*** RECIPIENT OF THE 2005 BEST BLUES RECORDING AWARD (Washington Area Music Association) ***
BLUES MATTERS MAGAZINE, UNITED KINGDOM (April/May 2006):
"If Melanie Mason had leant against the door frame of Blues Alley, crooked her finger, winked her eye and thrown back her ginger curls she could not have made a more irresistible invitation than 'Crave,' the opening track of her live CD. Hot, sultry and sexy – if Mason wasn't breathless at the finish, the audience must have been. The 14 tracks on 'Live At Blues Alley' are split between six originals, seven covers and one hybrid, 'Born In The Country.'
As is usual with artists of this calibre, her own songs fit far more snugly than someone else's. The aforementioned 'Crave' and 'Mississippi Blues' are a natural product of her own sensuality...Melanie Mason is no slouch on lead guitar and the album is studded with magical moments, most notably on 'Love's Slow Burn,' a song so heavy with atmosphere it comes with it's own weather warning. As the album progresses, Mason and the band fall back on some old favourites, Hendrix's 'Castles Made Of Sand' and Robert Johnson's 'Crossroads.' Fittingly, the album finishes as it began, with a fabulous Melanie Mason original, 'Gospel By The River.'" –Michael Mee, www.bluesmatters.com
BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE, USA (October/November 2005):
"Melanie Mason doesn't stake her claim on her sultry looks; instead, she puts her sturdy guitar and vocals front and center. On her latest album, 'Live at Blues Alley,' she also shows she knows how to work a hook in her favor: Tracks such as 'Work Your Magic' do their stuff simply and effectively, and 'Crave,' with Mason's breathy vocal, is a radio single waiting to happen. Not shy about big covers, she tackles John Lee Hooker's 'I'm in the Mood,' cranking her feminine wiles to the max to make it her own. Elsewhere she bites off 'Thrill Is Gone,' Hendrix's 'Castles Made of Sand,' Robert Johnson's 'Crossroads,' and U2's 'When Love Comes to Town.'
There's a Southern sound here, and a potent link to the Delta. Inhibited Mason is not: Her guitar work on 'Thrill,' 'Castles,' and (especially) 'Before You Accuse Me,' where organist Tommy Lepson leaps to the fore on vocals, is eye-opening. And Mason can unleash absolutely monster axe when she needs to, as 'Love's Slow Burn,' minus the subtleties, demonstrates. She seems to shine brightest on her own compositions, such as 'Gospel by the River,' where her attack recalls Robert Cray even as her vocals cook up something uniquely hers.
Mason's band--Lepson on organ and vocals, Sam Goodall on bass, and ElTorro Gamble on drums--hits a deeper groove with another original, 'Mississippi Blues.' Here, Lepson provides a thick, solid base of B-3 upon which the bandleader addresses her stinging slide....Keep your eye on this lady...."
--Eric Thom, Oct/Nov 2005 Blues Revue Magazine
ABOUT THE NEW CD:
"Live at Blues Alley," the third release from blues guitarist/vocalist Melanie Mason, contains 14 songs - half of which are penned by Mason. Featured on the album are Sam Goodall on bass, ElTorro Gamble on drums, and special guest Tommy Lepson on organ. Recorded in the summer of 2004, the album captures their powerful live performance at the legendary Blues Alley - the nation's oldest continuing jazz supper club.
ABOUT MASON'S OTHER CDs:
Mason's debut CD, "Bendin' the Blues," won the 2001 Blues Recording Award from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA), and held the #1 top-selling blues album spot on CD Baby for over three years. It is currently in the #2 spot.
Mason's follow-up album, "Lonesome Is I," featured Mason solo on acoustic guitar, performing a collection of traditional blues tunes plus several strong orginals. The album won the 2004 WAMA Blues Recording Award and garnered a cross-genre nomination for 2004 Album of the Year.
"Bendin' the Blues," 2001 (www.cdbaby.com/group/mmason)
"Lonesome Is I," 2004 (www.cdbaby.com/group/mmason)
"Live at Blues Alley," 2005
>> #1 top-selling blues artist on CD Baby from 2001 - 2004
>> Opening act for Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray, Don McLean, Robin Trower, Little Feat guitarists Barrere & Tackett, and more
>> Regional WETA-TV promo appearances for Martin Scorsese's "The Blues" film series
>> Winner of the 2003 D.C. Blues Society International Blues Challenge
>> Winner of two "Best Blues Recording" awards from the Washington Area Music Association ("Bendin' the Blues," 2001; and "Lonesome Is I," 2004)
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information about Mason and her band, visit www.melaniemason.com. Please spread the word about this up and coming artist. Thank you for supporting independent music!