Melinda – Witness | Album Review

melindacdMelinda – Witness

Goldfeather  Records 2014

8 tracks; 34 minutes

Melinda Colaizzi comes from Pittsburgh and this is her second ‘EP’.  Six of the eight tunes here were written by Melinda and guitarist Kristian Habenicht with two covers which seem significant – The Black Crowes and The Rolling Stones!  We are definitely in full rock style here with Melinda’s  deep and strident voice that is suited to this style of music but takes some getting used to.

The material was recorded in three different cities: Pittsburgh, Minneapolis (at Kevin Bowe’s studio who assists on these tracks with the production) and LA.  As a consequence there is a long list of supporting musicians but Melinda and Kristian are on all the tracks.

Most of the material is upbeat, only “Slide” and the two covers being taken at a slower pace.  “Slide” is in fact one of the best tracks here, having some nice slide work on resonator from Kristian, though he eventually succumbs to the temptation to put in a big guitar feature midway through.

The title track has some added harmonica from Kevin Bowe but is a good example of the problems that this reviewer has with Melinda’s vocals.  A chugging riff sets up the song as Melinda sings of needing “a witness, someone to believe” though it takes a few listens to decipher the lyrics.  “Leave Your Key” is another chugging rocker with strident vocals.

The Black Crowes cover is “Seeing Things” which is something of a ballad on which Melinda’ goes quite over the top in her vocal. Better is “No Expectations” where the dobro and organ work (Alex Howland) is very nice indeed and Melinda sings in more restrained manner.

Overall there is little for the blues fan here though those who enjoy the rock end of the spectrum may enjoy what Melinda, Kristian and their bandmates have to offer.

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