Sometime an album like Rod Melancon's Parish Lines comes out and describing it is simple as pie. It's a rock & roll album. Nothing else needs to be said about it, really. You can talk about Rod's Louisiana heritage if you want. The album is full of references to where he's from. But it's not an album about Louisiana. I don't think the intention here is to make someone thing about Louisiana. The album is about Rod Melancon, whose T-shirt and jeans vibe is worn like a James Dean tribute. That's about as flashy as he gets and his music is equally straight forward. It's neither in-your-face, nor apologetic. It's matter of fact, take it or leave it. The rhythm section has that Johnny Cash-by-way-of-Social-Distortion vibe that gives the tight guitar work bounce off of. And while Rod's never going to win any singing contests, he's got enough of that soul/R&B/blues vibe in his delivery that he can sell a song line when he sets his mind to it.
Rod Melancon was inspired by Hank Williams' music, as described on the Medina Records web site:
But a chance encounter with his grandfather and Hank Williams would steer his life in an unexpected direction. When he returned to Louisiana from Los Angeles for the Christmas holiday, Melancon saw his grandfather’s tears as he listened to a Hank Williams record Melancon had given him. Those tears touched young Melancon to his core. He knew then that he wanted to touch people through music, the way the Hank Williams once did.
“I grew up with a strong love of film. It was originally what I came to L.A. to do,” Melancon says. “But the thing about songwriting is that you are a one man crew: the director, the screenwriter and the actor. What could be better than that?”
I'm adding "Marella," "South Louisian'," "Mad Talkin' Man," and "Wanna Go for a Ride."
Preview Parish Line by Rod Melancon on Amazon.
Rod Melancon is the featured guest on episode 199.