The Fallow Year
After a dozen years, many thousands of miles of touring the globe,
and a loyal and growing fan base, Melissa Greener has attracted the
discerning ear of Grammy winning producer Malcolm Burn (Emmylou
Harris, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Chris Whitley), who has just produced
her latest album, The Fallow Year.
The Fallow Year is Greener's pilgrimage to the internal world of family
dysfunction, mental illness and addiction. The songs are as much a
marker of solace, hope and healing, as they are a telling of raw truths.
Melissa Greener | The Fallow Year: an Introduction
- Maverick Music Magazine
"A glorious, utterly distinctive voice, an accomplished guitarist and an arresting songwriter."
- Acoustic Guitar Magazine
"Beautifully symmetric work, that makes writing songs look like painting."
- Alt Country Forum
(images by Mark Tucker. click thumbnail for full image)
- Broward Folk Club
On The Road
2017 was among Greener's most productive years connecting with fans on the road. In the spring she set out on a six-week western US run throughout California, Oregon and Washington; then up through British Columbia and Alberta, Canada; then down through Montana, Idaho, and Utah. Greener then flew directly to the main stage of central Texas's beloved Kerrville Folk Festival where she is a long-time crowd favorite, to honor her dear friend, songwriting mentor and co-writer, the late Guy Clark.
In early September of 2017 Greener set off on a ten-week, eight-country European tour, starting on Crete, then Athens, Greece before captivating packed houses in other European hubs including a sold-out performance in Berlin. After Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Strasbourg, it was Stockholm for a special performance at New Yorker-expat Izzy Young's legendary Folklore Center. (In the 1950's and 60's Izzy's original Greenwich Village storefront hosted first ever gigs for Dylan, Joan Baez, Tim Buckley and many others of the time.) Greener continued on to a trio of concerts in the UK, and then wrapped her marathon tour in Ireland with a concert at the famed Drumcliffe Cathedral in Sligo where W.B. Yeats's grave sits in the kirkyard. The last show of her Irish tour in Ballymore brought an enthusiastic audience of fans shouting requests and singing along.
On December 10th of 2017, back in US Eastern Time, Greener began the first of nine days in the studio with Malcolm Burn to record The Fallow Year.
Greener is currently writing a memoir - stories of her years with close friend Guy Clark - from the first time he sang "She Ain't Goin Nowhere" to her from across his workbench, all the way to his hospital room deathbed with Steve Earle, trading stories of the old days and wild nights. Greener has many stories of her own to share.
Greener first met Rosanne Cash when the two were part of a songwriting workshop in Omaha, Nebraska. Cash took notice of Greener's songwriting prowess straight away. The two continued the conversation late into an evening of red wine, connecting about mutual friends, and they have stayed in touch ever since - meeting for tea in Cash's stomping ground, New York City, or backstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Greener's hometown of Nashville where Cash performed with Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams.
Greener and Mary Gauthier have been crossing paths on the road at festivals, in random airports, and on stages for many years. Greener is currently in discussion with Gauthier to do more back-ground singing and guitar playing with her out on the road. Mary is currently touring to support her new release, Rifles & Rosary Beads.
Greener has been affiliated with the Folk Alliance International organization since 2004, and will showcase at their annual conference this year upon invitation by friend Dan Navarro (songwriter of Pat Benatar hit We Belong). For several years Greener has worked closely with the Americana Music Association as well as South by Southwest where she will return to perform this spring.
Mental Health Awareness Advocate
The Fallow Year is Greener's call-to-action to encourage conversation around mental health issues. The catalyst; Her own struggles with major depression, years of drug addiction, and a lifetime of sordid family dynamics. Now six years clean and sober, Greener has come a long way from living in her car, busking for gas money.
Greener has a resonant cheering section for her service work from national organizations. She is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and has been met with enthusiastic support from MusiCares (Recording Academy) for her mission to reduce stigmas around mental illness and addiction, and empower those who suffer to reach out for help and seek treatment. As part of her efforts to speak out about mental health issues, Greener gives talks and leads workshops in a process of healing through song.