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.
By 15 she was sharing the stage with notable Pittsburgh musicians who recognized her inborn passion for rock and blues music. She paid her dues in every conceivable venue – from ballrooms to ballparks to brick alley bars – honing her skills and developing a style all her own.
The toil and sweat paid off. Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music awarded her the World Tour Scholarship, as well as the Aerosmith Endowment Award for outstanding achievement in music. She went on to co-found a Boston-area all-girl rock band, Mass Ave, that wowed audiences and piqued the interest of major record labels.
But Melinda knew she was destined to make her mark as a solo artist. She keeps on rolling – on stages and studios around the country – and is poised to become a bona fide presence in the rock world. Her 2010 EP “Don’t Be Sweet” received favorable reviews and considerable air play. She wrote or co-wrote four of the disc’s five songs, collaborating with Grammy Award winning singer, guitarist, producer Kevin Bowe on “The Hard Way.” Billboard’s World Song Contest recognized her for the EP’s title track. Next up is a full length CD, scheduled for release in early 2014.
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. When she sings, you don’t just hear it, you feel it. 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 that comes straight from the soul.”