Melissa Rose
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Melissa Rose

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Bristol Evening Post (UK)"

"She is only slight, but her voice is deep and powerful with a delightful hint of southern twang. She's quite a talent as a songwriter as well as a singer."

- from the "Chicago Music Explosion" Tour

"The Liberty Southtown"

"Ziemer's voice moves comfortably between old school country music (think Loretta Lynn) and aggressive grrrl-rock (think Melissa Etheridge)." - from a show with 'The Juleps'

"UR Chicago"

"...(Ziemer) knows how to work an audience and has charm to spare..." - from a show with 'Gertrude'

"Chicago Skyline"

"(Rose) has a powerful stage presence when performing live. She intermingles solid musicianship with playful sweetness. She can engage an audience without much effort, yet she gives it all she's got every time out."
- Review of "Not All Black & White" CD

"The Chicagoist"

"...She has started to come into her own as a mature, confident performer with a soaring voice and tender melodies as we always like to see when someone begins to blossom into their actual potential". - Review of live performance at Millennium Park

"Blues Bunny - Glasgow, Scotland"

Melissa Rose Ziemer - "Not All Black & White" Fungo Records, Released 2003

BluesBunny has been a fan of Melissa Ziemer for some years. Her particular take on the female singer-songwriter thing has always been appealing. This CD was released to support a UK tour in 2003.

This is the kind of the music that is generally classed as heartfelt. Melissa knows a good tune can hide a political message as in "Safe Tonight". Even when singing of matters of the heart, she keeps the sugar content low and the charm content high. Try "All I Want is You" or "Laughter in the Rain" for size. Equally at home with fast or slow tempo, nothing on this CD disappoints. The running time is short at less than 23 minutes but there is no shortage in quality.

She sings from the heart and that is rare enough these days. If the USA wants to have a national treasure, then it should be Melissa Ziemer. The world would then be a better place. BluesBunny wants more!



1) Melissa Rose Ziemer "Not All Black & White" - 7 song pop/country/folk EP released in 2003 in the the US and UK. Produced by Melissa Ziemer & Matt Denny at Uptown Recording in Chicago, IL.

Tracks that have received streaming and/or radio airplay include "Safe Tonight", "Sweet Kisses" (featured on Iowas KUNI public radio compilation CD), "Stories" and "Laugh In The Rain".

2) Melissa Rose with 'THE JULEPS' - "Just Enough Rope" - Americana/Rockabilly double disc set released in 2001, includes 5 studio tracks and 4 live recordings from this All-Star Chicago line-up.

Songs that have received streaming or radio airplay include "You Gotta Wannit", "Just Enough Rope", "Blackwater Pine" & "My Better Angel" (featured on Chicago's 'Emerging Women in Chicago Music' compilation CD).

3) Melissa Ziemer & 'GERTRUDE' - 11 Rootsy Pop/Rock tracks recorded at Gravity Studios in Chicago and produced by Doug McBride (Cheap Trick, Bob Mould, Veruca Salt, Rachael Yamagata). Released in 1999.

Tracks that have received streaming and/or radio airplay include "Driftin' Nowhere", "Liar", "Air", "If I Knew", "Tragically Unreal" & "Do What You Want" (the latter three all being featured on LeBatt Blue Lights website and compilation CD of which 50,000 copies were distributed on the east coast).

Limited Edition Releases:

4) Melissa Ziemer Demos - 2004 UK Song Sampler
5) The Juleps Demos - 2002 UK Song Sampler
6) Soul Intention Demos - 1998 Release


Feeling a bit camera shy


Singer/Songwriter MELISSA ROSE ZIEMER leads the pack with her passionate, powerful voice and natural stage presence. Her crowd-involving performances have been lauded by the Chicago and UK Press, stating "Melissa's powerful voice and her mix of country pop and soul, transfixed the audience" (The Queens Hall, Narbeth UK), "Star rating? - Five out of five!" (Bristol Post, UK) and "She's a top flight performer with an engaging knack for songwriting" (Chicago Arts & Entertainment).

Ziemer has toured four times in the UK with the "Chicago Music Explosion", has been chosen as one of Chicago's top "Emerging Women in Chicago Music", has been voted "Best Female Fronted Band", and has had the honor of sharing the stage with such National Pop/Rock acts as 10,000 Maniacs, Blues Traveller, The Samples, Evan & Jaron, and The Why Store, as well as opening for Americana/Country acts Chuck Prophet, Stephen Bruton, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Bellamy Brothers, Charlie Robison & Michelle Shocked.

Bassist FRAN KONDORF has worked with Miss Ziemer since 2000, when they were in the country/rock band The Juleps. A Chicago native, Fran brings a solid rock and blues background to the band, having performed with numerous Chicago blues & rock acts. His laid-back attitude and ability to transfer from electric to upright bass allows the flexibility for the band to translate their music in a variety of settings and venues.

Drummer and Texas native RICH STITZEL arrived in Chicago in 2001 after having toured extensively throughout his home state with the experimental jazz rock group Bertha Coolidge. Stitzel brings a wealth of live and studio experience to the band and has quickly become one of the most sought after session and live performers in Chicago. Alternating between drums and percussion, Stitzel's studies in jazz and touring experience with country and rock bands give him just the right foundation to lay down the groove that will move the tune.

Keyboardist STEVE NIXON recently returned to the Windy City after graduating from the Berklee School of Music in Boston. A full-time sideman and teacher, Nixon's ability to effortlessly transfer from piano to hammond B-3 sounds, along with smooth harmony vocals, adds to the depth of Melissa Rose's sound.

Guitarist and Producer JAY O'ROURKE also began working with Miss Ziemer in The Juleps in 2001. O'Rourke has quite a musical history, including being signed to EPIC with his roots/rock band The Insiders in the early 1990's, as well as producing material for Chicago rock acts such as Liz Phair, Urge Overkill and Material Issue. O'Rourke is a top-notch session guitarist who spices things up with an eclectic mix of guitars ranging from an acoustic 12-string to electric mandolin to a straight up Fender or Gibson rock and roll electric 6 string.

Banjo player Chrys Mitchell hails from Iowa and has worked with Miss Rose for approximately two years.

Ziemer & Co. are equally comfortable ramping things up for the big stages as they are scaling things back for more intimate performances. Either way, you're sure to be treated to a good time and head home humming the tunes that Melissa Rose and her Chicago cohorts have penned!

Influences include Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Tracy Chapman, U2, Sheryl Crow, 10,000 Maniacs, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Heart, Julie & Buddy Miller, Amy Grant, The Pretenders, The Beatles & the Rolling Stones.