The growing success for Melissa Robertson’s music not only reflects her ability to connect to her audience because of her songs and music, but also because of her heart.
‘I’m folk, I’m country, I’m a bit traditional and country rock’ says Melissa. ‘I lead a diverse life encompassing being born in the city but embracing rural life as a young adult, 27 years of marriage, raising a family, dealing with childhood family trauma, engaging in music across multiple genres, and I’ve found my heart in the authenticity of country music.’
Writing for her new album has opened the floodgates to a deeper perspective on Melissa’s life. Suffering a distressing, abusive childhood, she now sees herself as a survivor and wants to encourage others that they can be survivors too and reach for their dreams. Like many of her musical influences, she has also been exploring and incorporating deeper aspects of her life into her new songs, including spirituality, faith, worthiness and self-esteem. Her road to self-discovery has led to a bolder, stronger emphasis and passion to reveal real, authentic life in her music.
About this track…
CD Review by Ian Dearden
Originally city born and bred, Melissa Robertson now hails from the central west of New South Wales.
‘Little Country Life’, her third full length release (her debut release was an EP titled ‘Ride Of Your Life’ in 2009) places her squarely, both geographically and musically, in the country folk tradition, albeit with a solid rhythm section grounded by producer/engineer Simon Johnson on bass and Trent Simonson on drums.
The title track album opener, ‘Little Country Life’, places us in the middle of Melissa’s world.
She clearly loves where she lives and the person she shares her life with, credited in the liner notes as her husband Andrew.
It’s not too much of a stretch then to assume that Andrew is the key protagonist in the album’s next song, ‘Make Love To Me’, although to be fair, the song is not a missive to the marital complaints department, but rather a meditation on the inevitable ups and downs of a long term relationship that has weathered all that life can throw at it.
‘Red Head at Heart’ is a tribute to all those passionate female rangas out there, featuring some tasty electric guitar picking from the sadly departed Glen Hannah, as well as contributions from multi-instrumentalist Tim Crouch (guitar, mandolin & fiddle).
‘Love Like A River’ is a gorgeous country love ballad, featuring duet vocalist, Ian Burns, and some sweet, sweet dobro from James Crouch.
‘Wouldn’t Be Without You’ and “Angel’ are both deeply rooted in the country love song tradition, celebrating and acknowledging the joys and support of a loving and long time lover.
‘He’s A Writer Of Songs’ steps a little sideways to musically acknowledge Melissa’s musical idol and inspiration, country singer/songwriter Luke O’Shea, whom she credits with providing the turning point in her musical journey.
‘Way Back Home’ is a tender insight into the joys, sorrows, hopes and fears of the journey of parenthood.
‘Wild Wild Flower’ is a delicious paean to love and desire, with James Church’s dobro again hitting all the right notes, sitting sweetly with tasty organ and piano from Vaughan Jones.
Melissa’s bio on her website acknowledges that she is a survivor of a distressing, abusive childhood, so in ‘I Wasn’t Meant To’, she traces her journey from a childhood of misery to the adult reality of a rich and rewarding life centred on love, music, hope and faith.
‘Heart Of Gold’ explicitly acknowledges ‘the kindest man I’ve ever known’ and his role in her journey to self-discovery and happiness.
Fittingly, the album wraps up with ‘In Your Loving Arms’, which really says it all – this is the happy place where her journey ends!!