||Well worth the wait:
Melanie Rose Dyer's 'The Long Way Around'
tells the truth … and gives it a groove
I had to go through Egypt to get to Cheyenne
I had to go through hell to reach the promised land
My heart's been tested, but here I stand
I had to take the long way around
To get where I am
– The Long Way Around (written by Melanie R. Dyer/Marc Rossi)
Melanie Rose Dyer's new album, recorded in Nashville and released in 2012 is titled The Long Way Around. That's an apt title for a project that has literally been a lifetime in the making.
“This is my life's project – it kind of is my life story,” Dyer says.
Daniel Cooper and Melanie are co-producers of this marvelous record, a heady distillation of Melanie Rose Dyer's life-so-far into a soulful, heartfelt, groove-infested brew
Other than Dyer, only three writers are featured on The Long Way Around: Pat Alger, Marc Rossi and Cooper. Dyer was the sole writer on two of the songs. The album “is very in-house,” she says. “Songs that I felt could represent my style.”
“Luckily for me,” she says with a winning smile, “there were lots of great musicians who wanted to play on my CD, and have fun.” The players include bandleader Glen Duncan on acoustic guitar, Mike Durham on electric guitar, Jack Pearson (Allman Brothers) on slide and resonator guitar, Mike Prentice and Don Kerce on bass, Paul Scholten on drums, Tim Lauer and Charles Judge on piano and B3, and the legendary Jim Horn on saxophone. Shaun Murphy of Little Feat fame sings backup on four tracks.
Highlights include the rousing blues rock of the album opening “First Time in Forever”; the lushly produced “The Rain Is on My Side”; the poignantly cautious love ballad “If I Never Say”; and “Get Out of My Own Way,” a motivational kick in the pants. “The Lord Himself Came,” which could have been morbid or maudlin, instead exudes jubilation.
Melanie Rose's youthful musical intake was diverse: classical, gospel, R&B, folk and rock 'n' roll. Acts who caught her ear included Mahalia Jackson; Aretha Franklin; the Beatles: Peter, Paul and Mary; and the music coming out of Memphis and Motown. Out of her Dad's radio the family absorbed a constant deluge of country and ole' timey music. She was drawn to performance and discovered a gift for it. After college, she moved to Colorado, entertaining on the ski resort circuit, special events, and clubs.
She came to Nashville in 1981 on a wing and prayer. She delivered on that goal: signing a publishing deal; writing with many of the top writers including Pat Alger (“Unanswered Prayers,” “Small Town Saturday Night”); hobnobbing with Music Row hit makers and power brokers.
Then, as so often happens, life intervened. The cash flow and momentum never came. Various projects were initiated and aborted. While waiting tables with other aspiring musicians in 1986, she applied for an airline job on a lark, and that led to a 25-year career as a flight attendant. The full-time job consumed her time, but the income financed her publishing company, Fanetta Music, which has scored major cuts with artists such as folk icon Tom Rush (Appleseed Records), Rick Trevino (Sony-Epic) and Helen Darling (MCA-Decca).
In 2015 Melanie moved to Central Oregon to continue writing and performing.
“Full of life” serves as a pretty apt description for Melanie Dyer's music.
Says Songwriter Hall of Famer Pat Alger: “Melanie has been one of my favorite collaborators for over 20 years. It is a reflection of the serendipity of the music business that this album may be the first time most people will get to hear her and her wonderful songwriting. Now you'll finally realize what you've been missing all this time."
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