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Melonie Cannon - Melonie Cannon 
CD Review: Jim Moulton

Like good stories? I do. Such is the case of Melonie Cannon, known by everyone around Nashville as the daughter of songwriter, producer Buddy Cannon. For her debut CD, Melonie has the most seasoned, down home country voice that I've heard, rivaling Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. 

Melonie started doing studio work in her early teens with artists like George Jones and Kenny Chesney. Melonie did a stint in the army to tame a wild streak in her. A fractured hip, during a morning run, gave her a medical discharge and back she went to Nashville. She started hanging around with bluegrass musicians at Nashville's Station Inn. Ronnie Bowman heard her sing the first time and told her right away that he wanted to work with her. Ronnie is a seasoned bluegrass musician and a respected person in the field. Ronnie got a band together to do her first record -" Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, Rob McCoury, Barry Bales, Stuart Duncan and Rob Ickes" - simply put; the best.

Melonie cut the first three tracks with the band, her supposed scratch vocals. The scratch vocals sounded so good they were kept as the final product. Two more sessions were arranged with Melonie singing live with the band to finish out a ten track CD.
Ricky Skaggs heard the CD being played on WSM and asked Buddy for a copy. Ricky didn't know what to do with it because the songs were not really traditional bluegrass or commercial country, but he knew he had to have it and put Melonie on his label. I would say Melonie has a very newgrass sound much like Alison Krauss. 

Well, let's cut to the music. This is a great collection of ten songs, the band leaves you in awe in the way they interact, the great high lonesome harmonies, Melonie's honest, straight forward vocals and great material. The band jams out each song. I honestly love this whole CD, just great music and basic production without a lot of special effects.
"Tennessee Roads" really touches me, a great slow bluegrass ballad. Her version of "Whiskey Lullaby" sounds like the song belongs to her. This reviewers favorite "I'll Be Back" is a very slow emotive song that takes me away, the last verse talks about The Lord. "Westbound Trains" is an upbeat bluegrass tune with some awesome banjo and fiddle. "Nobody Hops A Train Anymore" is a great upbeat song where it sounds like Melonie improvises the melody a bit.
"Sweeter Than Sugarcane" is a beautiful mid tempo story song about the south and memories with great imagery. Stuart's fiddle is just haunting and Douglas is incredible on dobro.

Honestly, this record blew me away so much, it took me a while before I could do the review. With the parade of new female country artists coming out in Nashville now, Melonie wins the prize. She sings with the control of Chet Atkins and the emotion of Duane Allman. 


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