Melanie

Melanie

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

There aren't many bona fide legends anymore - but rarer still is the performer whose music speaks now with the same eloquence and beauty that ensured her place in history. Her voice, a resonant and passionate instrument, brings to life melodies and lyrics that capture the essence of a new generation

Biography

It's almost time …

For three years Melanie, who became the voice of an era in one magical instant onstage at Woodstock, has been putting the pieces in order.

Pieces of a career, scattered by the winds of experience and assembled again by the force of love into Paled By Dimmer Light, the most personal and brilliant of her many personal and brilliant albums.

Recorded in collaboration with Beau Jarred Schekeryk, Melanie's son and a guitarist/producer with a formidable future of his own, and scheduled for mid-April release, Paled By Dimmer Light takes root in the history she has already made but rises through the light of modern times toward something universal and enduring.

In the irony and compassion of "Smile," the wrenching emotion of "Extraordinary," the biting humor of "I Tried to Die Young," the rushing romanticism of "Elements," the unexpected insights derived from her interpretation of the album's one cover song (consider it a "surprise track"), and the stunning, unforgettable voice that brings each of these new songs to life, Paled By Dimmer Light is something greater than a comeback effort -- after all, Melanie never really left (see below).

No, this album is a kind of rebirth -- an ignition of the creative energies with which she had first conquered the musical world. As its mid-April release nears, so does the return of an artist who has already had a unique impact on music -- who, in fact, was a prototype for the singer/songwriter concept that we've come to assume was always with us. With tour dates being booked, Melanie is poised to enlighten new generations about what it means to sing with both passion and eloquence, to write at once with intelligence and emotion, and to inspire through song.

Others learned this from Melanie that night at Woodstock, where as a New York kid barely known outside of the coffeehouse circuit in Greenwich Village, she sang her song "Beautiful People" and inspired the first panorama of candles and cigarette lighters ever raised at a concert event. That, in turn, moved the young singer to write "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain"), which sold more than one million copies in 1970 and prompted Billboard, Cashbox, Melody Maker, Record World, and Bravo to anoint her as female vocalist of the year. Her single "Brand New Key," an infectious romp about freedom and roller skates, topped the charts in 1971.

And so her story began. With guitar in hand and a talent that combined amazing vocal equipment, disarming humor, and a vibrant engagement with life, she was booked as the first solo pop/rock artist ever to appear at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, the Sydney Opera House, and in the General Assembly of the United Nations, where delegates greeted her performances with standing ovations. The top television hosts of the time -- Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett -- battled to book her. (After her stunning performance on his show, Sullivan goggled that he had not seen such a "dedicated and responsive audience since Elvis Presley.")

Accolades rolled in, from critics ("Melanie's cult has long been famous, but it's a cult that's responding to something genuine and powerful -- which is maybe another way of saying that this writer counts himself as part of the cult too," wrote John Rockwell in The New York Times) as well as peers ("Melanie," insisted jazz piano virtuoso Roger Kellaway, "is extraordinary to the point that she could be sitting in front of us in this room and sing something like 'Momma Momma' right to us, and it would just go right through your entire being.")

In the years that followed Melanie continued to record, continued to tour. UNICEF made her its spokesperson; Jimi Hendrix's father introduced her to the multitude assembled for the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. Her records continued to sell -- more than eighty million to date. She's had her songs covered by singers as diverse as Cher, Dolly Parton, and Macy Gray. She's raised a family, won an Emmy, opened a restaurant, written a musical about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane …

She has, in short, lived a rare life. But all of it was just a prelude to what's about to come.

"It took me twenty years to do this album," she says today. "For the first time, I'm not afraid to voice exactly what I feel. I used to feel that I didn't want to say too much, but now I can say anything. Beau's ideas helped me understand this: They're so amazing, so off-the-wall, and yet there's something ancient about them. Honestly, he didn't come up with one thing that I didn't totally love."

For more than three years Melanie and Beau worked together. She wrote; the songs came faster than they ever had, each one opening a door to some new imperative. He created arrangements, came up with melodies of his own that dovetailed with what she had written, recorded the results. Just when they had enough for an album release, more songs poured forth, and they started again from scratch, building

Discography

Born To Be - 1968
Affectionately Melanie (UK) - 1969
Melanie (US) - 1969
Candles In The Rain - 1970
Leftover Wine - 1970
Live At Carnegie Hall -1970
R.P.M. (Soundtrack) - 1970
All The Right Noises (Soundtrack) - 1971
The Good Book - 1971
Gather Me -1971
Garden In The City - 1972
The Four Sides Of Melanie - 1972
Stoneground Words - 1972
In Concert - Live At Montreaux - 1973
The Very Best Of Melanie - 1973
Melanie At Carnegie Hall - 1973
Please Love Me - 1973
Madrugada - 1974
As I See Now - 1974
Sunset And Other Beginnings - 1975
Melanie In Concert - 1976
Photograph (Double Exposure) - 1976
Phonogenic - 1978
Ballroom Streets - 1978
Arabesque - 1982
Seventh Wave - 1983
Am I Real Or What - 1985
Melanie - 1987
Cowabonga - 1988
Precious Cargo - 1991
Silence Is King - 1993
Silver Anniversary - 1993
Freedom Knows My Name - 1993
Brand New Key - 1995
Old Bitch Warrior - 1995
Unchained Melanie - 1996
Greatest Hits - Live and New - 1996
Lowcountry - 1997
On Air - 1997
Antlers - 1997
Beautiful People - 1999
Ruby Tuesday - 1999
Ring The Living Bell - 1999
These Nights - 2001
Victim Of The Moon - 2002
Moments From My Life - 2002
Crazy Love - 2002
Paled By Dimmer Light - 2004
Olga's Birthday Party - 2005
Beautiful Hits - 2007

Set List

Melanie's set-list is uniquely designed and created around her audience of the moment. She includes her hits "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)", "Look What They've Done To My Song Ma", "Brand New Key", "Ruby Tuesday" as well as new material and special audience requests