Rod Melancon

Pearl Street Warehouse Presents

Rod Melancon

Evan Bartles

Sat · June 22, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$0.00

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Rod Melancon
Rod Melancon
If last year’s EP, LA 14, gave us a taste of Rod Melancon’s own darkly lit pilgrim’s path
as an artist and a writer, then his new full album release appropriately finds him taking
root with the title, Southern Gothic, as he takes us further into the light and darkness of
his own poetic vision based on tales of the people of his South Louisiana homeland.
The album is further evidence that confirms the arrival of an important new artist on the
horizon of the Americana music movement that has been sweeping the country charts.
Southern Gothic is a journey into the dark-and often twisted-night of the soul. It is the
restless yearning of a young, new South that has been represented by The Drive By
Truckers, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. With this fine new album, Melancon finds
himself in their company and ready to take his well-deserved seat in the congregation
as one of the finest Americana artists out today.

Just as Johnny Cash captured the Arkansas of his childhood and Springsteen brought
Asbury Park alive for millions, Rod Melancon has brought the sound and feeling of
South Louisiana’s storied towns filled with conflicted characters. The sound is driven
with a raucous blues that would make Lead Belly feel at home. Rod grew up in the
shadow of Angola State Prison where the great bluesman made his home for many
years.
On this cycle of songs, that sometimes plays like stories of his favorite author, Larry
Brown, Melancon takes us deep in the swamp lands of South Louisiana, found in the
bayous and small towns along the parish lines and the borders that dwell with the native
sons of this often, unseen heartland where the stories wait to be told. There are ghosts
to conjure up in the night fires and bayou jamborees. It takes a special artist to conjure
up the soul of the land through song and story. It takes an artist possessed of a singular
vision: Welcome to the world of Southern Gothic. It is a world that is uniquely Rod
Melancon.
If the finest artists write what they know, then with Southern Gothic Melancon has not
only written what he is intimately familiar with, he also gives us a portrait of his love for
the land of his childhood and the souls he has encountered during his lifetime. There
are songs here that reflect the restlessness of the heartland (“Promises”) alongside
the In-Cold-Blood feel of the yearnings of a serial killer (“With the Devil”). Then, he and
producer Brian Whelan, change things up as they allow the listener to come up for air
on grungy raunch & roll rockers like “Redhead” and an update of Buddy Holly by way of
Bob Dylan on “Mary Lou.”
He and Whelan brilliantly segue the solid roots of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B into serious
industrial metal-fused psychedelic music on songs like “Lights of Carencro” and the
rage-filled anti-war anthem, “Different Man,” re-created here, from the Parish Lines
album, to new heights.
Southern Gothic represents the diverse experiences of an old soul inside the music of a
young new talent. On this album, Rod Melancon takes an unflinching look inside the
heart of Americana darkness as he stylistically drives deeper into the roots of his own
imagination nurtured in the badlands and bayous of his home.
Evan Bartles
Evan Bartles
Evan Bartels has continued to learn and collect stories following the release of his 2017 debut album, The Devil, God, & Me. His experiences of touring throughout the United States and becoming a father have enhanced his perspective and widened his lens of the world. The past two years of his life have offered deeper insight and empathy toward the struggles of the human experience, and he clearly expresses this in his poignant and personal songwriting.

Storytelling has always been a fixture in his writing, and Bartels continues to evolve his narratives by digging deeper beneath the surface and clinging to an authentic message. He captures a moment and fleshes it out to its barest, rawest form, thereby creating a piece of art that—regardless of genre or setting—moves the listener. Bartels’s most current work embodies this action and directly reflects his mission to convey truthful narratives.

2019 will see the release of a new five-song EP: Promised Land. Divergent from his previous work, this release marks a transition into a new artistic phase and applies his aforementioned understanding of the world. Promised Land is a collection of songs centered on the art of breaking down one’s belief systems, habits, personality, and rebuilding a new person. Bartels says,

“These songs are love songs. They’re about loving myself enough to question everything I am and being willing to break myself down to my core so that I can find who I can be if I’m at my best. They’re love songs to my wife and son, and in them there’s a promise of giving everything of myself to them. I wanted to capture a transition in my life in a way that I believe other people can look at themselves and find common ground through vulnerability.”

This EP launches Bartels onto a new stage. After having music featured on comedian Theo Von’s hit podcast, This Past Weekend, Bartels has found a global audience. Von said of Bartels,

“I hear it all in his voice, sometimes people have that special gift and you can hear the whole world in them… there’s a lot of beautiful music out there but that boy’s got something in him. In his voice I can hear it all…I can see the whole timeline of everything. Sometimes that’s the gift of music, a voice and some lyrics come along and put it together for me. He did it.”

Evan Bartels isn’t holding back. With a full tour schedule, the release of his Promised Land EP, and a new full-length LP on the way, 2019 looks to be a promising year. During a time when we’re all looking for something to believe in, Bartels is preaching a much-needed gospel: live a life that doesn’t shy away from difficulty, but rather uses every aspect of the journey, its joys, and sorrows, to grow into the best version of ourselves.
Venue Information:
Pearl Street Warehouse
33 Pearl St SW
Washington, DC, 20024
http://www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com/