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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Canadian Country Music Star Melissa Endean Pays Homage To Johnny Cash On New Release 'Folsom Prison'

Canadian country music recording artist Melissa Endean is excited to announce the release of her latest single, "Folsom Prison" on which she worked in collaboration with John Carter Cash. This recording is a cover of the Johnny Cash classic that ranks among Rolling Stone Magazine's greatest country songs of all time, and it earned Cash his very first career Grammy. Melissa's version of the song is infused with unbridled enthusiasm, sophistication and her own unique style. Recorded at the world famous Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 2013, the track was produced by Grammy award-winner Chuck Turner. Turner won a grammy for his work on June Carter Cash's "Wildwood Flower" project. Hailing from Kamloops (Barnhartvale) in the interior of British Columbia, Melissa comes from a family of professional musicians that included a grandfather who once actually toured with Johnny Cash.

Cash Cabin is the recording studio that Johnny Cash had built - and it's full of bits and pieces of his life, even an old rocking chair that he had carved "man in white" into on one of the arm rests. According to Melissa, the highlight of recording at Cash Cabin was "getting to play Johnny Cash's Martin guitar on the project" (she plays rhythm guitar on the track). "And also getting to hear the raw cuts of Loretta Lynn's latest album that Chuck was working on at the time. It was the last album she recorded before she died. So that was an amazing experience. Oh also, I got to sign Johnny Cash's "mantle" - which was covered with the names of pretty much every country music great you can think of. Even Taylor Swift has signed the mantle! So I got to do that, which was very cool, and an honour I definitely didn't feel deserving of!" Melissa calls the experience "surreal."

Melissa is an accomplished performer and songwriter, with an immediately recognizable and distinctive vocal style that carries enormous range and power, garnering frequent comparisons to Dolly Parton, Patty Griffin, and Tammy Wynette. To date, Melissa has achieved notable success in the industry. From the time that she was old enough to talk, Melissa Endean was onstage, making her first public appearance as a country vocalist at just eight years of age. Melissa released her first EP at just 18 years old, as part of the family band, The Endean Sisters, to immediate success, with Endean's first underground single release, "Kiss My Canadian Ass", quickly becoming a local hit.

Melissa had originally planned to take these tracks back up to Canada and master and release them - but she ended up putting the tracks on a back burner as she had other projects she was working on at the time. She explains: "I also had a lot of fear about really establishing myself as a country music artist because at that time I was nervous that as an openly gay artist, I would be rejected in the country music industry. I put the project on hold, and then I ended up getting married, having babies, and then having a divorce lol. So by the time I was in a headspace to actually finish them, and also by the time I actually felt confident enough to release them as a gay artist, nearly ten years had past. I feel like now the world and the industry has progressed enough that there won't be as much pushback for a gay artist, and so I decided what the hell - may as well finish them and get them out there."

Early in 2022, after a five year hiatus from the music industry, Melissa went back to her roots as a country musician and re-entered the music scene with an unrestrained and unapologetic passion that is reflected in a collection of gut-wrenchingly honest and emotionally pure tracks that speak to the potential of neo-traditional & outlaw country. Within a few short weeks of re-entering the music industry, she was invited into studio by award winning Nashville producer, Dean Miller (Dolly Parton, Allison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Terri Clark, Kacey Musgraves).

In addition to "Folsom Prison," Melissa's highly-anticipated EP scheduled for release later this year will include another recently released single "Til We're Dirt," and the feature track "God's Gonna Cut You Down", a traditional American Folk song also made famous by Johnny Cash, which was recorded (live) at Cash Cabin by Turner, on which Melissa can again be heard playing one of Cash's Martin guitars. Melissa is an independent artist with Tiger Music Productions.


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