Friday, July 8, 2016


I was a kid when Melissa Manchester released her first hit, "Midnight Blue," and I must confess that I still love that melody-one of those guilty pleasures I wouldn't admit to liking to my high school friends but I'd hum along to when it came on my mom's radio station.

I found it funny that she (Melissa, not my mom) was awarded a Grammy for what I considered a throwaway 80's piece of fluff ("You Should Hear How She Talks About you") but not for the aforementioned song or for the two movie songs that were nominated.

I stumbled across Melissa Manchester's latest effort in the blues (?) bin at a local store, and thought I'd give it a listen.

"You Gotta Love The Life," Manchester's first record in more than a decade, is pretty darn good-not a piece of filler on the album, a collection that includes blues (check out "Feeling For You" below, on which Keb Mo' lends a hand) jazzy pop stylings (the title track) and her obligatory ballads ("Big Light," with Al Jarreau guesting).

The album is full of guests, as noted above, and it is a showcase of what I would call her strength-songwriting. Manchester teaches a course of the craft at a Southern California college.

This album will probably not make a splash, and Manchester will undoubtedly continue to come up as a punch line to the "Where Are They Now" discussion, but the lucky ones who try this disc on will not be disappointed.


  1. I didn't recognize Melissa's hit by its title, 'MIDNIGHT BLUE', but as soon as it began playing, I knew it immediately. And, yes, sir, I've always really liked that song, too.

    Wasn't that song later used in a commercial or some other type of TV setting?

    LC, I have a song on a recent album by a very obscure guitarist whom I discovered on a Phoenix radio station. This guy became my favorite living guitarist. He plays mostly instrumental Jazz and Blues now.

    Anyway, I got a copy of his 2012 release and was listening when this song comes on and this female singer blew me away! I'm thinking: Oh, my God! What a voice this woman has!

    I checked the liner notes and was shocked to see: MARIA MULDAUR.

    Wow! Apparently her voice got more powerful with age. If I can find a recording of the song that I think can even remotely compete with it, I'll eventually use it in BOTB.

    The problem is that this guitarist has so many covers I want to use in BOTB some day.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I thought I'd posted about one of her blues records-I saw her a couple years ago at the MIM and she was awesome. "Oasis" was not even close to the high point of the show.

      Are you gonna tell me the guitarist's name?

    2. Oh, yeah, LC, I recall that post about Maria, now that you've jogged my geezer memory.

      Yeah, I'll send you an E with the guitarist's name and some suggested listening. I don't want to say it here because I've found a couple good covers for a righteous BOTB someday.

      ~ McDogG

    3. Muldaur has somewthing like 30 albums, most of them blues, and she's known for that one song from 1970-sh...a good song, but her blues work is stellar (in my opinion). Look forward to hearing about this guitarist. See-you got at least that from your exile in AZ!