and being on television and movie soundtracks helps expose the group to a broader audience -- one that may not otherwise pick up a SHEL album.

"We're just a tiny machine, even with a [record] label," she says.

The band is also starting a collaboration with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Sarah expects that as a result, SHEL will put out more new music in 2016 with a stronger electronic influence.