Melody Trucks seems to be just about everywhere lately in the southeast. From sit-ins to full sets with her latest project, The Melody Trucks Band, Melody is always keeping us on our toes with her next appearance.
We spoke with the poignant songstress backstage at Wanee, and she gave us some insight into the band’s formation and dynamic chemistry. She also shared some information on some new material the band premiered during a Wanee campfire. We can’t think of a better place and time for the band to make things official! Read more about The Marcus King Band, Wanee and the upcoming record below or listen to the interview on Soundcloud.
Can you give us an update on what you’re working on? I know you’re always busy.
As far as the band is concerned, we’re working on a lot of originals which we’re very excited about. Everyone is involved in the writing process. Somebody will bring in an idea and we’ll build from that. It’s pretty magical how it’s all flowing out of everyone. It’s really exciting right now.
Do you have any songs ready? Can you give us info on that?
Yes, we’ll be premiering at least one, if not two [songs] around the campfire tomorrow night. It’s nothing formal – just a campfire jam. It’s all acoustic.
How long has the band been writing together collectively? This is a very new project, correct?
Yes, very new. In the last few months we’ve been really digging into it.
So this is an exciting time – now that it’s all freshly coming together.
Well everyone in the band has such a strong voice and they have so much to say. And they’re so creative. I got really blessed with being able to play music with some of the most incredible people as well as the most incredible musicians I’ve ever met. To have them all come together – the creativity and the things coming out of these guys, I’m so excited to be apart of it.
What tone and genre would you say the music falls into?
A lot of blues and funk.
Is the music more upbeat?
Two of the songs are more upbeat. We’re going to be premiering one that I’ve written. It’s the first song I’ve ever written and it’s about my father.
Edit: We got the recap from Melody on the campfire jam and she said it went great! The name of the song premiered was “Freight Train.”
When you’re onstage, there is obvious emotion that comes out of you. Do you feel the emotion when you’re singing as strongly as the audience feels it?
The first time we played together we had been practicing for months. And like I said these guys are incredible and I know how good they are – but the first time we played together onstage, I was so joyful. I would literally throw my head back and laugh I was so happy. I can’t describe it. It’s nothing but pure joy to play music with these guys.
How did the band come together? Was it something you were planning for awhile?
No, actually it was not. The catalyst was my father’s passing. There was something that happened – it’s a little too personal for a blog – but something happened that let me know it was time. It may sound silly, but I met them all indirectly through my father.
That’s not silly at all. [It makes sense.]
I met Willis [Gore], who’s also the lead guitarist for Billy Blue, because Bonnie Blue opened for “Freight Train” at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. I met Isaac Corbitt and Brady Clampitt through Heather Gillis because Heather Gillis, through my father, was playing at a place in Jacksonville. She asked me to come sing with her. She was opening for the Corbitt Clampitt Experience. So I met Isaac and Brady because of that. The rest of the guys is WestBrook, Shane Platten and Shaun Taunton. West is the steel Lap player; Shane is the bassist and Shaun is the drummer. They’re in a band together in Jacksonville called The Gingerbeard Man. I went to sit in with Bonnie Blue at a block party and Willis invited me to sit in with some of his friends. So that’s how I met the other guys. And I met Willis through my dad.
So it all connected sort of like an internet.
Yes. These guys communicate so well together. Take me out of the equation and I just love watching them. The chemistry is amazing. The fact that I get to be apart of it makes me giddy.
What is your show agenda?
The next thing we’re doing is Orange Blossom Jamboree on May 17th. We’ll be playing that night. After that we’ll be doing a couple of shows with the Allman Goldflies band in Georgia. That’ll be Wednesday, May 23rd at City Winery in Atlanta and Thursday, May 24th at The Foundry in Athens. We’re playing June 8th in Tallahasee and June 9th in Savannah. We’re going back out with Allman Goldflies from the 21st through 23rd. We’re playing the Tedeschi Trucks Band after party in Jacksonville on June 29th. Bonnie Blue is also playing with us.
I definitely commend you on the growth. When things happen so quickly you know it’s meant to be.
It’s so exciting. We’re booking our first tour this year too. We’re going up to New York and back in August.
You sit-in with others so often – do you ever get nervous?
Ha! You play it off so well.
The song I played with Ben Sparaco – I had never heard it before. That was an original of theirs. They just recorded it. But I just went and had fun. Yes, I’m nervous when I go up there and don’t know exactly what’s going on, but it’s just fun. Ben’s band is amazing. They honored me by letting me make music with them. It’s humbling.
What is Wanee festival to you?
The people that are here and the music that’s here - it’s family. It’s home. Everywhere I look I see my dad. This was kind of all his idea to begin with. The Allman Brothers started it but everyone knows my dad pushed for it initially. They all took it and got the ball rolling. This is home and dad is everywhere.