MELISSA REAVES
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MELISSA REAVES

Boone, North Carolina, United States

Boone, North Carolina, United States
Band Americana Avant-garde

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"Melissa Reaves at Seattle's Central Cafe"

Melissa Reaves - Boone, NC
Live at Seattle's Central Cafe
By Pat Ferris

Last year, I was contacted by Elizabeth West, an aggressive but polite manager working for a rising star from North Carolina named Melissa Reaves. After reading Melissa's resume I knew she was the calibre of we seek for our monthly issue, and featured her last September on our site.

Last week, I was able to meet Melissa in person while she was in Seattle for the RockrGrl Conference, and was more than impressed by her talents on guitar, vocals and pure showmanship.

Having the chance to hang with Melissa and Elizabeth, I found that she DROVE to Washington, touring all the way here and back! She got here on Monday evening, and immediatly began hitting the jams in town in search of pick-up musician's to back her shows that week. I caught her first show at The Sit and Spin as the 3rd act of a 5 act line up for the Rockrgrl conference. Since there were 20 clubs and hundreds of female artists involved with the conference, there was never a packed house, but rather a steady stream of different faces trying to catch some of everything.

Thursday's backing band got an "e" for effort, but wasn't really the calibre deserving of Melissa, so she played about half of her 90 minutes as a solo act, opening with "Think you need Love" from her last CD Sentimental Anthem, and stunning the audience with her ultra high energy performance. Sentimental Anthem

Her Thursday performance DID attract the backing artists for her Saturday show at The Central in Seattle's Pioneer Square though. Saturday's band consisted of Veterans Dave Cashin on Keys, Seattle Slim on guitar, and brothers Tracy and Mark Arrington, on Drums and Bass...about the tightest rhythm section I've seen in recent memory. The most amazing thing about Saturday's performance was that the band sounded like they'd been playing with Melissa for years although they had never performed with her prior to that evening.

Melissa was invited to perform a benefit show at The Blue Moon for The Seattle Peace Concerts the following afternoon (Sunday), sharing the bill with Happy Savage and Seattle blues singer, Annie O'Neil. Sunday's performance was totally solo, but she blew everybody away, especially Seattle Peace Concert founder, Don Glen. She captured a headlining slot at one of the Peace Concerts next summer and drew people from Sunday's performance to follow her 180 miles to see her on Monday at Berbatis Pan in Portland!

If you get the opportunity to catch this firecracker, Melissa tours constantly and chances are good that she'll be in your region sometime soon. You can get a complete listing of her upcoming shows at her official webpage www.melissareaves.com and a lot of great free samples at her MP3.com site - Pat Ferris


"London's Kashmir Klub (show review)"

....Our next guest was a newcomer to the Kashmir Klub, and an incendiary one at that: MELISSA REAVES, it would be fair to say, knows her chops! Her guitar playing is furiously rhythmic, her command of echo pedals (enabling her to sample herself, building up layers of funkiness) is awesome, and her voice has power in reserve, possessing an incredible, visceral attack; the combination of these elements reminded this listener of Janis Joplin, backed by Curtis Mayfield. Through the four songs she played for us, Melissa moved across a variety of moods, mostly up tempo - although her album Sentimental Anthem shows she can handle slower material with equal aplomb. A truly original talent, we hope Melissa will come back soon. - Annabel


"Manhattan Mirror"

"She sings the blues-all heart and soul...Melissa delivered the goods and shook the place."
~~Manhattan Mirror; NYC - Rob Bloom~~Manhattan Mirror; NYC


Discography

Melissa Reaves (self titled) 6 song EP
Fall from Grace
Lullabye for Belle
Sentimental Anthem
Pretty Poovey UK Mix single
Rough Cuts
'Cowboys Arms' Work in progress
The Kitchen Tapes

Photos

Bio

Melissa Reaves Musician, Melissa Reaves has been delighting audiences throughout the U.S. for more than a decade with her rock, funk and rhythm & blues-based sound. Reaves is a powerful vocalist and guitar player whose style ranges from driving rock & roll to a funk and groove sound that lends itself to a diverse repertoire of originals as well as some occasional choice covers. Performing over 200 shows per year, Melissa spends most of her time touring with her eclectic solo show as well as with the four talented musicians from her band. In January 2000, Melissa was chosen to participate in a "Women of the Millennium" showcase at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France and toured in both England and France which included opening for Robert Plant of Led Zepplin.
In 1999, Melissa won the Lilith Fair Talent Search for the Charlotte area. She took the stage at Tremont Music Hall by storm and blew the crowd away. Melissa is well-known for her electrifying performances which leave her fans screaming for more. Her performance at Lilith Fair was incredible, and Melissa ended up on the main stage at the end of the night and truly brought down the house.
Melissa's third CD, Sentimental Anthem, includes a blend of some incredible grooves and the powerful extremes of Melissa's vocal abilities. Nine tracks are originals and the CD includes a dynamic rendition of "Purple Haze" with the Willy's, as well as a beautiful acoustic version of "I Know You Rider." For Reaves, one of the goals for this CD was to capture the intense energy of her live performances. Sentimental Anthem was released in May 1999, and has received outstanding reception from both fans and radio play.
Another of Reaves'accomplishments was the independent release of her debut album, Fall From Grace. Reaves wrote and arranged the entire album which includes ten listed tracks along with some extra surprises. Melissa has one track on the GO ON GIRL '97 CD compilation. The CD features female fronted bands from across the U.S. & Canada and is the brain child of Susan White at Fret Less Music.
Originally from North Carolina, Melissa Reaves tours nationally as well as internationally including New York,Boston,Atlanta,New Orleans,Seattle and Vancouver,BC. Melissa has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Sarah MacLachlan, Leon Russell,Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Doc Watson, Little Feat; and has performed for many benefits and rallies including New York Pride, Battered Women's Shelters, and PETA. Melissa has also been a featured artist at the MIDEM, CMJ, & LMNOP conferences and at the NEA Extravaganza.
Melissa Reaves & The Willys unique sound and charismatic presence has received excellent reviews for their shows in Seattle, NYC, and in the Boston area. Rob Bloom of NYC's Manhattan Mirror said that, 'Melissa sings the blues all heart and soul...Melissa delivered the goods and shook the place,' while Steve Rylie of Creative Loafing says, 'Reaves will electrify any audience and send chills down your spine.' Melissa has propelled herself forward in the independent music scene with enormous strides. With her dynamic stage presence and burning desire to entertain, Melissa Reaves is someone who will excite and energize any audience!