Melissa James

Price (At The Venue)
75 Minutes
  • Show Description
  • “Best current British blues singer I know.” – The words of BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson who has long given a nod of approval to the work of this singer-songwriter. Melissa James is, however, much more than a blues singer.

    In summer 2015 the recording of “Stripped Back” – her second album release – would unexpectedly take her in a new direction. “Live Again”, one of the songs recorded, had been written some two years before. Inspired by the silent call for help she had heard from a close companion, the song expresses the inner tussle of one who is enduring mental struggle.

    Intuition guided Melissa’s creative decision of recording the “Stripped Back” songs in a pared down setting. Her naked voice intimately placed against the backdrop of just the guitar played by Tom Gamble or the piano played by Arthur Lea. All this gave space for her own voice and plight to clearly emerge. Later, rising from this understanding was the idea of Sing for Sane – a Big Sing and mental health initiative in which Melissa would extend invitations to anyone who wanted to sing with her to come and do just that. People from all
    walks of life would stand alongside her in public spaces, and during her concert performances, to sing on stage. A further recording of “Live Again”, featuring voices of members of the public who had been welcomed into RAK Studios, was released as a Big Sing single with all sale proceeds going to the mental health charity SANE.

    Melissa is just as at ease performing for an intimate and homely crowd as she is on the stage of a large festival. Supporting Emile Sande at Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival, she captured the audience with her own set intention which is to emit love through her music. This is evident through the emotion in her voice and her songs which see rootsy folk-blues traverse jazz and gospel tones.

    Off-the-back of a completed run of performances in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, Melissa comes to Crazy Coqs with her band, bringing some of her latest, yet unreleased material, songs from “Stripped Back” and her highly acclaimed debut, “Day Dawns”.

    Photo Credit: Christina Massei


    “James takes all of her musical loves – jazz, blues, soul, folk – and wraps them up into songs that achieve an astonishing array of moods and emotions.”– Jazzwise
    “Melissa’s vocals are sensitive, soulful and emotional…” – Maverick


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