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Cindy Kays

A native of Lancaster, PA Cindy has been performing for over 30 years as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. Starting with the glee club in 8th grade and continuing through high school, she has been singing in front of audiences for most of her life. .


She received her first guitar in 1964 after failing the music test administered by the city school system to see who was going to play an instrument for the rest of their school days. She wanted to play the drums. In 1964 no one had heard of Karen Carpenter yet.

          Not to be discouraged, her parents gave her a guitar for Christmas. Of course, it wasn’t till many years later that she found out her mother always wanted to learn how to play the accordion. Things could have turned out very differently had she gotten an accordion that Christmas.

          By the eighth grade her best friend, Lois, taught her several chords and a few songs on the guitar. Their English teacher, Mr. Fitzgerald, required all of his students to do a project at the end of the year, so Cindy and Lois worked together. They billed themselves as “Simeon and Garfinkel” and played “Positively 4th Street” by Bob Dylan and “Get Together” by the Youngbloods. The rest as they say, is history.

          After high school a friend gave Cindy her first paying gig at the college coffee house he ran. She only knew about 15 songs and repeated them all night long for all the sodas she could drink and $45.00. She was hooked.

          After moving to Virginia in 1980, she pursued music part-time while holding down a fulltime job during the day. After meeting Shelly at Ramblin’ Conrad’s Guitar shop in 1992, they were soon working out the first list of songs they would play at local pre-schools. Besides performing with C. Shells, Cindy also performs Celtic music with her husband John, in several Hampton Roads Irish pubs.

          Cindy is the organized one. She takes care of the booking, writes the newsletters, designs all of the order forms and signs, and handles all of the paperwork involved in the group. She sings harmony and does funny voices, (probably watched too many cartoons as a kid) and she doesn’t write nearly as many songs as her partner, Shelly.

          Cindy lives in Va. Beach with her husband, John, a wonderfully talented songwriter who has just released his first solo CD. They have no kids or pets, unless you count the dog next door who can’t wait for them to come home and pet her.

Cindy's husband, John, with nephews Patrick and Eric