Liz Melendez

Liz Melendez

BandRockBlues

Liz Melendez is a captivating musician. She stands alone in the music industry as a singer/songwriter/lead guitarist. Even a casual listen will convince the skeptic. The woman has chops; She knows her stuff. If you're looking for sugar and spice, you have definitely come to the wrong place!

Biography

The Mission
Liz Melendez is, quite simply, one of the most exciting and promising new artists on the music horizon today. Her guitar prowess alone puts her far ahead of her contemporaries. Comparisons to Carlos Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughn are not uncommon. Not content to master the electric guitar, Melendez prides herself on being a “triple threat.” “Many guitarists can write songs, many songwriters can sing, and many singers can play a little. What is most unique about me is that I can do all three.” And she does “all three” exceedingly well. Her vocal style harkens back to Janis Joplin, though the compliment, “She reminds me of Bonnie Raitt,” has been overheard on more than one occasion.

Born and raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Liz moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1990s, lured by it’s vibe and location. “The south is home to so much of the music I love. It’s the heart of the new south and a great place to live. Plus it’s location makes touring the southeast easy.”

A formidable artist, she soon found herself in high demand as a lead and rhythm guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist. However, the desire to express her unique musical “voice” became too strong. Not content with the background, Liz released 2, all-original, full-length recordings. “Mercy” in 2001 and “Sweet Southern Soul” in 2007. Both have been praised for the quality and substance of the songwriting and the masterful guitar work. Nearly every track has become a fan favorite, with “Milagro”, “Mercy”, and “Justice County” most often requested. Worldwide radio air play and accolades in national and international publications soon followed.

An intense, dynamic performer, Melendez has garnered a substantial following touring the United States and internationally. She has headlined major festivals, notably the Chattanooga Riverbend Festival’s Bessie Smith Strut before an audience of over 70,000. Only one other female artist, Koko Taylor, has headlined the festival in its history. She has co-headlined the Cape Fear Blues Festival in Wilmington, N.C. and the Blues 2003 Festival in New York. She has opened for artists Nappy Roots and has performed on-stage with such notables as Bob Margolin, Henry Butler, Francine Reed, Hubert Sumlin, E.G. Kight, Chris Duarte and Candy Kane.

The 70s At 120 Decibels
Growing up, Liz was taught and heavily influenced by her father, Dan Melendez. She proudly admits he “lovingly blasted at deafening volume the great album rock and blues of the 70s during my tender, formative years.” She now dedicates all her musical pursuits to her father who, sadly, passed away shortly after the release of “Mercy”.

When a then five-year-old Liz first heard the guitar introduction to Freddie King’s “I Wonder Why”, her fascination with all things electric guitar began. “My father started teaching me rock and roll and blues standards like “Johnny B. Goode”, and “Hideaway”. He challenged me early on to learn Bill Doggett’s “Honky Tonk”, which was pretty tough for a little kid.” Much of what her father taught made no sense to young Liz, but he would reassure her “as if he could see into my future.” “This will all mean something very important to you someday,” he would say. He was right. By the time Liz discovered the “Brit-Blues” of Led Zeppelin, the hard rock of Black Sabbath, and the “out-of-his-body” Latin grooves of Carlos Santana, she found learning their songs coming naturally. The techniques and fundamentals Liz drilled had equipped her to tackle just about any musical style, techniques that can still be heard in music today.

“Probably more important to me than the guitar methods themselves,” she emphasizes, “my father taught me the fundamentals of what it means to be a great musician. He was an exceedingly intellectual man and he drove home his philosophy that becoming a great rhythm guitarist was an essential part of being a great lead guitarist and that the importance of learning to be a good support player as part of an ensemble was paramount in my pursuit of becoming a great musician.”

It was, however, the “Texas-shredding” of Stevie Ray Vaughn that changed her life. “Only a few artists change the way an instrument is played by all who come after them. I had never heard anything like Stevie Ray before and have not heard anyone like him since. My own homage and tribute (shows) have less to do with covering his songs and everything to do with expressing the way listening to his music makes me feel. It’s a pure desire to honor his contribution to my musical life.” Liz performs an amazing Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute show several times a year.

Her father’s support and wisdom are the basis for much of Liz’s conviction today. “He always told me, ‘Liz, don’t ever be afraid to get on stage with anyone. Don’t ever be intimidated. You can hang with anybody out there.’ He was always saying things like that,” she remembers. “One afternoon, he was lis

Lyrics

Drink From My Cup

Written By: Liz Melendez

Drink From My Cup
Words and Music by Liz Melendez

I'm sitting here reading your mind
In this crowded room I can barely look you in the eye
But the time has come that we move on
'Cause I can't be what you need

And I don't wanna be your enemy
But I think I've had enough
I know you only want the best for me
And I'm searching for some
Strength to raise it to my lips...
and take a Drink From My Cup

The people here have been so kind
Been closed for nearly an hour but they can see that I'm
Falling down on my knees

And I don't wanna be your enemy
But I think I've had enough
I know you only want the best for me
And I'm searching for some
Strength to raise it to my lips...
and take a Drink From My Cup

Justice County

Written By: Liz Melendez

Justice County
Words and music by Liz Melendez

Outlaw for all time
Ain’t no judge for my crime
I’ve done no wrong to be blind
To the evil ways of your kind

Bad men they surround me
Sometimes they get around me
I fought the law when they found me
In the killing fields of Justice County

Take my heart from my chest
Put my will to the test
‘Cause I will not seek and won’t request
Your consent so send your best

Bad men they surround me
Sometimes they get around me
I fought the law when they found me
In the killing fields of Justice County

Mercy

Written By: Liz Melendez


Mercy
Words and music by Liz Melendez

On this cold November day
You will see me smiling
Oh but it's been a while
Since I could laugh again
Talking with my friends
And now you'll hear me saying
Oh now that I'm ok...

Give me time to get you off my mind
'Cause I got too much going on
And I'm getting tired of crying
Do you find when you think of me
That you keep my head down
Is it still too soon to see
I'm at your Mercy

And it's true
What they say
It gets better by the hour
Better by the day
I move on
In my simple way
Getting stronger every hour
Stronger every day

No More Love

Written By: Liz Melendez

No More Love
Words and music by Liz Melendez

There is too much tying you up
It’s making it difficult
To undo these chains
And I ain’t gonna be
Another woman left in pain
I’ve got no more love

You don’t recognize my love
And you have testified enough
‘Cause a forgiving saint
You can bet I ain’t
So you just save it for the judge
I’ve got no more love

No more love
You have taken it all
No more, no more love

Come on over here baby
And give my your point of view
I’ve got a curious mind
And I’m aimin’ to find
Why you’re doing the things you do
I’ve got no more love

No more love
You have taken it all
No more, no more love

Discography

"Mercy"
2001; LP

"Sweet Southern Soul"
2007; LP
King Mojo Records

Set List

Our usual show includes 2 sets of an hour and a half each. Shows are a combination of covers and orginal material. What follows is a set list from a recent show at Darwin's Blues Bar. Original songs are marked with an asterisk.
.

First Set: Keep My Head On*
Mary Had A Little Lamb
Similar Circumstance*
Love Me Like A Man
Cadillac Coffin
Milagro*
Medley: Whipping Post
Fly Like An Eagle
Moondance
Little Wing

Second Set: South Bound
Mercy*
Drink From My Cup*
Do My Thing*
No More Love*
Sweet Southern Soul*
I Shall Be Released
Medley: Voodoo Child
Superstition
Will It Go Round In