Photographer Ken Rockwell says that 'you will never see the work of a true artist unless you know one personally.' I happen to know a true artist personally, and I'm taking the liberty of sharing her work. Mel Wade is the sister of one of my best friends, and a friend of mine in her own rite. I first heard her perform as an instrumentalist with a local band, 'Shye Violet,' in 2001. Since then, I've had the pleasure of hearing her perform in various places as a pianist, guitarist, vocalist, drummer, and composer. Recently, her talent was recognized by someone of influence, and since then she's been refining her music in the studio, planning to release a debut album. I listened this morning to some of the working tracks for the album: Highway Ride, Hole in my Guitar, Escape, Can't Buy Love, The Search, and Solitude (my favorite). Mel has done various styles in the past: I would call the style of this album folk-rock based on the instrumentation, though there's much more there. Her music is guitar-based, and sweetened with banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and haunting vocal harmonies. Most artists tend to overuse those instruments in my opinion, but Mel uses them sparingly, in a way that complements the music rather than overcoming it. Then there are the lyrics. Lyrics tend to take on so many different meanings for different people. I'll leave it to you to feel them out for yourself. Each of these songs is oh so skillfully written. I can't really describe them effectively. There's a simple complexity to this music that takes it far deeper than I can delve in one morning. It will take time, as it does with all great music, for the real meaning of it to sink in. I recommend her music to everyone ~Matt.