Melisa Devost

Melisa Devost

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN
BandPop

Melisa Devost writes introspective songs which topics range from romance, gratuity and love lost to the role of raising children in the current climate to the super hero alter ego. Devost weaves these tails of woe and whoa! into rich folk-pop songs rooted in traditions of country-blues and gospel.

Biography

Melisa Devost has toured extensively throughout western and northern Canada, the UK and continental Europe, carving her niche as a compelling vocalist with the guitar chops and songwriting skills to match.
She has shared the stage with many folk/roots veterans such as, Ruthie Foster, Colin Linden and David Francey and has graced many festivals with her unique take on gospel singing, often teaching workshops on the subject.
Her latest record, A Sudden Shift of Existing Light, released in May 2009, is a tasty mix of imagery laden poignant lyrics and finger-style guitar wrapped up in Melisa's dynamically beautiful voice. She is joined on this recording by many guests, including Kent McAlister, Leah Abramson and Ken Whiteley.
Melisa grew up in the small rural community of Hornby Island. As a child, she showed interest and aptitude for writing and performing, but it wasn’t until her early teens that it was discovered that “this girl has some pipes.” After spending much of her teenage years in musical theatre, competitive choirs, and classical voice training, Melisa did what so many teenagers who grew up in small communities do- she got the hell outta there. In the small window between graduating high school and leaving for Europe, Melisa picked up a guitar for the first time and began to write songs in the small cabin she was living in; a scene that would often be repeated throughout her life.
Melisa spent the subsequent years back and forth between various places in Canada, and Ireland. It was in Ireland that she frequented trad music sessions, where the practice of singing acapella caught on (she is known to begin and end her shows acapella). As Melisa strode through life, she continued to write unabashedly about her experiences, developing a style of songwriting that is not unlike herself- thoughtful, honest and emotional.
In her early 20’s, following a very difficult time, her music turned a corner when she began to write Gospel and Blues songs. When asked “why Gospel music?” She replied: “I don’t really know. It sort of found me. It’s what my voice is meant to do.”
Mentored by folk veteran Ken Whiteley, Melisa continued to research and write Gospel and Blues music while studying guitar in the Malaspina Jazz Program on Vancouver Island.
Melisa’s first recording, an EP "Click,” was recorded and mixed in various cabins on Hornby Island and released in 2002. Her first full length record, “Capacity,” was recorded in Toronto and produced by Ken Whiteley. Released in 2005, “Capacity” boasts guest performers Carlos Del Junco, Colin Linden, Rick Fines and George Koller. Melisa toured this record to great acclaim, playing at venues and festivals throughout Western and Northern Canada, the UK and continental Europe, mostly solo. In addition to her own recordings, Melisa’s voice can also be heard on various others’ including Ken Whiteley’s “Gospel Music Makes Me Feel Alright’ and David Gogo’s “Skeleton Key.”
Her newest record, “A Sudden Shift of Existing Light” was released in May 2009, and had already garnered top-notch reviews.
Melisa currently lives in Vancouver BC. When not touring, or working on a series of very sad ukulele tunes, or singing on various local recording projects, including The Great Outdoors, Kingsway and Kent McAlister, or singing in The Abramson Singers, or playing bass in indie rock band Propolis, she finds herself often sitting on her porch, listening to the rain, staring up at the cherry tree, guitar on lap and pen in hand….

Discography

2002 - Click EP

2005 - Capacity

2009 - A Sudden Shift of Existing Light

Melisa can also be heard on the following records:

Ken Whiteley - Gospel Music Makes Me Feel Alright (2004)

David Gogo - Skeleton Key (2003)

Kent McAlister - The Way It Rolls (2007)

The Great Outdoors - 'Summer' and 'Fall' EPs (2008)

Corbin Murdoch and The Nautical Miles - Wartime Love Song (2009)