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Young's spirited, raspy vocals command attention from the first cut on her debut album. Like fellow southerner Anthony Hamilton, she strikes a refreshing balance between contemporary and classic soul. It's a voice weaned on church and background stints with several artists, including raggae singer Ky-mani Marley. Young belts out raw, emotion-packed lyrics against funk-and-rock laced modern soul tracks. Listening to this sure-footed debut, you can just imagine how it will come across live. Repeat-worthy tracks: "Rock With Me", "Chinese Torture", "It's About You", and "Funny". - GAIL MITCHELL


The opening tune, "Rock With Me", immediately sets the mood of a silk scarf draped over a boudoir lamp. The tune's teasing guitar chords and classic bassline showcase musicians successfully evoking the stepper's set seductive mood. Here Ms. Young produces a timeless lyric that is tender, tentative and universal for grown folks struggling through first date sexual decisions. She hits it out of the ball park again with the inspirational title track "Just Up The Road." The tune sports an endearing duet with her father, whose well-laid vocals surprisingly sound like the grits and gravy Ron Isley readily dished out back in the day. Funky bass guitar and hot chocolate harmonies accompany Ms. Young's arched back declarations about her "Mr. Shonuff" fan-waving sexual appeal. On these tunes, Ms. Young is a striking, fun-loving figure who enthralls. Speaking of declarations, set against a stunning backdrop of horns, organ flashes and saucy backing vocals, Melissa's no-nonsense delivery of "Just A Girl" is the ultimate "take me as I am or move the hell on" ode to self-love. - SOULTRACKS


Stunning album, very instant and likeable with several standout tracks. Mixing old school sensibilities, very Southern Funky kind of vibe, but still very much an album for now. Rock with me. Midtempo, mellow vibe, catchy and I’m sure the UK will love this, sort of crossover (UK definition) type sound, and already getting plays by me at SoulFreedom events. Mr. Shonuff has that southern funky feel, bit kind of stax-y bit kind of TK, but againInstantly likeable and this is where the album scores heavily, the easiness that it feels.That said there’s heavier soul stuff too and it’s about you is possibly my favorite cut of all, a top ballad. But all tracks are strong; a very powerful deep soul blues “you’ll Never Know” is growing on me by the minute and might soon be my favorite. Sometimes with instant tracks, I worry that they may lose longevity but this kind of track stays in you forever. So Melissa can cut it at lots of levels and this should bring good success if there is any justice. - MIKE ASHLEY/SOLAR RADIO

"gentle and Subtle..."

Melissa Young hails from Greenville, South Carolina and, surprise, surprise – she started her singing career in the Church. ‘Just Up The Road’ is the young lady’s debut set and both those CV items are self-evident from the word go. The opener here, ‘Rock With Me’ is a delicious slab of modern soul. It’s subtle and sophisticated and though in no way frenetic and frantic it’s a perfect dancer – especially fro the growing number of arthritic-afflicted modern soul people (age is wonderful, isn’t it?). You’ll love the little instrumental hook, too. The next three cuts are almost as good – gentle and subtle – but still right for dancing in the appropriate arena. One of the trio - ‘Its About You’ boasts an interesting production – starting like a ballad with hints of ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, it develops into a clipped, medium beater. It’s a good cut – but best of the bunch is a wonderful ‘Funny’. It’s a very gentle tune, given an edge by Melissa’s Church-reared vocal. The melody’s enhanced by some sweet harmonies and in short, it reminds me of why I got mixed up in this crazy soul world in the first place. Elsewhere there’s some sweet ballads in ‘You’ll Never Know’ and ‘Stay’ while ‘Be There’ and ‘Silver Buttons’ lean towards the R&B tip – but nothing really wrong with that. However I keep coming back to ‘Funny’ and that lovely opener, ‘Rock With Me’ – proper music for grown ups. - Blues and Soul Magazine


"Just A Girl"- Current Single (R&R's Urban AC Top 100, Radio airplay, Streaming, Music Video)

Just Up The Road-Album

Mad At Myself- Single



Imagine a long car ride through a humid, small, southern town. Sweet smell of honeysuckle tickling your nose just as the dirty-orange dust from the road settles on your skin. You are lost, but an unseen force pulls and tugs you along. Battered porches and bent rocking chairs ground you. Leather hands and creased faces of the past define your existence. You are found. You are home. You were, after all, “Just Up The Road”.
On her debut CD, “Just Up The Road”, Melissa Young’s sweet, soulful tone tickles your nose and rest in your soul like sweet honeysuckle on a hot summer’s day. This freckled face songstress draws from her rich, southern roots to bring forth a delectable blend of soul, funk, and R&B grooves that take you back, but yet remains totally of the moment. Musical critics around the world praised Young’s pre-released single “Mad At Myself” and are highly anticipating her debut release on SugaShack Music this year. Blues and Soul’s Paddy Grady raves “Ms. Young has a superb, soulful voice that is just right for today’s modern scene”. From the first cut on the album, “Rock with Me”, Young grabs you with a “reminds me of something” type groove. But its originally Melissa and it reminds you of a simpler time when all music was this tasty. Next comes the debut single “Mr. Shonuff”. On this drum driven track, Young coyly speaks to the man that has it all together. The man she’s heard about, and dreams of one day meeting. She does this very well by blending, a catchy, sing-along hook with smooth, soul piercing harmonies. The track, “Chinese Torture”, is not your typical “you did me wrong” song, just check the title. The lyrics are potent and thought provoking. Young compares the pain of loving someone to torture in a Chinese prison. The emotion of Young’s voice rides like a deep wave rippling across the ocean of your soul. The music commands that you sit back, be still, and let it wash over you. Further into the project now, “It’s About You” is a catchy track about unfading love that Young penned with soul crooner, Anthony Hamilton. When asked about her favorites on the album Young says, “All of the songs are close to my heart…but two of my favorites are “Just A Girl” and “You’ll Never Know”. “Just A Girl” is my “I like me, take me as I am” song. It’s my anthem to me. On “You’ll Never Know” I was contemplating how we, as human beings, take love for granite and we never really know if and when it will come around again.” Young even serves up a dose of inspiration on the tracks “Be There” and the title track “Just Up The Road”, on which her father lends his Sam Cooke like tone. All-and-all, listeners will be quietly escorted through a colorful journey and it is sure to be a treat to the ears, and the soul. Ms. Young gets up close and personal and it’s hard not to be drawn into the soulful-poetic life experiences that she so vividly sings about. When blessed with the pleasure of meeting Melissa Young, do not mistake her for just another whimsical artist. No, this young lady boasts brains and beauty. Young very seldom discusses it, but she is also an accomplished filmmaker and touts a M.F.A from the number one film school in the country, NYU. That’s right, there is so much more behind those dark freckles, on that mysterious face. Young spent her early years in Greenville, South Carolina, she started her own singing group at the age of 15. In 1999, resolved to expand on her love of music, Young lent background vocals to several artists, including reggae singer Ky-mani Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley. These days Melissa can be found burning up the stages of her new home Atlanta and other cities across the country. Her album, "Just Up The Road", is set for release in 2008 as one of SugaShack Music's debut projects.

"Just Up The Road" is symbolic of the journey Young has traveled thus far in her life. “At times,” she says, “I feel like I am on this long country road, pit stopping in small towns along the way. Each time that I get back on the road, I've learned something new to carry with me. Sometimes I'm a little lost, but I never stop looking for my destination. I know however hard or challenging, what I am looking for is right up the road, so I keep going. Just when I feel I've gone too far or missed my stop, I look up and what I am looking for is right there, where it’s supposed to be…in front of me, Just Up the Road.”