Graham Reid | | 4 min read
Singer-songwriter Mel Parson's debut album Over My Shoulder from 2009 was nominated for a Tui in the New Zealand Music Awards. It had critics noting her lyrical strengths and songs which could stand alongside the best coming out of Nashville, but which also sounded distinctively Kiwi (perhaps because as Elsewhere noted, she doesn't disguise her accent).
Parsons is clearly on her way -- the new album Red Grey Blue was produced by Jeremy Toy (Opensouls) and the video for the single I Won't Let You Down was shot in San Francisco -- and her classic sound, grounded in late Sixties/early Seventies singer-songwriters -- should have broad appeal.
She has played alongside Don McGlashan, the Warratahs, Anika Moa and Greg Johnson (the latter two I Won't Let You Down) and among the musicians on the album are Anji Sami (of the Sami Sisters), guitarist Neil Watson and bassist Bruce Lynch who was formerly in Cat Stevens' band . . . which means a lot as you will see in her answers to the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
To support the album she is embarking on a New Zealand tour (dates below). Meantime . . .
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
This is hard to pin down exactly but a medley of Sultans of Swing, For the Longest Time, The Locomotion, Under the Bridge & Peacetrain.
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role
models in music were . . .
Dire Straits & Cat Stevens. Still love them. Not embarrassed!
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana,
Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Lennon, Nirvana, Gaga, Michael Jackson
If music was denied you, your other
career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others)
you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Really only 3?!! Not fair...
‘Polly Come Home’ from Raising Sand by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
‘Winter Birds’ from Gossip in the Grain by Ray LaMontagne
‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ from FutureSex LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake
‘Marvelous Year’ from Marvelous Year by Don McGlashan
‘Tap at My Window’ from Alas I Cannot Swim by Laura Marling
‘ Seven Bridges Road’ by the Eagles
Any interesting, valuable or just plain
strange musical memorabilia at home?
Dozen’s of Harry Belafonte records...
The best book on music or musicians you
have read is . . .
Eric Clapton’s autobiography.
If you could get on stage with anyone
it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Playing drums for The Police
The three films you'd insist anybody
watch because they might understand you better are . . .
1 Harold and Maud (best film soundtrack ever)
2 Lost in Translation
3 = Grizzly Man & King of Kong
The last CD or vinyl album you bought
was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Faintheartedness - Grand Rapids
Modern Fables - Julia Deans
She’s So Rad - In Circles
One song, royalties for life, never
have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which
wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
In My Heart (track one from Red Grey Blue)
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it
is of . . .
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's
all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
Skiing around the world. Playing music around the world.
And finally, in the nature of press
conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best
Hopefully I will think every album I make is my best ever? Probably the amazing people who helped to put it together...
MEL PARSONS TOUR DATES
Mt Olympus Ski Hutt - Sat 24th Sept
Methven Blue Pub - Sun 25th Sept
Oamaru Opera House - Thurs 29th Sept
Dunedin Chicks Hotel - Fri 30th Sept
Queenstown The Winehouse - Sat 1st Oct
Nelson Playhouse Theatre - Thurs 6th Oct
Takaka Mussel Inn - Fri 7th Oct
Christchurch * The Venue - Sat 8th Oct
Fairlie The Kimbell Garage Gallery - Weds 12th Oct
Greymouth Franks Cafe - Thurs 13th Oct
Westport NBS - Theatre Fri 14th Oct
Blenheim Civic Theatre - Sat 15th Oct
Wellington * San Francisco Bathhouse - Sun 16th Oct
New Plymouth The Little Theatre - Weds 26th Oct
Raglan The Yot Club - Thurs 27th Oct
Auckland Bacco Room – Fri 28th Oct
Leigh Sawmill Cafe - Sat 29th Oct
Coromandel Eggsentric Cafe - Thurs 3rd Nov
Gisborne Poverty Bay Club - Fri 4th Nov
Napier Cabana - Sat 5th Nov
* with special guest Andrew Moore