Melissa Crabtree

Melissa Crabtree

 Taos, New Mexico, USA
SoloAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Whether singing about the majestic beauty of the colorado river, or offering political commentary on environmental issues, crabtree's enthusiasm and love for the wild side of things sets even the most sedentary souls heart on a wondrous journey.

Biography

While performing across the rocky mountains and on the west coast, Crabtree has played many notable festivals,including the high sierra music festival, moab folk festival, oregon country fair and the taos solar music festival. She has also received songwriting awards at the telluride bluegrass festival,the rocky mountain folks festival, the tucson folk festival, and the kerrville folk festival. In 2002, she was among the 10 finalists in the songwriter showcase at both the rocky mountain folksfest in lyons, colorado and the tucson folk festival. in 2004 she was among the top five finalists in the telluride bluegrass festival's troubador contest. in 2006 her song "message from a soldier", got the attention of noel(paul)stookey (from peter, paul and mary)who invited her to perform at the kerrville folk festival where she was a finalist in the kerrville music to life public domain foundation songwriting contest.she has shared the stage with many leading folk performers including Greg Brown, Ani Difranco, Michelle Shocked, John Prine, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Dar Williams, david wilcox, Kris Delmhorst and Tony Furtado.
Melissa Crabtree has been living her life as an outdoor guide and musician. with the wilderness as both her home and her muse, her songs transport the listener to a world of mammoth cliffs and rushing rivers. Playing live, Crabtree delivers heartfelt stories with her distinctively husky alto and pleasingly twangy guitar-style. She loves playing on the back porch, and brings the same easy-going, down-home style to the stage. She also performs live on the river, while guiding trips on the grand canyon and on many other rivers in the western united states.
Crabtree released her first cd while touring across the country in a vegetable-oil powered van, to protest our nation's petroleum addiction. She also produced a compilation cd of songs and spoken word about alternatives to fossil fuels which includes Julia Butterfly Hill, Tony Furtado and Julie Wolf (Ani Difranco band).

Crabtree's debut album "off the beaten path" was released in the spring of 2002. it was produced with cookie marenco and wally ingram, and features tony furtado, darol anger and a host of other fine musicians. The title track was inspired by southwestern fringe living, as experienced by crabtree and her friends. in the first lines of the song, we are introduced to a "dusty, dusty devil, spinnin. lots of sand" who "kicks up her heels and flies across the land" and by the end, we recognize that the song is an autobiographical sketch of the guitar-toting, river-running artist herself: "she's swirlin in an eddy, getting caught in the cane, she gets stuck in that eddy, and swirls around again, she spends her days out on a river raft, she walks off the beaten path."

Quotes:
"A road-wise folkie with a bluesy soul reminiscent of early Michelle Shocked, Melissa Crabtree is an original storyteller and performer not to be missed." - Catie Curtis
"This is one bad ass who knows how to weave a soulful tune". - Tony Furtado

"I'm glad she's on the Planet." - Patty Larkin

Melissa's music is like the white water she guides on; "A Bluesy wild ride down a river of emotions or environmental issues, dealing with them honest and in ernest, not letting them get the best of her, as she outrides them and paddles down the river... her performance is strong and free...just like her rivers." - Caroline Aiken

Lyrics

Message from a soldier

Written By: melissa crabtree and sand sheff

MESSAGE FROM A SOLDIER by Melissa Crabtree and Sand Sheff

You never know who you’ll meet on the plane
Especially when the whole worlds gone insane
His name was Dale from Indiana
I liked him right away
I got searched at the gate and they found bananas and
they put them through their new x-ray
Another time another place I think I dreamt about a man with a similar face

Well we both started talking about the patriot act
He said, “I guess they got together just to stab us in the back
But I gotta be careful about what I say
Cuz if the colonel heard he’d have em haul me away
Their sending me down to Babylon land
I’m headed to fight in the desert sand”

***********
CHORUS:
It’s the same sad song
Same sweet world
Both of us are praying for peace tonight
Same soldier boy
Same worried girl
Wondering if we’re ever gonna get it right
******

I was just flying from the frisco bay
Marching for peace just yesterday
Well here was a soldier a beautiful man
I told him my name and he gave me his hand
We sat together on that old jet plane
From different worlds we saw it just the same

CHORUS

He said “Its up to you what kind of world you want
Cuz I’m currently the property of the government
And I don’t believe I should be fighting this war
But I do it cuz my people always done it before”
He said, “girl be a messenger,
tell em war is wrong
Do me a favor and put it in a song.”

CHORUS

Message from a Soldier

Written By: Melissa Crabtree

MESSAGE FROM A SOLDIER Melissa Crabtree

You never know who you’ll meet on the plane
Especially when the whole worlds gone insane
His name was Dale from Indiana
I liked him right away
I got searched at the gate and they found bananas and
they put them through their new x-ray
Another time another place I think I dreamt about a man with a similar face

Well we both started talking about the patriot act
He said, “I guess they got together just to stab us in the back
But I gotta be careful about what I say
Cuz if the colonel heard he’d have em haul me away
Their sending me down to Babylon land
I’m headed to fight in the desert sand”

***********
CHORUS:
It’s the same sad song
Same sweet world
Both of us are praying for peace tonight
Same soldier boy
Same worried girl
Wondering if we’re ever gonna get it right
******

I was just flying from the frisco bay
Marching for peace just yesterday
Well here was a soldier a beautiful man
I told him my name and he gave me his hand
We sat together on that old jet plane
From different worlds we saw it just the same

CHORUS

He said “Its up to you what kind of world you want
Cuz I’m currently the property of the government
And I don’t believe I should be fighting this war
But I do it cuz my people always done it before”
He said, “girl be a messenger,
tell em war is wrong
Do me a favor and put it in a song.”

CHORUS

Spirit Mountain

Written By: Melissa Crabtree

Spirit Mountain By Melissa Crabtree

Spirit Mountain can you tell me how to hold the moon
Hold it in my palm don’t let it go too soon
And enlighten the smallest pearl
I’ve been looking for that jewel ever since I was a girl

Spirit mountain can you tell me
How to hold the sun
Cuz when I stare into those bright rays I always try to run
And my reflection in the water is on fire
She is ripped away so quickly and I am getting so tired

Spirit mountain can you tell me how to let her go
There’s the biggest river running by carrying melted snow
And I just gave myself away
To the river as it flows downstream forever may I stay

Spirit mountain can you tell me how to hold this life
When the clouds look like dragons and the thunder pounds all night
And all my dreams are fading away
To a gentle wind blowing down the river I will pray

Repeat first verse

On My Way to Mississippi

Written By: Melissa Crabtree

Mississippi By Melissa Crabtree

I am digging up a grave
One I buried myself in long ago
Now I’m trying to learn how to feel my heart
Gotta take this one real slow

Will you Hold me Close on the way to Mississippi?
I can feel the cool rain coming down
Will You Hold me Close on my Way to Mississippi
I’ll be traveling westward Bound

I Buried my Mother and I Buried My Dad
I dug some Deep Holes in the Ground
Let these ancestors rest and finally find some peace
As these tears come rolling down

Chorus: Will you Hold me Close on the way to Mississippi?
I can feel the cool rain coming down
Will You Hold me Close on my Way to Mississippi
I’ll be traveling westward Bound

Bridge
Theres nothing like a southern rain
Drippin From the Old Oak Trees
Theres Nothing Like your Smiling Face
Bring me Right to My Knees

Babe you came to me as such a sweet surprise
And I don’t want to let you go too soon
I Long to be in eachothers arms Beneath the Southern Moon

Chorus: Will you Hold me Close on the way to Mississippi?
I can feel the cool rain coming down
Will You Hold me Close on my Way to Mississippi
I’ll be traveling westward Bound

Lackawanna (Understanding You)

Written By: Melissa Crabtree,Jane Karras

Lackawanna
By Melissa Crabtree and Jane Karras

I went to Lackawanna to try and find your mama for you
I drove 14 hours to try and understand you for you
I must be insane to think we can heal from this pain
I don’t know why I keep trying
But I hear you crying

Back in Lackawanna
I try and heal the trauma for you
I drive past the steel mill
I drive past the hospital too.
You must feel insane
To not have a name
All of your life they’ve been hiding
And lying

I went to Lackawanna
You might not have wanted me to
But I need to find out Baby what really happened to you
You Keep it locked up inside
Like the records they hide
You just can’t explain whats on your mind

Back in Lackawanna
The Church Bells Ring thru the Rain
I Drive past the steel mill
I wish I could hold you again
But my love can’t replace
That invisible face
That left you alone and crying

I went to Lackawanna