Today I am hosting Jessica Bell on her tour for String Bridge. However, this stop isn’t about her book. It’s about the CD partnered with the book, Melody Hill: On the Other Side.
When Jessica asked me to review her album, I said yes - and then panicked. I knew her music sounded nothing like what resides in my collection. I asked if she was sure a metal head should be the one to review her very un-metal album. I’m sure she went on faith when she said yes. So, employing a little of my own faith, I listened to Melody Hill…
And this metal head Ninja was impressed!
As a fellow musician (lame thought I might be) I was impressed by the talent behind this CD. Jessica wrote the music, sings, and plays three different guitars. The result is a solid mix of songs with a vibe similar to Sarah McLachlan and a hint of folk music.
The music drifts you down a winding river, lazy in some parts and rushing in others. The journey is accompanied by soulful vocals that will haunt and echo long after the music ends.
These words in particular spoke to me:
So you really want everyone to hear you?
And you want everyone to see you?
But do you really want to be this famous?
(I’m not sure my answer would be yes…)
Somewhere along the way we realize we have been given a glimpse into Jessica’s soul. And it’s a pretty amazing sight.
I had a few questions for Jessica:
Well, the songs were written from the perspective of the main character, Melody, a woman who plots a return to the stage, and the person she used to be, before relinquishing her music career for motherhood. I also channeled Melody’s musical influences to write the songs, including PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell, Nightmares on Wax, and Enigma (which are, mind you, my influences as well).
Which song is your favorite and why?
My favorite is the title track, On the Other Side, because in the past, when I actually wanted to be a rock star, I always wanted to write something heavy enough to head-bang to. I think I succeeded.
Will you be performing this album?
Actually, I think I will be. I've been encouraged to get a band together in order to do some gigs here in Athens. I'll let you know more when I know more!
Which is closer to your heart - music or books?
Now I can't answer that because neither one thrives without the other. My bigger ambition is to write books. But the heart is not a place where ambition resides.
She just raised more questions, didn’t she?!
Purchase Melody Hill: On the Other Side at Amazon, Amazon UK, and from ITunes (No really! Buy it if you haven’t already!)
For more information on her book, String Bridge, visit the official SITE.
Any questions for Jessica? Have you listened to the CD? I’m not losing metal head points for this am I…?
Cool idea to release a CD to go with the book! SF/Horror writer David Lee Summers created a computer game to go with his novel The Pirates of Sufiro. Too bad I have no musical talent and don't know how to program. . .
oooo I love that! "The heart is not a place where ambition resides."
I agree, Alex. The album is outstanding. Jess's voice is smooth and clear as a bell ... lol no pun intended. :)
It really is a beautiful album and it makes it even cooler that we know her. :)
Both sound enchanting. I'm going to check them out.
Yes! Yes and Yes! LOL!!So long as there's cake and wine!
Awww but seriously!! Jessica ROCKS and sings amazingly!! Take care
Thanks so much for having me, Alex my man!!! :o) So glad you liked the album! woohoo!!!
I just saw a review of the book on MPax's blog. Put it on my wish list.
Sean, I'm not talented enough to do a CD, but it would be cool to have a game with my books!
Kitty, cake, wine, and Daniel Craig for you.
Jessica, you're welcome and I was impressed!
What a great way to promote both your music and book in having them together. I listened to one of the songs on another post and it was amazing. Good Luck!
I love when two different kinds of art can compliment each other but I do see song writing and story writing has somewhat similar. Now singing? That's a different skill for sure!
The album sounds awesome and it's cool that you're thinking of starting a band. It's amazing that you're so talented in writing and music. The combination must really strengthen your writing. Good luck with your book.
I have listened some of the songs of this album. I like her voice very much. Thanks for asking how the album is related to the book because I was really curious :)
I can't wait to get this CD. The track I've heard is just amazing. You wrote a terrific review and you can never lose metal points. They're permanent like a tattoo.
Non metal music can have still have lots of angst. Your metal card is still in good standing.
I am totally in love with the high concept for the novel/album release and it makes me think of Coheed & Cambria, who did something similar I believe.
Good luck to Jessica!
Aww a girl after my own heart. I love my guitar and use to write songs, but haven't in a few years.
Good luck. I can't wait to hear it.
What a great concept to release CD and Book together. I loved this quote from Jessica, "But the heart is not a place where ambition resides"
Melissa and Rusty, that's good to know!
If you buy the book, you have to get this CD as well.
Lovely idea to have a CD / book combo - she sounds like one talented Lady - I'll be lookinginto this when I get home
PS no metal-head points lost!
Most definitely *not* losing metal head points ...
I've listened to Jessica's CD probably a dozen times since this weekend. She really did a nice job with it.
Excellent review! :)
thank you for the share, i am on my way to check out the sounds... and the book. you all make it a great day...
Visit The Madness:
Jessica, I salute you for the great idea of offering music to go with your book. It's great to have talent in both directions.
Laura and Suze, I feel better now!
This album sounds like just my kind of thing. Thanks for sharing, Alex.
Great review, Alex. Loved your questions for Jess.
Even this metal head likes some of that kind of music on occasion!
I'm seeing Jessica everywhere in the Blogosphere. She has a lot of support from a lot of people. Good luck to her! And I would like my fifteen minutes but not the continued fame that can ruin people.
I first watched your book trailer on Chris's blog...looks good. The music is compelling!
I was lucky enough to win the CD and listen to it often. Jessica has a lot of talent.
Very good interview, Alex. You were very fair with your review. There's nothing wrong with having eclectic tastes and enjoying a wide range of music. This sounds like the kind of music that I like--drifting down a musical river sounds very enjoyable to me.
Jessica, let me know when you play Los Angeles so I can go hear you live. I guess you'll be signing a movie contract for the book while your here.
Best selling author Lani Diane Rich visits
Tossing It Out
Wednesday November 16th.
I received the album with the book and although it's not my usual music either, I did enjoy it.
Jessica's music is as haunting and beautiful as she is and as I am sure her book is. I am eagerly awaiting its arrival from Amazon.
Great interview! I haven't had a chance to listen to the music yet but I am so doing that today.
A great interview, Alex. I am all about the lyrics to songs and this album looks like a good one.
Excellent interview, Alex. And as for the famous thing. It doesn't matter how many people know me. What matters most to me are the kind of friendships I've made along the way. No amount of fame or popularity can ever take the place of those who'll always have my back.
Jessica is so amazingly talented :)
Love the idea of releasing a book with a music CD. How cool to listen to the music as you read. 'Course it wouldn't work if I did it 'cause I can't sing a lick.
Way cool! Music and writing go well together. And as a non-metal listener I would love it. :)
Charles, you'll like it then!
Lee, bet she'd be thrilled to sign a movie deal!
Jeffrey, well said!
Jess is ultra talented and ultra beautiful inside and out. Her voice soothes. Particularly if you are drinking wine while listening.
No points lost. :-)
Wonderful interview, Alex. Jessica, I'm enjoying getting to know you better.
Sounds rad, I like this kind of music myself:)
I'm so envious of someone with two awesome creative talents. I hope you find great success, Jessica.
Great interview Alex!
Jess, Congratulations on what promises to be an amazing album and book!
Firstly, Alex, I am in awe at the amount of comments you are getting on a post that is not even about you. Wow. You've got some devoted followers here!
Civil, I've actually got a friend who's in the process of writing the script for a video game that goes with her novel. It sounds like a really interesting concept.
Pk, Thank you for your kinds words! I'm so glad you like the album :o)
Donna, I hope you like what you see/hear :o) thanks for reading!
Old Kitty, haha, of cOURSE there's wine!
Tonja, thank you!!!
Marta, thank you so much! :o)
Laura, actually they can be similar, but I would also say they are completely different. Confused? I can NOT listen to music when I write because all I end up wanting to do is sing. I think I use different parts of my brain for each skill.
Natalie, Thank you so much. You have been so supportive.
Javid, glad you liked what your heard! Thanks for reading/listening :o)
Melissa, I agree, no metal points lost. In fact, I think he's earned more!
Rusty, I've never heard of Coheed & Cambria, I'll have to look them up. Thanks for reading!
Journaling, do you write about music on your blog at all? I might have to wizz by and see ... :o)
Ciara, thank you!
Laura, thank you! I hope you do!
Suze, agreed :)
DL,a dozen times? *Blush* Thanks!
iZombie, hope you like what you find!
Morgan, thank you very much!
MJ, glad to hear it!
Matthew, what are you doing online? You should be revising!!!
Charles, and I even like some metal on occasion. Gotta give all sorts of music a chance, right?
Stephen, I agree. I don't think I'd be able to handle that chaotic fame.
Man O'Clay, thanks!
Glynis, hehe, *HUGS*
Arlee, omg, I wish! You'll be the first person I call :) The next will be Stephen. haha
Clarissa, glad to hear it!
Julie, I hope you enjoy it! Make sure you have a nice glass of red with it for me :o)
Bossy Betty, thank you!
Jeffrey, exactly. I can't thank the friends I've made online enough. I couldn't have done this blog tour without them.
Michael, haha. Thanks!
Helen, you can't sing a lick? LOL. I've never heard that phrase before! Must be my Australianess...
Laila, I hope you listen one day!
Robyn, Aw thank you sweetie! Def no points lost, I agree.
Carol, thank you!
Mark, if you like this sort of music then you're rad too.
Susan, thank you very much!
Johanna, thanks, I appreciate it!
I tell ya, it was a fight to get here today. Life is having a ball with me today. :-) But I really wanted to stop by and compliment Jessica on the music. It was what grabbed me first on your trailer. I was so busy listening to the song that I missed most of the dialog at first listen. I went back and read and watched the trailer and liked the premise of the book. Then I had to listen to the music a few more times...
Alex, I love rock too, but I'm very eclectic in my music and very much mood driven. But I do see some of the Sarah McLachlan--vibes and the fact she writes song with some pretty hefty emotional impact and I can definitely see Patti Smith (loved Because the Night and she has hints of Janis Joplin).
Wishing you the best with this Jessica!
Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE
I love all the writerly support in this community. This is the third blog I've seen this on. Awesome.
I'm captured by the unique, creative idea of a cd-book combo. Off to visit Jessica's blog. Thanks Alex.
A wonderful and honest review Alex. It is a good idea to release a cd with a book.
What cd would you choose for your new book ? three guesses who I'd have as I can't sing.
Robyn, especially if you're drinking wine to the song in the video.
Jessica, you're welcome! And I'm surprised I get any comments on posts about me.
Sia, I think you'll dig it. And I liked Keel's version of Because the Night. Hope that's all right.
Yvonne, that would be wonderful if Daniel did a song to one of your poems!
The song is awesome! It's enchanting, I love it. Great review Alex. Best of luck Jessica this is a hit for sure!
I'm already intimidated by this multi-talented woman. I'll be checking out both book and cd.
It's fantastic you've found a way to mix your two great passions: music and writing.
You appear to have some talented folks in your army, Alex.
My sister is a writer and composer. I envy her talent, just as I envy yours, Jessica. I love that you wrote songs to go with your book. Your talent amazes me.
With influences like those, this album looks spectacular. I already know Jessica from her poetry, looking forward to getting to know this other side.
Way to go, Jessica. I'm seeing you everywhere.
Helena, you and me both!
OMGosh! What a sweet voice she has!!
Thanks for this post. Beautiful music is always appreciated.
Third blog I've been to that recommends this book and CD. On my list. Thanks for a great review of the music. Also love the idea of the two together. Much talent there.
I'll definitely have to give it a listen myself.
Love the CD being included. Very original.
Wow! How exciting it would be to have the musical talent to go along with a book. Good luck and happy promoting!
Huntress, you will really enjoy her CD!
Monti, you are both a writer and an artist!
Excellent review. I have a good sense of the music, now. I'm sure I'd like both the book and music. Thanks!
Jess rocks it. In multiple mediums!
Can appreciate the album thanks to your review Alex.
Have heard a lot of positive buzz re the story. Bell is obviously very talented, I wish her the best.
Alex- Awesome Review!
Jessica - You are amazingly talented! Wow! I love how music and writing are intertwined for you.
Kudos to Jessica -- musician and writer! What a fantastic combination.
As described in that record should be very interesting.
I also think it's a great idea to combine your book with a CD! Wishing you all the best Jessica! Thanks for hosting Alex! Julie
Great idea to have an interview with the review -- wish I'd thought of that ;) The Other Side is my favorite too. I'm afraid of listening to it while driving: Guarenteed speeding ticket.
Will, I had questions and Jessica had answers!
How great is this. She is amazing. I can't wait to hear it. The book was great.
I won Jessica's CD and finally had a chance to listen to it this week - it's very beautiful.
Fantastic interview, Alex and Jessica. Alex, I loved how you described Jess's CD to a winding river. So perfect! I have my copy and I love it, especially track #2. :))
she sounds fantastically talented, well done on the interview alex. :)
Also thanks again for your comments, as you say sometimes all you need is a short break x
What an awesome idea! I would have never thought to do something like that. Very cool. If only I were that artistically talented. I can barely find time to write blog posts I can't imagine finding the time to write a book AND a CD to go along with it.
Nicole, that was the best description I could provide.
I love Jessica's musical influences, Patti Smith, Nick Cave ... excellent!
Jessica is very talented. I enjoyed the book.
Interesting interview. I'm always impressed by people who are multi-talented.
I love the idea of having an album with a book! I just purchased the album on amazon, gave it a listen, and loved it! Awesome job - and thank you Alex for sharing her! :)
How very cool, a CD and a book. Kinda like dinner and a movie!!!
I do so love her work. 'Just jumped back from her site.
God bless ya and enjoy this wonderful day Man!!!
Thanks for the intro.........
oh, yeah. I've got the album, and it is awesome. My favorite is Love is a b!tch of a wine. Very cool. Jessica's so talented, and her voice is gorgeous. Great interview~ :o) <3
What a clever idea for a writer/musician. Sounds like Jessica is a very talented young lady.
Great to learn more of Jessica.
Love that, what a cool idea. Congrats on your double release, Jessica.
Amy, knew you'd like it!
LTM, then she did good selecting that as the first video.
Jessica is both a great writer and a great musician. I've read String Bridge, and I loved it!
Ann Best, Memoir Author of In the Mirror & Imprisoned
Jessica put together a brilliant blog tour. How clever to combine music and writing in her promotion like she did in her tour.
Metal head points lost? To me, you've gain points!
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