Melonie Cannon

Melonie Cannon

4.6 3
by Melonie Cannon
Daughter of the respected musician-songwriter-producer Buddy Cannon and a youthful veteran harmony singer, Melonie Cannon makes her solo debut with a thoughtful set of acoustic bluegrass and folk-styled songs that well serve her expressive alto voice and meditative approach. Backed by an all-star lineup of pickers -- including Union Station's


Daughter of the respected musician-songwriter-producer Buddy Cannon and a youthful veteran harmony singer, Melonie Cannon makes her solo debut with a thoughtful set of acoustic bluegrass and folk-styled songs that well serve her expressive alto voice and meditative approach. Backed by an all-star lineup of pickers -- including Union Station's Dan Tyminski, Rob Ickes, and Jerry Douglas -- Cannon offers tender and sometimes bittersweet reflections from the arc of a life's journey. "Tennessee Roads," co-written by Matraca Berg, is keyed by Tyminski's gently finger-picked guitar lines and Douglas's plaintive dobro fills as Cannon reports in from a homesick heart. The long wait for new love has rarely been depicted as plaintively as it is on "What Took You So Long," a sturdy waltz on which Cannon articulates equal measures of exasperation and elation, with Deanie Richardson's moaning fiddle lines adding a rustic touch. On the humorous ditty "Westbound Trains," Cannon wonders with engaging stupefaction why her man seems to avoid the train that would bring him back to her. Sounding like a traditional country number, the darker-hued "Whiskey Lullabye" tells the wrenching story of a pair of estranged lovers' alcohol-fueled suicides, a deliberate pace and Cannon's naked vocal accentuating the hurt in the tale. Here, Cannon sounds as if she has disconnected emotionally from the painful events in question, and this subtlety marks much of her work here. Her restraint and cool are bracing qualities that become more engaging with repeat listenings.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Singer Melonie Cannon is no stranger to Nash Vegas recording studios. She's been singing in them as a backing vocalist since she was 14, when she got her first credit with maverick Dean Dillon. Since that time, the daughter of legend songwriter and session maestro Buddy Cannon has been racking them up with front-line artists like Shania Twain, Sammy Kershaw, and Chely Wright. Given most of that roster, one would expect Cannon's self-titled debut to be full of slick production and a boatload of scripted-for-the-charts tunes written by flavor-of-the-month studio songwriters. But that's not the case. Not even close. Cannon's album is one of the most original things to come down the pike since the Dixie Chicks' debut so many years ago. Issued on Skaggs Family Records, this set is completely acoustic. There isn't an electric guitar on the entire thing and the percussion is organic. Yeah, that means standup basses, unvarnished fiddles, banjos, mandolins, Dobros, and guitars. But this is no throwback to the country days of yore. Cannon's truly amazing voice -- while coming firmly out of the tradition that gave listeners Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Lynn Anderson -- is the instrument of a modern singer. She doesn't straddle the line between the past and the present; she struts it with confidence, grace, and plenty of soul to boot. There are tinges of tough, high lonesome bluegrass, honky tonk, and modern country flourish, all of them coming off authentic. Featuring songs by her dad, Kim Fox, John Scott Sherrill, Ronnie Bowman, and the great Matraca Berg, this set is solid, inside out. Her delivery is never hurried or overly strident. There are no histrionics employed to stress the emotion in a song. Instead, Cannon just sings them, with a finesse that is uncanny and a plaintive honesty that communicates the writer's narrative intent without unnecessary flash. Whether it's in a love song like "What Took You So Long," with its shimmering mandolins and slow, languid fiddles, a floor crasher like "Nothing to Lose," or an open country pastoral like Berg's "Tennessee Road," the effect is the same: that of a singer fully committed to the song. Other standouts include the bluegrass-wrangled country of "Westbound Trains" and the heartbreakingly beautiful paean to amorous devotion, "Sweeter Than Sugarcane," offering solid proof of how gifted Sherrill is as a songwriter. The true hinge piece of the album is Bill Anderson's folksy yet devastating "Whiskey Lullaby." Cannon delivers this wrenching lyric with restless soul, singing as if in disbelief that its tragedy could occur. This is one of those debut records that point to the sky as the limit, where anything can happen and should.

Product Details

Release Date:
Skaggs Family


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Melonie Cannon   Primary Artist
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Wyatt Rice   Acoustic Guitar
Eric Darken   Percussion
Curtis Wright   Background Vocals
Barry Bales   Bass
Ronnie Bowman   Background Vocals
Mark Casstevens   Acoustic Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Tim Hensley   Background Vocals
Rob Ickes   Dobro
Randy McCormick   Keyboards
Rob McCoury   Banjo
Deanie Richardson   Fiddle
Tom Roady   Percussion
Dan Tyminski   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals
Jeff White   Acoustic Guitar
Mike Anglin   Bass
Randy Kohrs   Dobro,Slide Guitar
Elmer C. Burchett   Banjo
David Talbot   Banjo
Ganet Imes Bowman   Background Vocals
Jesse Cobb   Mandolin

Technical Credits

Wyatt Rice   Composer
Matraca Berg   Composer
Harley Allen   Composer
Ronnie Bowman   Composer,Producer
Buddy Cannon   Composer,Producer
Butch Carr   Engineer
Jody King   Composer
Jim Photoglo   Composer
John Scott Sherrill   Composer
Jon Randall   Composer
Steve Wilkison   Multimedia Artwork,Authoring
Kim Fox   Composer
Leslie Satcher   Composer
Erick Anderson   Graphic Design
Marla Cannon-Goodman   Composer

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Melonie Cannon 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Melonie Cannon has a beautiful voice and we are purchasing her CD for friends! The words and music are excellent. We recommend the CD highly!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Playing Time – 36:24 -- The production of Melonie Cannon’s acoustic county and bluegrass album is first rate. A singer of breathtaking ability, Melonie vocalizes with a soft touch of satin and silk. She sings with honesty and conviction in an unadulterated and soulful style. Her memorable songs are drawn from some top songwriters – Kim Fox, Ronnie Bowman, Buddy Cannon, John Scott Sherrill, Bill Anderson, Harley Allen, and others. She mixes up the set nicely. The sounds of this crossover fusion of bluegrass and country utilize standard acoustic instrumentation with percussion, with fiddle and dobro taking very central roles for breaks and fills. The folks who assume these key roles are top session musicians. Deanie Richardson or Stuart Duncan play fiddle. Rob Ickes, Jerry Douglas or Randy Kohrs are on dobro. Other string wizards featured here and there include Dan Tyminski, Ronnie Bowman, Jesse Cobb, Wyatt Rice, and Jeff White. Banjo played by Dave Talbot, Elmer Buchett or Robbie McCoury appears on four tracks. The central focus, however, is Melonie and her singing which evokes considerable confidence, faith and persuasion. Hailing from Tennessee, Melonie is the daughter of record producer Buddy Cannon. Raised in the wings of the Grand Ole Opry, Melonie mingled as a young girl with the Olympians of country music in a city known as “The Athens of the South.” She sang at her first recording session (with Dean Dillon) at age 14. A few years later, she sang a duet with Sammy Kershaw on “Cry, Cry Darlin'.” After a stint in the U.S. Army where she learned respect for not only herself but also for others, Melonie returned to Nashville and befriended Ronnie Bowman. Her lead vocals for this album were cut live with the band, without any separate overdubbing. After Ricky Skaggs heard some of Melonie’s singing on WSM-AM radio, he asked her to be on his record label. Skaggs also invited her to open for him at the Ryman Auditorium. Melonie Cannon is proud of the reception she’s received in Nashville, also called “The Dimple of the Universe” because of the beauty of the city’s rolling hills, pleasant seasons, and long, white picket-fences, and farms with horses and cattle. Melonie and her beautiful singing are two more reasons for Nashville’s special place in the Universe. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Growing up as the daughter of Music Row producer Buddy Cannon, Melonie Cannon's had the chance to hear everyone from country legends like Porter Waggoner and Vern Gosdin to contemporary artists like Kenny Chesney. As a background and demo singer she's had the opportunity to forge friendships with the likes of Chely Wright and Shania Twain. So it's not surprising that her debut album draws from both ends of the spectrum, offering acoustic arrangements that verge on bluegrass, but with melodies and lyrics that have modern edges. Her alto harbors the piercing tone of Jo Dee Messina and Deana Carter, but with the down-home delivery of Alison Krauss. It's an appealing combination that is at once old-timey and contemporary. ¶ Even more impressive than the band put together by producer Ronnie Bowman (including Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, and other bluegrass luminaries) is that Cannon cut her vocals live, without overdubs. That may not be so unusual in bluegrass circles, but it's a fair distance from how must vocalists make records in Nashville. The result is an intimate connection between Cannon and her assembled band that leverages the exhilaration of live performance; again, not unusual for bluegrass, but a rare commodity on Nashville country records. ¶ Label head Ricky Skaggs found Cannon's music a bit hard to classify, laying somewhere between bluegrass and commercial country. But he knew, as listeners will, that it's exactly the ephemeral nature of this middle ground that makes this album so fascinating. Cannon can flat-out sing, and surrounded by stellar picking and multipart harmonies, the ballads and mid-tempo numbers she's assembled from the pens of Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg and others serve her beautifully on this accomplished debut.