Rod Melancon Breaks Through on LA 14
It is the mark of great artists to build on past work rather than cover old ground. This is true of Rod Melancon and his upcoming five-song EP, LA 14, for the fledgling innovative label, Blue Élan Records.
The Louisiana singer-songwriter’s debut album, My Family Name, mined classic country music with fresh new songs that called up the spirit of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. His second album, 2014’s Parish Lines found him pushing the boundaries between alt-country and blues-rock. Now, the next chapter in the art and life of Rod Melancon begins. LA 14.
In the same way Johnny Cash captured the Arkansas of his childhood and Springsteen brought Asbury Park alive for millions, Rod Melancon has brought the sound and feeling of South Louisiana’s storied towns filled with conflicted characters. The sound is driven with a raucous blues that would make Lead Belly feel at home. Rod grew up in the shadow of Angola State Prison where the great bluesman made his home for many years.
Deep in the swamp lands of South Louisiana, found in the small towns off State Highway 14, along the Parish lines and the borders that dwell with the native sons of this often unseen heartland, there are stories waiting to be told. There are ghosts to conjure up in the night fires and bayou jamborees. It takes a special artist to conjure up the soul of the land through song and story. It takes an artist possessed of a singular vision: Welcome to the world of LA 14. It is a world that is uniquely Rod Melancon, born and bred in South Louisiana. On this album he has recorded a collection of songs that bring us to the feel of haunted and hunted swampy, South Louisiana nights.