The first time you witness Juno-Award winner Melanie Doane perform, you may wonder whether you’re at a concert or a juggling show. Doane moves between instruments (guitar, violin, mandolin, ukulele, piano, and bass) as swiftly and effortlessly as she sings with her rich and clear voice (an instrument in its own right). It may seem like an odd assortment of musical armor for an artist with six Top 40 charting singles in Canada, but that’s the secret to Doane’s craft – she continually finds new ways to embrace elements of rock, pop, folk, country, and jazz, fusing them into a style that’s all her own. If that sounds a little puzzling, just wait till Doane starts plucking her electric violin as if it were a guitar-it’s one of those things you need to see in order to believe.
The product of a musical family, Halifax-born Doane has spent a large portion of the last ten years on the road supporting her numerous solo albums. Her indie release HARVEST TRAIN garnered the attention of Sony Music Canada in the mid 90's, and shortly thereafter Melanie released her debut LP SHAKESPEAREAN FISH. While the album received critical praise and garnered a loyal following, it wasn't until the release of ADAM’S RIB in 1998 that Melanie's music made a mainstream impact. With a running theme that is best described as a “delving dichotomy”, ADAM’S RIB brilliantly showcases Melanie’s flair as both an instrumentalist and songwriter, featuring punchy-relevant lyrics laced with strong musical wit. What followed the albums release is nothing short of extraordinary: four top 40 singles, a Juno Award for Best New Artist, a Canadian Radio Award for Most Charted Rock Artist, over 200 shows in Canada and the U.S. with the likes of Jann Arden, Sarah McLachlan's "Lilith Fair", and Great Big Sea, and a Gold record award.
Since ADAM’S RIB, Melanie has pursued her career independent of the label system. In 2001, she recorded and released the fan cherished MELVIN LIVE, an album showcasing her energetic and diverse live show. Her third full length studio LP YOU ARE WHAT YOU LOVE followed in 2003, preceded by the lead single “Still Desire You”, which spanned multiple formats and eventually went Top 5. Her latest release, the critically acclaimed A THOUSAND NIGHTS, was inspired by Melanie’s experiences with motherhood (she has two young children). The album features a lush assortment of original songs and cover tunes, including beloved tracks by Fleetwood Mac, The Everly Brothers, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen. The albums lead single "Songbird" reached top 5 on the iTunes Country singles chart, and album tracks "Every Little Thing" and "Chopin Ballad" each received prominent placements in CBC's hit show Being Erica and CBS's hit show Flashpoint.
Between raising kids and making records, Melanie has managed to tour in support of each album, travel the U.S. with friend Gary Sinise playing in his Lt. Dan Band, tour Canada with Barney Bentall and the Bluebird North concert series, play shows with Canadian Idol alum Rex Goudie, write songs for various artists and play on several albums, have her music featured on ABC's hit show "Brothers and Sisters", have her music used in a new Canadian play called "Still Desire You", and travel across Canada and the U.S. (in 2007 and 2008) on the CPR Holiday train - playing 60 shows in less than a month while raising money for local food banks.
Okay, so maybe after accomplishing all of that, playing a violin as if it were a guitar isn’t that impressive - but in Doane’s world, it’s all in just another day’s work. Melanie will release a brand new studio album in January 2011.