Packing her suitcase and heading south of Toronto for a few weeks, alt-country singer-songwriter Melanie Brulée recently commenced her summer US East Coast tour; a trek that takes her through several states, with stops in PA, MD, DE, NY and MA. Kicking off the tour in Mansfield, PA, Melanie and friend/cellist Desiree Sky, would perform music on a back porch to an intimate crowd at a house show. Blessed with a beautiful summer evening, the duo would offer up two sets of music. Melanie hinted during the first set that she had been dabbling with an electric guitar lately, and was more than willing to amp things up during the second half of the night. No complaints from us – we’ve only ever seen Melanie strap on her acoustic guitar over the last couple of years.
Opening with her popular recent release, “Whiskey & Whine,” Melanie would pause to greet her audience following the track. “Thanks for being here with us, I’m addicted to road trips,” she shared. “I’m also addicted to Nutella. I realized that the hard way when I moved out of home for the first time, and my mission was to buy myself a family sized tub of Nutella.” Earning chuckles, she would continue. “And I finished it in a week, and I was not well for at least three weeks, so I decided that Nutella was not allowed in my house anymore.”
Opting to perform many tracks from her 2018 “Fires, Floods, And Things We Leave Behind” album, the duo would treat everybody to “Pretty Wasteland,” “Tennessee Years,” and “I’ll Get Over You.” Travelling with Melanie on this trip is her trusty canine companion, Rocky, who she originally rescued during a sojourn in Nashville. “The first time I pulled out my guitar in front of my dog, he was terrified of it and he hid in a closet,” she reminisced. “Then he would come up and sniff it, and his nose would touch a string, and it would make a noise, so it took him a long time to get used to it.” Playing in the yard later that evening, Rocky has clearly adapted to the sound of Melanie’s music. One surprise number was thrown into the first set, which was also a first for us. Melanie and Desiree would crank out a fantastic cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Dreams,” prompting many to sing along to the popular and catchy chorus.
Returning for the second set with another guitar case in hand, Melanie would strap on a beautiful black Gretsch electric guitar. And with this new sound came a mix of her own compositions and covers. Opening with “Naked” from her 2015 “Debridee” French-language album, we would also hear electrified versions of “Obtus” and “Crier,” the latter having some amazing guitar rings to further accentuate the impact. Who says that you can’t have a little French music in northern PA on a Saturday night?
Rotating briefly to her recent album, both “Oklahoma Rain” and “Weak” would be performed, before a pair of covers that we could have never predicted being in Melanie’s musical bag of tricks. “This is one of my favorite songs in the whole world,” Melanie offered prior to a rendition of the Chris Isaac hit, “Wicked Game.” “I remember the video came out when I was a young kid, and it was a very sexy video.” With minimal pause, Melanie and Desiree would astound us once again, this time opting to cover the Britney Spears pop hit, “Toxic.” Unlike the original, however, Melanie would remove the pop overtones, and deliver her version in an alt-country style, adding a splash of flamenco flavoring to make this completely her own.
No show with Melanie Brulée is complete without her always-amazing finale, the bilingual performance of the popular Nancy Sinatra hit, “Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher.” The audience required no prompts here to become involved, with many singing in unison to this well known cover. Melanie handled the electric lead riffs with ease, complemented beautifully by Desiree’s great sounding work on the cello, and closed the opening night of this current tour with a bang. Welcome back to the Keystone State, Melanie, it was awesome to spend some time with you again. Team GDW would also like to acknowledge the gracious hospitality of the hosts for this “Greyson Concert Series,” and for inviting us into their Mansfield home to share this wonderful event.
- Whiskey & Whine
- Pretty Wasteland
- Bust It Up And Fix It
- Can’t Rely On Rain
- Tennessee Years
- We Get Lost
- Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
- I’ll Get Over You
- Oklahoma Rain
- Wicked Game (Chris Isaac cover)
- Toxic (Britney Spears cover)
- Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher (Nancy Sinatra cover)