Melodic Melanie

Bruce Von Stiers

Melanie Marod has had an interesting musical journey. She grew up in Michigan, but Melanie performed in Europe and studied opera in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a child, she was in George Hearn / Pamela Meyer performances of Sweeny Todd. Melanie has performed at some of New York's top jazz spots, including Birdland and The Blue Note. She appeared in the film God Behaving Badly as a wedding singer and can be heard in a recent Christmas themed commercial for Acura.

In addition to performing and appearing in films, Melanie has also recorded music. Her latest effort is an EP titled Stars.

Melanie worked with Chris Wiser on the music for Stars. Together, they wrote the songs and produced them, recording them at the Downtown Recording Studio in New York City. Stars was mixed and mastered by Tyler McDiarmid, who, along with playing and recording with top tier artists, is part of the mixing team for Saturday Night Live and occasionally mixes music for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon .

Along with her top production team, Melanie recruited a great group of musical artists to assist on the songs. Art Hirahara was on keyboards and organ. Sam Bevan was on bass and guitar. Brian Fishler was the drummer and Jim Shaneberger played the slide guitar. Max Lockwood played the cello and Joe Hettinga played piano and helped with engineering the music. Mitch Marcus played the saxophone, trumpet, trombone and flute. Art has performed with Freddie Cole and Stacey Kent among others and has had gigs at venues such as Birdland and Smalls. Sam has been on albums for Meklit, Tammy Hall and Monk's Music Trio. Brian has recorded with Russ Nolan and Kenny Shanker. Jim fronts his own band and is well known in Michigan for his music. Max fronts a Tom Petty tribute band along with performing and recording as a solo artist. Joe is noted for his work with other Michigan based artists. Besides having his own quintet, Mitch plays with about a dozen other musical groups.

Along with writing and producing duties for Stars, Chris also does vocals and plays guitar. Melanie provides all the lead vocals.

The title track, Stars, is up first. It is a light, lyrical song that gives the listener a sultry sample of Melanie's vocals.

River has a kind of milder blues style. Although it isn't a real close comparison, the song kind of reminded me of something Rickie Lee Jones might have done.

Don't Lie To Me is a slower, moodier piece. She can't trust him, so tell her the truth.

Final Day is a melodic tune with interesting music behind Melanie's vocals.

Stars ends with the song, Sorry Song. It has sort of a R &B / pop tone. The song features Chris on vocals in the first part. He's trying to apologize and really wants to be with her. Then Melanie does her part, making sure to lay down the ground rules if they are to be together. Although I liked all the songs on Stars, I enjoyed this one the best.

Melanie Marod is an extremely talented vocalist. And she is a better than average songwriter as well. I wasn't familiar with Melanie before listening to Stars but I am now a fan.

You can watch a few videos and hear songs from Stars on Melanie's web site. That site can be found at

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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers