November 30 @ 9:00 pm
“I was just a County Line Wildflower, growing free out on the road, looking for a place that I could call my home.”
Melissa Ann has grown up the free spirited child of a blended family. Embracing the fluid, changing way of life that she’s always known, her music clearly states that same spirit. She is the founder and singer/acoustic guitarist in The Moonlight Pickers. Her sound is a unique blend of country (traditional and red dirt alike), folk, and rock. She has spent most of her life, staring out the window from the quiet, rural town of Elburn, Illinois.
Musical careers always start with an artist who is still wet behind the ears. Melissa walked into a community of artists and passionate appreciators of the fine arts, with a few songs and a bright, clear voice loud enough to consume the echoing laughter and banter of local small pubs and bars in Northern Illinois. Her first EP she recorded was released on October 2008, titled “What I Need”, which was recorded and produced by fellow musician, Mike Pentz. She and Mike tracked the six songs with the little time they had between their two families, layering in each instrument as time came and went. She partnered with his band, previously known as “The Miles Burning Band” to perform her debut album at a wild and energetic CD Release Party, which was a resounding success with her local listeners and fans.
Moving forward, the group continued casting their musical nets, appreciating friends’ local bands, performing at new live music venues each month, and simply spreading their enthusiastic adoration for original and live performances. Through these connections and relationships, they had the opportunity to play smaller local festivals, like Melissa’s hometown fest, “Elburn Days”, and larger ones like “Country Thunder 2016” (Twin Lakes, WI), and “White Buffalo Music Festival 2016”. They have also had the complete pleasure of performing their original music live on air with the Q98.5 Rockford Country station.
Melissa is currently working with The Moonlight Pickers to create their first full length album, titled “Rescue”. Their focus is to create a stand-alone mark on the original music community, with memorable works that listeners can fully empathize with. Each member is fully dedicated to polishing their final product, and Melissa is driven to remain truthful and honest to giving listeners a genuine and thoughtful album every person can fully relate to and enjoy. While there is still work to be done, their first single “Never” should be released digitally in late spring of this year. The band’s very own Mike Pentz is head recording producer and engineer on the project. The album, while self produced, is turning into a polished and professional sounding collection of works. Every show, songwriter’s showcase, and open mic helps the Moonlight Pickers to take just one more step in the direction they desire most, which is delivering an album that listeners can appreciate.
While there is much more to be said about the professional and talented boys that back Melissa for the weekend shows and local gigs, she has a focus completely directed on sharing her music. A woman of more than a few words, armed with a guitar and a whole lot of energy, she plans on making her way this summer to Austin, Texas in search of more lovers of music and art. She is also a mother of two children and a career cosmetologist, with music at the center of her spirit. Reaching for seemingly unreachable goals has been her ultimate dream– not the money, or the glamour of recognition that music sometimes can bring to the lucky artist. Melissa has a focus of maintaining a professional image, and giving back what listeners deserve– a genuine heart and a stoic attitude of delivering a performance that is memorable, every time a fresh or weathered ear is listening.