Friday 20 November 2015

Melissa James - Stripped Back, almost

Melissa James
Melissa James - vocal/voice
 Arthur Lea - piano
Jack Ross - guitar

Venue - LIBRARY, private members club, 112 St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4BD
Date - 19th October 2015
Current Album - Stripped Back (Soon to be released)

Arthur Lea
See next at -
22nd November 2015 - Green Note, London, UK
16th March 2015 - Southbank Centre Free Stage, London, UK

London is full of hidden treasures at this moment in time and new venue LIBRARY fits firmly on that shelf.  It is a joy to reacquaint oneself also with those previously unearthed gems and Melissa James is as talented and uncomplicated as you could wish for in a hunt for faceted beauty.

To see our world through a strangers eyes is also a gift and I had the pleasure of accompanying Bosnia and Herzegovina artist Sara Lerota to this gig. It was billed as an album launch but it was in reality a stepping stone in reaching Melissa James imminent album 'Stripped Back'. The music is recorded, mixed and mastered but not yet officially released. This will happen in March 2016 but in the meantime you can still help James fund the project through her Pledgemusic campaign.

Jack Ross
Stripped Back is the latest release from soulful-folk singer Melissa James. It was Melissa’s 2012 release, Day Dawns, that first showcased her stories told through song and her blend of styles which melt her soul spirit with folk, country, jazz and blues. The album was hugely welcomed, having been met with rave reviews and a top 10 position in the EuroAmericana Chart.

Drawing upon the soulful sounds of her youth and her latter day music influences, Melissa’s songs chart growth and hurt; success through adversity. It’s bringing to the fore the tales that are built into her own life as well as those lives and influences that have surrounded her. And this can be heard no more evidently than in her current project entitled Stripped Back. Recorded in July and August this year, these acoustic sessions, recorded live, candidly expose the vulnerability in her voice, with nothing more than guitar or piano as a bed for it to rest on allowing the listener space to become lost in the stories behind the music and her voice.

Sara Lerota
Although Melissa James was as advertised, stripped back, vocally it would be more accurate to think of purity rather than nakedness. The richness of her voice creates seeping pools of colour in the mind, the density of which are saturated so much they have the tangibility of an impasto. It shows a surety in desire and a fineness in delivery. Her voice is those slivers of light that you see slicing through a young copse, sharps of green or those trailing fine threads teased from a seamstress' box.


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