From an old steel mill city once described as “hell with the lid off” comes a singer/songwriter with red-hot fire in her soul. Melinda is her name, and this Pittsburgh-born artist could well be described as the belle of blues-infused rock. She’s been raising roofs for years, from Boston to Los Angeles, with her four alarm voice and earthy stage presence. No gimmicks, no girl-pop. Just full-tilt rock and roll.
Melinda is one of those rare artists who found their calling at a young age. She picked up an electric guitar at 13 and began soaking up the sounds and styles that would influence her singing and inspire her writing: the desperate blues wail of Etta James, the swampy growl of Janis Joplin, the searing guitar licks of Jimi Hendrix, the raw intensity of The Rolling Stones.
Her debut album Witness was released in 2014 and has received favorable international press and airplay, and Melinda recently appeared on the cover of Blues Matters Magazine in the UK. The album was co-produced and co-written with guitarist/producer Kristian Habenicht, who’s guitar playing is a stable sound in Melinda’s music.
Melinda’s latest single “Keeper of the Flame”, won first place in the 91.3FM WYEP/Dos Equis songwriting competition and the song’s music video was released in October 2015. Melinda is an exciting young artist who puts her own stamp on a musical style deeply rooted in authentic blues, R&B, and rock tradition. She sums it up best herself: “I view singing not as hitting all the right notes but as hitting the audience’s heart with honesty and passion, straight from the soul.”
”Melinda has already carved out a unique and creative niche for herself and when you add everything else up, I must say there is no stopping this immense talent.”
– John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network
“Melinda could find her musical ancestors in the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge and Susan Tedeschi. Her vocals have such depth, they recall Aretha Franklin at times.”
– Andy Mulkerin, City Paper
“Armed with a powerful, bluesy voice and legit guitar chops, Melinda delivers a stellar eight-track slab featuring six originals and covers of The Black Crowes (“Seeing Things”) and The Rolling Stones (“No Expectations”).”
– Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsburgh In Tune
As host of WYEP’s Coffeehouse Conversations, I’ve had the opportunity to interview many artists with talent, and while Melinda is an amazing vocalist, a skilled writer, and a gifted interpreter of seminal songs, it is her passion and reverence of the blues and rock n roll that makes her work stand out. Her extensive knowledge of these genres translates into inspired songwriting and energizing live performances (as was witnessed by her taking top honors during the 2015 Dos Equis Singer-Songwriter Competition).
– Adam Kukic, 91.3 WYEP FM