With the coming and going of the obvious marketing ploy that was the women in rock movement of the last decade, Melissa Etheridge is one of those few, genuine women who, uh, rock. Arguments can be made for names like Sheryl Crow (more of a soft rock-flavored singer-songwriter) and Bonnie Raitt (who plays the blues like few others, male or female), but Etheridge is the closest to a heartland rocker along the lines of a Mellencamp or Petty.
On the heels of Memphis Rock and Soul, her thirteenth solo album, Etheridge is on the road in support of these dozen songs drawn from the deep and rich depths of the Stax/Volt canon.
Not surprisingly, the Kansas native’s raspy growl is tailor-made gems that were originally cut by the likes of Albert King (“Born Under a Bad Sign”), Otis Redding (I’ve Been Loving You Too Long [To Stop Now],” “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember”) and The Staples Singers (“Respect Yourself [People Stand Up]”). Most impressive is Etheridge’s take of William Bell’s “I Forgot to Be Your Lover,” where the fusion of her yearning phrasing and Lester Snell’s perfect set of rich, but not slick, string arrangements make this a song you’ll be repeatedly hitting the play button to experience again and again.
Making things even better is Etheridge’s New York City tour stop having her land at the Apollo Theater,
Melissa Etheridge will be appearing on Oct. 23 at the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., NYC. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.com or call 212-531-5305.