Eric Nadel discusses the music of singer-songwriter Melody Guy by Jeffrey Liles on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 5:30pm MELODY GUY at the Kessler, September 8 I first crossed paths with the music of Melody Guy late last season when Texas Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle (now the Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager) gave me one of her CDs. I loaded it into my Ipod but didn’t get to hear it until the season was over. Walking my dog Nemo one day, I gave it a listen, and of the first songs I heard was “Mistakes Like Me,” a touching song about the poor treatment of a special needs child. I was moved close to tears. When I got home and played it for my wife Jeannie, a retired special education teacher, she said, “We have to find out who this song is about.” So I went to Facebook, found Melody and sent her a message. Within a half hour, we were on the phone together having a long conversation, where I learned that her son Robert, a special needs child, was the inspiration for the song. Melody’s life story is so filled with episodes of tragedy and joy that it’s like a country song in itself. It’s this combination of life’s lighter and darker moments that Melody brings to her music, and delivers in her live shows with energy, humor, honesty—and one hell of a fine voice. Melody Guy is a gifted storyteller whose songs grab your attention whether she’s singing about her alcoholic father or about the Starbucks down the street. Her style is not country in the classic sense, but rather an engaging blend of country and folk. As a performer, her bare emotions and lack of pretension are refreshing, and I’ve come to know that Melody offstage is exactly as she is onstage: open, vulnerable and wonderfully entertaining. Melody will be playing at the Kessler in a duo with her tremendously talented guitar player, Dale Drinkard, who is flying in especially to do this show. Dale saw a concert at the Kessler last month (he and Melody were in town to play Poor David’s Pub) and declared afterward that he would not miss a chance to perform in this one-of-a-kind venue. Lucky for us that he could take a night away from his own band, The Ugly Stick, to join us here. Since our initial phone conversation, and a subsequent introduction to Clint Hurdle, Melody has been to Pittsburgh to sing the national anthem at a Pirates game (Pittsburgh players were seen flocking to her after she sang) and has gone on tour with several new songs. We are fortunate enough to be hearing them at the Kessler—there’s no better place in the country to hear Melody’s wonderful music.
MELODY GUY-Real FreedomBy Rebecca Hosking Let's turn the lights down and the CD player up so we can get lost in this soft but poignant expedition of vulnerability and strength. Melody Guy has out did herself yet again with "Real Freedom", going to great lengths to take you on a journey through her mind. Every note sang and chord played tells you about the heart worn on the sleeve of this force that can't be denied.
Melody has a voice that rings like church bells calling to her congregation to stand up and praise. She can not be placed in any musical category, she has created her own blend and genre of crisp instrumentation and spot on lyrics that leaves nothing for your imagination. If you ever been a woman scorned or a child mistreated this is just the therapy you need. This album is made with threads of deceit and reconciliation entwined in a blanket of courage and honest humbleness. There is an overall mellow drone through out with a nice mixture of rockin' angst. But that angst is shared with a childlike susceptibility to forgiveness and gratitude of experience gained through a road of hardships. She proclaims in the song, TELL ME I'M WRONG, that she hasn't been loved in a long time, well I'm telling her, "she is wrong", because I have had the pleasure to listen to this album and see her live and I have to say, "Melody you are definitely LOVED!"
Melody Guy is on a fast track to success and her music shines like a light in a dark room. I highly recommend this CD if you are trying to free yourself of the everyday mundane norm being play on radio today. You can find freedom in Melody Guy's, REAL FREEDOM!
Produced By Chris ArmsMusical Arrangements By Melody Guy
Melody Guy~ Vocals/Acoustic Guitar/Harmony vocalsChris Arms~ Guitars( Acoustic,electric,slide,12 string) Mandolin, Keyboards, Organ,Drum programming. Dave Arms~ Bass Guitar (tracks 2 & 8 )Brian Owings ~ DrumsMark T Jordan~Hammond B3 and pianoKeni Jackson~ Harmony vocalsDelaney Guy~ Harmony Vocals
http://www.the9513.com/20-underappreciated-songs/#comments Melody Guy is # 5 7. “The Blues Man,” Alan Jackson. I can’t even listen to Hank’s version anymore. Alan’s cover puts a mournful mandolin out front and is absolutely captivating. “Summertime Blues” and “Pop a Top” came off of the same album and were huge hits, but the best song on the album barely made the Top 40. Peak: #37 6. “Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room,” Dwight Yoakam. Skip the original version and go directly to the masterful reinterpretation on the dwightyoakamacoustic.net album. Both recordings are killer, but Dwight’s mournful crooning, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, induces chills as he describes the murder of his former lover. Peak: #46 (Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room version) 5. “Mistakes Like Me,” Melody Guy. Unfortunately, few have heard this award-winning song. When I heard the first verse, I thought that this was a stark, unabashed abortion protest. Turns out that it’s about a severely mentally handicapped child who, despite the fact that he can’t communicate on a conventional level, can see, hear and feel everything that people are saying about him. In my mind, the two themes are surprisingly parallel. If music is about giving voice to the voiceless, this is music at its very best. Peak: Did not chart 4. “The River,” Chely Wright. This song is absolutely haunting. Despite Wright’s foreboding vocal, the river sounds like the archetype of youthful innocence until its waters swallow up a high school cheerleader and a young mother. What a masterpiece. Peak: Did not chart 3. “In Lonesome Dove,” Garth Brooks. This is a great example of the three-verse structure that I wrote about earlier this summer, and it’s one of the finest pieces of writing from the neo-traditional era. Familiar Brooks themes emerge as a woman is once again the one holding the gun at the end. The third verse manages to twist your viscera into knots without resorting to clichés. Peak: Unreleased 2. “There’s More Where That Came From,” Lee Ann Womack. The title track of the award-winning masterpiece that is arguably the best album released in my lifetime, “There’s More Where That Came From” was recorded at the end of an era. Many of the songs of the late nineties and early 2000s – persisting somewhat to this day – prominently featured the theme of salvation. Things might get bad, but in the end the singer was always delivered, most often by God or a good lover. Womack’s song is stunningly poignant because it is so unredeemed: “the worst part of doing what I never should have done is that I know there’s more where that came from.” The woman in this song is a cheater, and that’s not going to change. It’s the modern-day “The Midnight Oil.”