Singer-Songwriter ROD MELANCON Taps Brian Whelan to Produce New Album

By: Dec. 09, 2013

A Southern-Louisiana native, singer-songwriter ROD MELANCON grew up on the Americana-meets-blues music whose influence reverently affects his own sound. In the tradition of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Bruce Springsteen, MELANCON has infused this great American art form with his own unique style and the results have re-invigorated the genre. His sophomore album, Parish Lines was produced by Brian Whelan (multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for Dwight Yoakam) and will be released on March 4, 2014 via the newly resurrected Medina River Records.

Thanks to the adventurous production of Whelan, Parish Lines is filled with an exciting raw edge that rocks the senses as it drives the lyrical melodies home. This sophomore effort brings a new approach; where MELANCON's debut album, My Family Name, rooted the young artist in pure country, Parish Lines finds him breaking out into a driving, uncompromising rock sound while his heart remains solidly South Louisiana country. On lyrics and album sensibility, MELANCON says, "I wanted to build off of the traditional sound of my first album. I wanted it to be far from predictable. Brian Whelan did just that."

The reinvention of the track "South Louisiana" and his single, "Mad Talkin' Man," cuts closer to the bone than the previous versions. What remains are new, original songs that expand on his Louisiana storytelling craft. The Buddy Holly-like, "Cushing Avenue" conveys the simple innocence of home town memories. The Springsteen/Terrence Malick-inspired, "Duck Festival Queen." expertly tells the tale of love and murder, while "Curve Lounge," replaces the steel guitar with resonate, lonesome slide guitars and a spare simple arrangement. MELANCON's hard rocking "Wanna Go For A Ride" plays like Jeff Beck and Duane Eddy meet Elvis. It's like a session summit of great rockabilly and blues on some obscure night in the early 50's Sun Studios in Memphis with Sam Phillips peering out from the control booth with an approving Cheshire grin.

The newly re-minted Medina River Records of San Antonio, Texas will be branching out with headquarters in Los Angeles. MRR Founder Peter Bowman has partnered with fellow Texan, Steve Circeo, of Americana Music Times, and two Angelenos heavily involved in the Americana music scene, Ben Reddell and Matt Farber. Bowman worked with Circeo, a concert photographer and videographer, developing music videos for Texas bands and collaborated on a video record of San Antonio's one and only Indie Fest in 2007. Reddell, manager of Bedrock LA Studios (where music, culture and business collide) and Farber co-curate a weekly, Americana music series in Los Angeles called, The Grand Ole Echo.

It seems clear to any listener that ROD MELANCON is the emerging artist to be reckoned with on the Americana-scene. His story rises from the lowlands of South Louisiana to L.A's Echo Park, singing in the shadows of Chavez Ravine. ROD MELANCON's new release, Parish Lines, has truly captured something unique and real, an inspired version of the American spirit.

Check out new song, "Marella" here: