From the Inside Out
It's the voice. Yes, there are also her Latina good looks, a Mick Jagger command of the stage, and just-turned-23 streetwise energy, but it's the Melissa Ivey voice that is particularly memorable: sultry, self-assured, upbeat, seductive. She got her start in music at nine when a musician came to her school and inspired her to take violin lessons. 'Music became my release. We were always moving. Music was a constant in my life.' At 13 she picked up her mother's bass guitar and taught herself to play. At 14, it was the electric guitar. 'I was grounded for most of two years, so I had a lot of time to learn how to play.' By 15, on one of her infrequent school visits ('I spent more time leaving school than in it.'), she stumbled across a pick-up band practicing in a storage room. They formed Manic Notion, a punk band based in San Jose. Then in 2002, at age 19, she moved to Denver and did her share of solo acoustic gigs. February 2006 - After a year of touring and nonstop songwriting, Melissa chose 5 songs to record. Ivey and her band, The Gentlemen, found themselves at the legendary Blasting Room in Ft. Collins. Owner Bill Stevenson squeezed the band in between sessions for a week long, intensive recording session with producer Chris Jak and engineer Andrew Berlin. Lovers and Stars, co-written with Chris Jak, is the first single being released in a series of single-release parties. It's already getting airplay. Denver's classic rock station, KQMT (99.5 FM The Mountain) debuted 'Lovers & Stars' on Jake Schroeder's Mountain Homegrown hour to rave reviews which helped the song get more air-play and regular rotation . KTCL (93.3 FM) soon followed suite, local DJ Alf also heard the magic and included the track on his weekly show. Dave Herrera's (music editor -Westword magazine) local Beatdown dedicated an entire article to Melissa and the song. To quote Dave 'this delicious pop ditty hits a sweet spot with me like no recording since the Fray's early demos. It's a quantum leap beyond anything she's produced before - a track that evokes Mary Lou Lord as much as it does Sheryl Crow -- Ivey's most polished effort to date.' Ivey was named best singer/songwriter 2005 and 2006 by Westword, Colorado's major alt-weekly.