|Melissa Reaves - Boone,
Live at Seattle's Central Cafe
By Pat Ferris
Last year, I was contacted by Elizabeth West, an aggressive but polite manager working for a rising star from North Carolina named Melissa Reaves. After reading Melissa's resume I knew she was the calibre of we seek for our monthly issue, and featured her last September on our site.
Last week, I was able to meet Melissa in person while she was in Seattle for the RockrGrl Conference, and was more than impressed by her talents on guitar, vocals and pure showmanship.
Having the chance to hang with Melissa and Elizabeth, I found that she DROVE to Washington, touring all the way here and back! She got here on Monday evening, and immediatly began hitting the jams in town in search of pick-up musician's to back her shows that week. I caught her first show at The Sit and Spin as the 3rd act of a 5 act line up for the Rockrgrl conference. Since there were 20 clubs and hundreds of female artists involved with the conference, there was never a packed house, but rather a steady stream of different faces trying to catch some of everything.
Thursday's backing band got an "e" for effort, but wasn't really the calibre deserving of Melissa, so she played about half of her 90 minutes as a solo act, opening with "Think you need Love" from her last CD Sentimental Anthem, and stunning the audience with her ultra high energy performance.
Her Thursday performance DID attract the backing artists for her Saturday show at The Central in Seattle's Pioneer Square though. Saturday's band consisted of Veterans Dave Cashin on Keys, Seattle Slim on guitar, and brothers Tracy and Mark Arrington, on Drums and Bass...about the tightest rhythm section I've seen in recent memory. The most amazing thing about Saturday's performance was that the band sounded like they'd been playing with Melissa for years although they had never performed with her prior to that evening.
Melissa was invited to perform a benefit show at The Blue Moon for The Seattle Peace Concerts the following afternoon (Sunday), sharing the bill with Happy Savage and Seattle blues singer, Annie O'Neil. Sunday's performance was totally solo, but she blew everybody away, especially Seattle Peace Concert founder, Don Glen. She captured a headlining slot at one of the Peace Concerts next summer and drew people from Sunday's performance to follow her 180 miles to see her on Monday at Berbatis Pan in Portland!
If you get the opportunity to catch this firecracker, Melissa tours constantly and chances are good that she'll be in your region sometime soon. You can get a complete listing of her upcoming shows at her official webpage www.melissareaves.com and a lot of great free samples at her MP3.com site