Melissa Reaves is known to audiences throughout the US and Europe for her avant-garde, fire driven’, deconstructionist approach to rock-n-roll. Reaves has amassed a word-of-mouth following most notably for her experimental guitar work but also for her propensity towards spontaneity and seamless improvisation during live performance. She deconstructs the blues, pushes jazz to the outer limits and burns through rock-n-roll like the love child of Jerry Lee Lewis and the MC5. The real deal! Melissa's, "New Rock Song" was placed on the 55th GRAMMY Awards nomination ballot for Best Rock Performance.
Performing over 200 shows per year, Melissa spends most of her time touring with her eclectic solo show as well as her band. In January 2000, Melissa was chosen to participate in a "Women of the Millennium" showcase at the MIDEM conference in Cannes, France and toured in both England and France which included opening for Robert Plant of Led Zepplin.
In 1999, Melissa won the Lilith Fair Talent Search for the Charlotte area. She took the stage at Tremont Music Hall by storm and blew the crowd away. Melissa is well-known for her electrifying performances which leave her fans screaming for more. Her performance at Lilith Fair was incredible, and Melissa ended up on the main stage at the end of the night and truly brought down the house.
Melissa's third CD, Sentimental Anthem, includes a blend of some incredible grooves and the powerful extremes of Melissa's vocal abilities. Nine tracks are originals and the CD includes a dynamic rendition of "Purple Haze" with the Willy's, as well as a beautiful acoustic version of "I Know You Rider." For Reaves, one of the goals for this CD was to capture the intense energy of her live performances. Sentimental Anthem was released in May 1999, and has received outstanding reception from both fans and radio play.
Another of Reaves'accomplishments was the independent release of her debut album, Fall From Grace. Reaves wrote and arranged the entire album which includes ten listed tracks along with some extra surprises. Melissa has one track on the GO ON GIRL '97 CD compilation. The CD features female fronted bands from across the U.S. & Canada and is the brain child of Susan White at Fret Less Music.
Originally from North Carolina, Melissa Reaves tours nationally as well as internationally including New York,Boston,Atlanta,New Orleans,Seattle and Vancouver,BC. Melissa has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Sarah MacLachlan, Leon Russell,Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Doc Watson, Little Feat; and has performed for many benefits and rallies including New York Pride, Battered Women's Shelters, and PETA. Melissa has also been a featured artist at the MIDEM, CMJ, & LMNOP conferences and at the NEA Extravaganza.
Melissa Reaves & The Willys unique sound and charismatic presence has received excellent reviews for their shows in Seattle, NYC, and in the Boston area. Rob Bloom of NYC's Manhattan Mirror said that, 'Melissa sings the blues all heart and soul...Melissa delivered the goods and shook the place,' while Steve Rylie of Creative Loafing says, 'Reaves will electrify any audience and send chills down your spine.' Melissa has propelled herself forward in the independent music scene with enormous strides. With her dynamic stage presence and burning desire to entertain, Melissa Reaves is someone who will excite and energize any audience!