It’s a long way from Mersey to Montreal. It’s even a longer journey from the home of the Beatles to Nashville; music – wise.
Don’t tell Lee Mellor all this – he won’t believe you …
The England – born singer / songwriter arrived in Canada at the ripe age of five. Bowmanville,Ontario was the new adress for the Mellors. This introduction to the space and vastness of Canadian soil, opened the door to Mellor’ s soul.
Highways, natives and trains. Say what?
” These themes are reoccuring in my songs and in my psyche. Somehow I think they have become part of my experience in Americanization. There is something about the sheer size of Canada that fascinates me!”
Not only is Mellor a great story telling music artist whose tastes contain a mixture of everyone from Bob Dylan to Otis Redding – Lee is also a published author. His first book; Cold North Killer; Canadian Serial Killer, can be found among the best in Canada when it comes to this rather gruesome subject.
“It ( the book ), has opened so many doors for me. I have made acquaintances with prominent phychologists and police both here and in the U.S.” Says Mellor just before he hits the stage at Casa del Papalo on St.Laurent Blvd. ” In my own way, through my words and music, I am trying to serve humanity the best way I can. Not Mother Theresa or anything – just my part”
It does not require a pychologist to analyze what makes Mellor’s music rise to the top of the music heap. It’s all about telling a tale. Stories that come from someone aside from Lee himself.
” When I write the songs, it’s another personality that takes over.” Says Lee. ” Its hard to explain but I become another character and I visualize the story through them.”
A good example of these ‘ characters’ is in the song; Liberty Street. A tune which is on Mellor’s first c.d – Ghost Town Heart. The disc was released in 2007.
The song is the story of two perspectives.Two pairs of eyes seeing the pomp and pageantry of a military-type parade which takes place on main street in ‘anytown’ North America.
The first take is from a naive point of view. An innocent child not understanding the concept of the ‘trotting out’ of the flags of war. The secondary viewing is through the eyes of a war veteran. A person who has lived through and seen war first hand. That person’s view is jaded and along with the child’s outlook; a dislike of the parade takes place for different reasons.
Toss these derogatory views into the type of music which makes you want to hold your sweetheart tightly in ‘anytown Canada’, a moment is created by Mellor which rests profoundly in the heart.
It’s no secret why Mellor pens these types of songs.
Lee grew up listening to and admiring people such as Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, the Band, Gram Parsons and Towne Van Zandt. ‘Dirty Blues’ and ‘Dirty Country’ are the roots which hold Lee firm in his songwriting prowess.
“I was attracted to these storytelling musicians because it seemed more real. It was all about the content of the lyrics more than the image.”
Mellor created his recent c.d; ‘Loser’, in the same fashion. The first disc was all about the sound being tight and produced perfectly. The first disc was also more country.
” ‘Loser’ is more raw and fun.” Says Mellor. “It is also more psychedelic, drawing from my love of the sixties and early seventies music. I would say the second disc is more rock n’ roll.”
Two albums and soon another book for Mellor. Rampage; Canadian Mass Murderer and Spree Killing should hit the bookstores in 2013. This time – Lee is chronicling Canadian killers who carry out dasterdly deeds such as the recent killings in Colorado.
Mr. Mellor is a very talented fellow. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and harmonica. He writes and produces all his music. He tries to find a balance in all this as the artistic side does not always pay the bills.
Lee is hoping to return to Concordia University in the fall. An institution which brought him to Montreal in the first place ( he obtained a history degree ). This time Mellor is after a PhD …
“My books or music do not take precedent over one another.” Says Lee. ” I don’ t chose one to make a living. I believe I need both to balance me out – keep me steady.”
Luckily for a fan, sitting at a Mellor concert invites all type of emotion which is far from steady. Drinking songs, ballads, foot – stompin’, dancing and even a taste of punk rock hits the audience squarely in their musical palates.
If Bluegrass, Country, Rock, Motown, Blues, Soul and Folk music are your tastes, grab Mellor’s music.
Van Morrison up your alley? Listen to Lee’s amazing talent and why not read a couple of ‘true crime’ books while the eclectic tunes are spinning in the background.
They won’t kill ya …