melissa warner
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melissa warner

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The best kept secret in music


"smart, sassy and sensitive all at the same time"

Before I say anything else I have to say this first. Emphatic kudos to Melissa for tackling a cover of a Social Distortion classic. Not only does she do "Ball & Chain" justice, she manages to make the song her own with her twangy vocals and superb guitar twang provided by David Prill. As a longtime fan of Social D, and the way they'd put a cover on every album, I just wanted Melissa to know first and foremost that I noticed and applaud this cover. Now...was the rest of the album just as good. Yes...yes it was, and still is! Melissa has an awesome alt-country voice, with just enough twang to add the country vibe, but not so much that you think you're in a honky-tonk. Some of the songs have a more folk/folk rock appeal, much like Dar Williams. And she carries those tunes with the same aplomb and assurance as the more twang-based cuts. As with all good folk based records, and I'm not scared to say that a lot of this album has a folk foundation, the lyrics are stories, not just a bunch of rhymes or random train of thought ramblings strung together. The songs have beginnings, middles and resolution in the end. She doesn't try to dazzle us with intricate word play, instead her stories are woven together with simple, but vibrant verbal imagery that we can't help but feel drawn toward. This is an exemplary release. It's one I can imagine recommending to a fairly varied audience. If you enjoy music that's smart, sassy and sensitive all at the same time, this disc should be in your collection. Favored Tracks: #3 | Still Be Around #8 | Patience #11 | Ball & Chain -


It’s taken four years, but Melissa Warner’s finally answered her excellent Emperor Norton debut—and even topped it. Although the flavor may be alt-country, the singer-guitarist’s intuitive knack for crafting hum-for-days tunes has grown so sharp, genre ain’t even an issue; the closest thing to filler on Orange is a sexy-twangy cover of Social D’s “Ball & Chain.” The band is ace, but here it’s all about Warner’s songs and voice. - Bill Frost, The Salt Lake City Weekly


'emperor norton' released 1999
'orange' released 2003
from 'orange
'rainstreet' reached # 13 on Artist Independent Radio listener charts
'slim chance' featured as 'Track of the Day' May, 2003 on


Feeling a bit camera shy


Winner: 1999 SLAMMY (Salt Lake Area Music Award) for Best Folk/Acoustic
2000 Citysearch Readers Poll – Best Local Singer
2001 SLAMMY for Best Female Vocalist

Melissa Warner has been playing music either as a solo artist or as part of a band for over ten years. She has performed in nearly every club in Salt Lake City and many other venues throughout the West. Melissa is an energetic performer and along with her band showcased at the 1999 NXNW. She has also shared the stage with such notable artists as Alejandro Escovedo, Michelle Malone, Sister 7 and Sally Taylor. The highlight of her performances in 2002 was the opportunity to open for John Hiatt at the Red Butte Gardens Summer concert series.
Melissa's first CD, entitled “emperor norton”, is a collection of 11 songs, sparsely arranged to showcase what the Salt Lake Tribune calls “her wonderfully strong, knowing voice and insightful lyrics.” Released July 1999, “emperor Norton” appeared in the Salt Lake City Weekly's top 30 local CDs for that year. Songs from Melissa's recently released second CD, "orange" have already begun to receive praise. Melissa's song "brown eyes" is one of two local tracks which appear on the "KRCL live" compilation featuring national acts like Robert Earle Keen, Michelle Shocked and Dar Williams. Her song "slim chance" reached number one on's folk/country charts and was featured as 'track of the day' May 29th, 2003.