Posts Tagged ‘Melissa Etheridge’

Melissa Etheridge, 'Memphis Rock and Soul'

After spending decades writing all her own material, Singer Songwriter Melissa Etheridge headed to Memphis to delve into her musical roots on her 14th album. Recorded with a group of legendary local musicians, Memphis Rock and Soul is a collection of Stax covers that includes both Otis Redding hits and underrated gems by veteran songwriter William Bell. “When I heard ‘Any Other Way,’ I went, ‘Oh, my God, every Bruce Springsteen song can thank William Bell,'” says Etheridge, who tends to perform the 60’s Southern R&B tracks in slowed-down, rock-leaning arrangements. One of the more inspired performances is the reworking of the Staples Singers’ “Respect Yourself,” which uses the song’s original backing track and includes new lyrics written with singer-songwriter Priscilla Renea that update the civil-rights anthem for “a more modern ear.” “Memphis is this bridge between rock and roll, r&b, gospel and country music,” says Etheridge. “It all comes from the same wellspring.”

Melissa Etheridge covers the Sam and Dave classic “Hold On, I’m Coming” on this special episode of Inside Tracks. There were many who were a little shocked when it was announced last week that Melissa Etheridge’s new album, Memphis Rock & Soul, would be a cover album of songs from the Stax catalog.

Those that questioned the new release were given the track Hold On, I’m Comin’ which alleviated a lot of the angst. Melissa really could transition to a 60’s soul sound.

On Friday, Etheridge kicked the challenge up a notch asking fans of soul to accept the song played solo on a twelve-string guitar and, by God, she pulled it off. This is a blistering version of the Sam and Dave classic courtesy of the Audience Network.

Hear, Melissa Etheridge, Chilling, Pulse, Dedicated, Orlando, Victims

After the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub that left 49 dead and over 50 injured, people have tried to find a way to cope with the feelings that left them reeling from the senseless killing. Melissa Etheridge was equally heartbroken when she heard the news while on tour, and then proceded to write a song in response

“I’m dealing with it the way I deal, which is, I wrote a song,” she said. “I just sat here, and I just started writing a song… That’s how I first started to cope because, as a singer songwriter, I feel very… I’ve done this before. I feel called to speak; to do what musicians do. We’ve been the town criers for hundreds of years. We’re mirrors of society. We want to try to make sense. We want to try to heal. We want to bring some meaning, some purpose. We also want to put it down forever in history. That’s how I’m coping.”

She went into the studio with producer Jerry Wonda on Monday and laid down this heartbreaking track. She said she titled the song “Pulse,” after the name of the club, because “there’s just something very poetic and very meaningful about the name… You just start thinking about your own pulse. It’s the way I’ve always felt about the gay movement, the gay issue. Here we are – people who are loving; we are fighting for who we want to love.”

The anthemic ballad begins with the lines: “Everybody’s got a pain inside/ Imaginary wounds they fight to hide/ How can I hate them, when everybody’s got a pulse?” and the refrain reinforces the need for unity in the face of hate as it repeats: “I am human; I am love/ And my heart beats with my blood/ Love will always win/ Underneath the skin, everybody’s got a pulse.”

Perhaps the most chilling moment comes in the stanza in which she seems to be addressing Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old man who killed and injured so many: “Who you gonna hate now?/ When there’s no one left but you?/ Who you gonna gun down?/ If you can’t kill the truth/ That it’s inside of us/ Inside our blood/ Inside our pulse.”

The song will be made available for purchase soon and Melissa Etheridge says all proceeds will be donated to an LGBT charity.