I’ve known Melissa Greener since she first arrived in Nashville (from native Detroit) about five years ago. We have traveled in familiar circles all that time, but I think I have actually heard/seen her perform just once, when she sat in for a few songs amid somebody else’s set… somewhere. The details are fuzzy, all I remember is she played a “fan fret” acoustic guitar – an instrumental choice indicative of a woman of some distinction, even if I can’t remember now what exactly she played on that exotic instrument.
Well I sure remember her material now.
Last Friday, Melissa performed a set at the Douglas Corner Cafe in Nashville – which she mentioned from the stage was her first full show here in the entire time she’s called Nashville home.
It was worth the wait. Boy, was it worth the wait.
For this show, Melissa assembled a full band (sorry, I don’t know the name of all the players – will update when that info comes across my transom). The stage was filled with keyboard, bass, drums, lead guitar and two harmony vocalists. And despite all that personnel, this was the blessed (i.e. rare) show where the quantity of sound did not drown out the lyric content.
Melissa Greener proved to be an incredibly compelling performer. Start with deft, intricate guitar figures played on both acoustic and electric guitars (no fan frets); add rich, thoughtful lyric imagery (that you could actually hear!) sung with a solid, soaring alto and joined byroof-raising harmonies from Kira Small and Vicki Carrico, and you’ve got the makings of one of the most outstanding shows I’ve seen in Nashville in quite a while.
The house was full, no doubt a testament to the many friends that Melissa has made over the five years she’s been among us.
But what was really impressive was the response when the show was over: these jaded Nashville audiences rarely rise at the end of a club show by a local; but this night, as Melissa Greener wrapped up her final tune, the audience was on its feet.
Or as one observer from the audience commented after the show, “we knew that she was good… but we didn’t know that she was that good!”
Melissa pours her heart and soul into every note and word. Hopefully these photos catch some of that spirit.
Listen to the opening track from Melissa’s 2013 CD “Transistor Corazon” while the slide show plays. When it’s over, click the Spotify link below to listen to the entire album. And when it’s over, don’t be surprised if you feeling like playing it again (as I am doing as I finish this post…)