Melanie Morgan headlines cancer benefit show

The next fundraising event for local Relay For Life Team Harley’s Heroes is taking place at the Moncton Lions Club tonight. Known as Passionately Pink, the event is geared toward the ladies but is obviously welcoming to any gentlemen who wish to show their support. Tonight’s event is being emceed by XL96 FM hosts Paul Thomas and Shilo Bellis and will also feature a performance by two-time East Coast Music Award nominee Melanie Morgan.

Morgan became involved with tonight’s show and Harley’s Heroes after having met founder Jenn Marr at one of her past shows. Marr, whose husband Harley is the namesake of the team, approached Morgan to gauge her interest in performing at the event earlier this year.

“I was on board right away,” Morgan says. “I was truly inspired by Jenn’s story and her determination to help others. As an artist, I have performed at many benefit concerts but sometimes you come across a story that really touches you; that is indeed what happened with Passionately Pink.”

Cap-Pelé native Morgan is continuing to promote her sophomore record, Goodbye Birmingham, which was released in 2009. Co-prodcued by Morgan and songwriter Monty Criswell, who has penned songs for Trace Adkins, Josh Turner and Gretchen Wilson, Morgan says she felt considerably more confident in making her second album when compared to her 2006 debut Brand New Day.

“Everything was so new to me back then,” Morgan says. “Being on the radio and having the opportunity to make my record in Nashville was all very exciting to me.”

Morgan’s decision to venture into country music dates back to the time that she was five or six years old and would watch the Grand Ole Opry at her grandparent’s house. It was some of these performances that would help spurn her interest in the genre.

“We would watch guys like Randy Travis and George Strait on the Opry but when Shania Twain released The Woman In Me album, I was completely hooked.

“My appreciation for music grows every day and I am thrilled that it is such a huge part of my life.”

Morgan is looking forward to the future. In addition to a smattering of shows scattered throughout the year, she is also looking forward to getting back into the studio to make her third record.

“As of now, I am in the writing stage of a new record and am looking for the right songs,” Morgan says.

“It is really important to come up with or find the best songs that I feel best represent me as an artist. I’m very picky when it comes to new material; I wouldn’t record something just for the sake of having something out.

“A lot of the magic when working on a new project is that you never know where you’re headed. That is what makes it exciting though!”

Regardless of where the road might bring Morgan in the future, one thing that she will always hold close to her heart are her roots in southeastern New Brunswick.

“Having been brought up in Cap-Pelé is a big influence on the choice of music I perform. When I think of country music, I tend to think of small towns, real life stories and humble people that live and appreciate a simple way of life. That is what I feel Cap-Pelé is all about.”

Article published in April 29, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript