Hot on the tail of a recent fundraiser concert in San Jose del Cabo, we talk about show openers, on-stage mishaps, and Melanie’s crazy touring schedule. From playing the après-ski bar circuit to touring all over Canada and Europe, you’ll get an inside peek into the life of a happy guitar slinging songwriter following her heart out on the road.
We talk about balancing family with touring life, and how to go from being a 10-year old coveting her brother’s guitar to a professional performer and recording artist. Inspired by song-writing heroes like Willie Nelson and encouraged by a well-placed nudge from an early music teacher (hello Dan Ramston) and a scholarship to music school, Melanie navigates the path to success. What role did talent play? “I was determined to be good at it. I don’t know if I was talented”. Well, we know. Her performance style is rocking, and her song-writing gets in your head and stays there. “My friends ask me ‘How do you create a song out of nothing?’ and I just, I don’t know, I just know I have to”
New Album – Secret Spot
Her newest album, Secret Spot, her 10th, is launching just as this episode airs. This last work, created in part through a grant from BC Creative and the Government of British Columbia, was produced by award winning Canadian producer Sheldon Zaharko. Melanie shares with us how lots of funds were released this past year to bring recording back to Vancouver. “A lot of great music will be coming out of it” she informs us. Good to hear!
11:50 Melanie shares the story of a very special song on the new album, written for her father after a special moonlit moment shared with him on a mule trip through the Baja Desert last winter. It’s called ‘Te Amo Mucho’, and she managed to keep it a secret until playing it for him at the San Jose concert, also his 75th birthday. Magic moments.
This new album is done in a ‘live off the floor’ style, with very little post editing. “On ‘Te Amo Mucho’, I wanted that party in the kitchen sound”. Bryan Adams guitarist Keith Scott lends some vocals on that piece, as well as playing some of the guitar on the album.
Mel met Scott while recently fulfilling her long-time dream of performing with Adams. She’s opened for and/or played with the likes of Jim Cuddy, Faith Hill, Diana Krall, Russell Peters and Glass Tiger.
What’s next for Melanie? A little post-album breather, another European tour this Spring, then some collaborations, perhaps with Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy. Follow her on (social media links here) to find out more.
Favourite places to play? “I like to play in places that don’t have a PA system and you can still be heard. There’s no microphone between me and you. I’m more vulnerable”
32:20 Mel pulls out her guitar and plays her Te Amo Mucho for us. And of course we finish with a joke. Who can resist a good banjo joke or two? You tell me
Melanie’s website: www.melaniedekker.com
Find Mel on facebook: @meldekker
And her music is of course available on iTunes and Spotify. Enjoy!
Here’s the new album!