Friday, October 24, 2014


photo by John Tsiavis.

 A musical rocking good time is expected as singer Melissa Etheridge begins her tour to debut her new album entitled “This is M.E.”  with eleven brand new songs.  At present her hit single is called “A Little Bit of Me” and it’s simply a coincidence.   I interviewed Melissa getting some inside details. 

“It’s funny, I didn’t put that together until after I was calling it ‘This Is M.E.’ {regarding the single}.  Then we decided to use the photos of my fans as the album cover.  If you look closely you can see that my portrait is a makeup of digital photos of thousands of fans.”  ‘A Little Bit of Me’, keeps repeating, “There’s a little bit of me, in a little bit of you”.  Melissa points out “There is an activist part of me that believes that we realize that our diversity and uniqueness come together in one beautiful family.”  In the case of the photo, it is also a little bit of the fans in a little bit of her.  

“I just finished my solo tour and it was a blast.  Now, I’m going out with my full band in support of this record. Actually, most of my backing band is from New York City.  Jerry ‘Wonda’ Duplessis, who has an incredible studio, Platinum Sound, in the Theatre District, was a bass player for the Fugees and having done an amazing amount of stuff.  I talked him into going on the road with me as well as doing a couple of songs for me on the record, such as Monster and Do It Again.  I kept my drummer Blair Sinta.”  The rest is Wonda’s Platinum Sound consisting of: guitarist, Brandyn Porter; Arden Altino on the keys; and backup singers Angela Hunte and Ashley Loren. “This is the first time having background singers and I’m so crazy excited about it.”

“My brand new tour is full of insanely moving music.  I will be doing ten of the eleven songs since they have gotten such great reactions from my fans saying things like ‘This could be my possibly favorite album of yours.’ These fans go back 20 years and give me confidence to perform them.”

Asking about as to whether she wrote all of the songs on the album, Melissa said that she collaborated somewhat with the musicians but wrote all of the lyrics accept for “Do It Again” and “Ain’t That Bad” co-writing with Angela Hunte, a hip-hop artist.  “’Ain’t That Bad’ is more of a hip-hop-rock tune”, Melissa remarked.  For the song “Take My Number”, the original single, she said that she was trying to think which song should first be released before the album itself.  “Feedback was that it sounded more like an older song of mine that I would have done in the 90’s.  A comfort song.  It’s a sweet song with a story that I solo with my acoustic guitar.  “It’s a grown up ‘call me, baby’ song of how we’re going to date after a divorce.”

What is behind each song that she composes?  “It starts with an inspiration whether musical or an event going on giving me that feel of ‘I want to sing about this’.  Each song on this album was driven by my own personal idea”.

“’Who Are You Waiting For’, the only ballad on the record, was written for my wife, Linda, for our wedding. I actually sang that to her during our vows.  It was a wonderful moment. She is an amazing woman and we both cried.” The lyrics seem to point to Linda’s asking who Melissa was waiting for.  They had been friends for several years prior to their marriage this year.  “I’m not going to do that song as it is intimate and this show is pushing out! I’m going to keep that song for a while.”

Melissa also commented on her health being “just fine”.  “Ten years this October of being cancer free” and feeling that her food regiment is what keeps it that way. 

Melissa Etheridge will be performing at Town Hall in Manhattan on Wednesday, November 5th.  Check out her website:

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