Throughout her career, Ani DiFranco has credited singer, guitarist, and songwriter Michael Meldrum as an early and significant influence. He showed her the possibilities of the guitar and encouraged her to perform in public before she was even a teenager.
Now Ani returns the favor by performing on, mixing, and co-producing Open Ended Question, Meldrum’s debut full-length album drawing upon three decades of songwriting. She is joined by other artists who share her high regard for Meldrum’s work, including Alison Pipitone, Michael Sheffield, Chris Panfil, Rob Lynch, Michael Morrissey, Jim Whitford, Four Shillings Short, Glenn Wallace, John Brady, Inga Yanoski, Sasha Spilleriff, John Allen, Barbara Way Wydysh, Joelle Labert, Geno McManus, Matt Pszonak and Ed Zielinski. Together, they represent a veritable Who’s Who of Western New York singers and instrumentalists.
Recorded over a period of three years, the album showcases Meldrum’s rich musical background with tracks that range from jubilant New Orleans romps to somber folk ballads. Breezy summer tunes and gritty roadhouse blues become intriguing neighbors to Indian themes and meditative chants, while Meldrum’s honest tales of bars and empty streets make for sincere, accessible songs filled with intimate emotion.
“The end result is an album that flows rather seamlessly, following various folk estuaries, and ultimately painting a vibrant portrait of Buffalo song,” says The Buffalo News. “It really feels like Meldrum's life's work, his experience translated into music.”
Via his Buffalo Songwriting Project, Meldrum has given selflessly to the Buffalo songwriting community, cultivating the development of countless local performers and bringing such folk icons as Townes Van Zandt, Michelle Shocked, and Suzanne Vega—often in the early days of their careers—to Buffalo. With Open Ended Question, he continues this tradition of generosity, offering his heartfelt music as the most genuine of gifts.
Proceeds from the sale of Open Ended Question will be donated to the ‘Homemade Baby Music Fund’ in support of Michael’s children Julia and Xander.
Michael Meldrum passed away May 5, 2011, read Righteous Babe's obituary here: http://righteousbabe.myshopify.com/blogs/news/6257932-michael-meldrum-1951-2011