Imagine a long car ride through a humid, small, southern town. Sweet smell of honeysuckle tickling your nose just as the dirty-orange dust from the road settles on your skin. You are lost, but an unseen force pulls and tugs you along. Battered porches and bent rocking chairs ground you. Leather hands and creased faces of the past define your existence. You are found. You are home. You were, after all, “Just Up The Road”.
On her debut CD, “Just Up The Road”, Melissa Young’s sweet, soulful tone tickles your nose and rest in your soul like sweet honeysuckle on a hot summer’s day. This freckled face songstress draws from her rich, southern roots to bring forth a delectable blend of soul, funk, and R&B grooves that take you back, but yet remains totally of the moment. Musical critics around the world praised Young’s pre-released single “Mad At Myself” and are highly anticipating her debut release on SugaShack Music this year. Blues and Soul’s Paddy Grady raves “Ms. Young has a superb, soulful voice that is just right for today’s modern scene”. From the first cut on the album, “Rock with Me”, Young grabs you with a “reminds me of something” type groove. But its originally Melissa and it reminds you of a simpler time when all music was this tasty. Next comes the debut single “Mr. Shonuff”. On this drum driven track, Young coyly speaks to the man that has it all together. The man she’s heard about, and dreams of one day meeting. She does this very well by blending, a catchy, sing-along hook with smooth, soul piercing harmonies. The track, “Chinese Torture”, is not your typical “you did me wrong” song, just check the title. The lyrics are potent and thought provoking. Young compares the pain of loving someone to torture in a Chinese prison. The emotion of Young’s voice rides like a deep wave rippling across the ocean of your soul. The music commands that you sit back, be still, and let it wash over you. Further into the project now, “It’s About You” is a catchy track about unfading love that Young penned with soul crooner, Anthony Hamilton. When asked about her favorites on the album Young says, “All of the songs are close to my heart…but two of my favorites are “Just A Girl” and “You’ll Never Know”. “Just A Girl” is my “I like me, take me as I am” song. It’s my anthem to me. On “You’ll Never Know” I was contemplating how we, as human beings, take love for granite and we never really know if and when it will come around again.” Young even serves up a dose of inspiration on the tracks “Be There” and the title track “Just Up The Road”, on which her father lends his Sam Cooke like tone. All-and-all, listeners will be quietly escorted through a colorful journey and it is sure to be a treat to the ears, and the soul. Ms. Young gets up close and personal and it’s hard not to be drawn into the soulful-poetic life experiences that she so vividly sings about. When blessed with the pleasure of meeting Melissa Young, do not mistake her for just another whimsical artist. No, this young lady boasts brains and beauty. Young very seldom discusses it, but she is also an accomplished filmmaker and touts a M.F.A from the number one film school in the country, NYU. That’s right, there is so much more behind those dark freckles, on that mysterious face. Young spent her early years in Greenville, South Carolina, she started her own singing group at the age of 15. In 1999, resolved to expand on her love of music, Young lent background vocals to several artists, including reggae singer Ky-mani Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley. These days Melissa can be found burning up the stages of her new home Atlanta and other cities across the country. Her album, "Just Up The Road", is set for release in 2008 as one of SugaShack Music''s debut projects.
"Just Up The Road" is symbolic of the journey Young has traveled thus far in her life. “At times,” she says, “I feel like I am on this long country road, pit stopping in small towns along the way. Each time that I get back on the road, I''ve learned something new to carry with me. Sometimes I''m a little lost, but I never stop looking for my destination. I know however hard or challenging, what I am looking for is right up the road, so I keep going. Just when I feel I''ve gone too far or missed my stop, I look up and what I am looking for is right there, where it’s supposed to be…in front of me, Just Up the Road.”
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