Saturday, November 10, 2018 @ Nectar's
Bar & Restaurant: 5:00pm
All Ages Free
If it were not more than a century old, “Keep On The Sunny Side of Life” could have been written with Melissa Plett in mind. This singer, songwriter and natural-born-performer embodies all that this classic folk tune represents. And like so many songs of its genre, era and nature, it is rooted in messages of cheery optimism, yet challenging adversity, much like Melissa Plett.
From a farm-yard in Manitoba to the sophistication of Montreal to the birthplace of folk and country and everything true about music, this truck-driver’s daughter has journeyed her way through thick and thin, chiseling and shaping her sound to what it is today. Melissa’s influences come from a musical immersion from birth where she developed a personal relationship with the down-south storytelling of Johnny Cash, the pioneering tell-all nature of Kitty Wells, and the heart-wrenching tales of hardship from Etta James and Ray Charles.
Melissa evolved from a shy country busker who hid behind the shadow of a hat to a Nashville groomed storyteller, a glittering bound of energy who holds your attention captive, blasts you across the room with her powerful voice and then slowly reels you in like a tractor beam, weaving her life experiences into the fabric of her craft with a laugh or with a tear. Her songwriting skills offer up a direct line into her soul, enriched by a lifetime of love and warmth, yet scarred by devastating heartbreak.
At the age of 13, Melissa was involved in a vehicular accident that took the life of her cousin and best friend and almost cost her her own life as well. However, a born fighter in every aspect, Melissa overcame debilitating and life-threatening injuries to over half her body, avoiding amputation and eventually taking the long, slow road to recovery. With a second chance at life, Melissa vowed never to take her existence for granted and at a very young age adopted a motto she has lived by ever since – “I’d rather die living than live not alive.”
After pouring her heart out on the piano through her teenage years, Melissa soon picked up a guitar and began her first foray into songwriting. Following a showcase at the 2005 Winnipeg Folk Festival, Melissa released her first EP, “Repeated Stories”, where songs like ” Be Here Tonight ” and ” Saturday ” introduced a softer side to an audience eager to learn more about this mysterious new musician with the haunting voice and ability to pierce one’s soul.
Playing open mics and cafe gigs, collaborating with like-minded musicians and joining the trio group Little Black Dress, Melissa, growing in confidence, took her show on the road where a plethora of new people and places opened up a treasure trove of stories that needed to be told… and Melissa was ready to tell them.
In 2010, Melissa’s customary high-energy, no-bones-attitude and foot-stomping-sass was placed front and centre in her second recording “Outside the City”. Songs like, ” ?” and “?” where she trully established her unique folk/country/soul sound – the Melissa Plett brand.
However, as Melissa’s music career started to crescendo, news from the Manitoba family farm rocked her to her core. When Melissa’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and was given one year to live, the music stopped. Having to deal with not only the devastating loss of a parent, but her biggest supporter and mentor, took its toll. Melissa poured her pain into her music and had to rediscover the joy of performing, but eventually she found comfort in her mother’s encouragements – “Let your wail out!”
Out of the void came “Trigger” and “Stay” and a new motivation to take her music to the next level – Nashville. With the help and guidance of producer Pat Severs, and the collaboration of countless talented locals, not only is Melissa a published musician (“Gone”, “Sideways”) but her first studio album “Ghost Town” is set to be released in 2017, a body of work entailing all of Melissa, with nothing left to hide, her soul laid out bare for all to see and to hear.
“There’s a dark and a troubled side of life. There’s a bright and a sunny side, too.” When you experience Melissa Plett, you absorb all sides.