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 See more details below

Overview

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.

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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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2004
Label:
Skaggs Family
UPC:
0669890201128
catalogNumber:
902011
Rank:
90345

Tracks

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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
Andrew Mendelson   Mastering
Marla Cannon-Goodman   Composer

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