Fresh off the Melissa Etheridge Caribbean Cruise at the end of last month, Melissa Crispo and her band played The Abbey in downtown Orlando, Florida. This intimate club was chosen by Melissa to share her birthday with her fans that had come from as far as Australia and Ireland. The set started with “Just Say Goodbye” from her latest CD “Tomboy”, followed by “Back Where We Started” from her first CD. The band proceeded with songs from both CD’s. The second half of the show Melissa put down the acoustic guitar and moved over to the electric piano located at the front right of the stage where she played “You’re Gone”, alone and by herself on the stage. Fans recognize this number as the song Melissa usually performs a cappella most nights but equally moving performed solo on the piano. We were also treated to a song from the new CD that is in the works “Turn it Up Loud”. All songs are written for the new album. It’s just a matter of identifying the right producer at this point. With any luck, the new CD will be released by fall of this year followed by an east coast tour to kick off sales. Currently Melissa Crispo’s songs can be found on Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, and iTunes.
Melissa Crispo’s music career started in 2002 playing solo acoustic shows in local bars. By the time she released her first album, “A Break in the Clouds”, she had already played six Hard Rock Live shows and had performed as the opening act for Sophie B. Hawkins, Styx and Jefferson Starship. Once the CD was released, her top singles “Not Me” and “Sweet Dreams” were played on the local radio station. She performed at the Florida Music Festival, and shortly after, Melissa was contacted by MTV about the use of one of her songs on the CD to be used in an upcoming series. It seemed hard work had paid off and her career was on the way up. But, like everything in the music business, timing is everything. On November 5 of 2007, the Writers Guild, or labor unions that represented television, film, and radio went on strike. The strike would last until February 12, 2008. MTV scrapped the show and the financial meltdown in the United States was underway.
Melissa put her aspirations on hold and started a new career as a paramedic. For the next eight years she kept her love for performing live on weekends in local bars. She also didn’t stop writing. In 2013 Melissa released a new single “Running in Circles”. The single was used as a score in a local film that was released in 2014 titled “Untold”. The movie was released but never made it out of the theaters in the Orlando market. This limited success lit a fire and Crispo released her second album in 2016. My review of the second album was, “this EP shows an experienced artist that has matured with strength and depth in lyrics”. The contents were more sophisticated than her initial offering and easier for this writer to identify”.
In October of 2016, Melissa Crispo left her job as a paramedic to pursue her music career full time once again. She received an invitation to play on the Melissa Etheridge Cruise as a solo act in November of 2016, just before the release of her second album “Tomboy”. She was welcomed back on board The Melissa Etheridge Cruise in 2018, this time with her band. The 2016 Etheridge Cruise yielded an invitation on “Country Cruising” which sailed in January of 2017. Next, she participated in a night of country music at The House of Blues Orlando in February. Later that year, an invitation was extended for a three show trip to Ireland in September 2017. This was second time she has been invited to perform in Europe. The new album’s title track “Tomboy” received airplay on a local station. It also put “You’re Gone” from the first CD on a local music station, 97 Country.
Things are looking up for this artist that has paid her dues and possess the work ethic and drive of living the dream. If timing is everything in music, Melissa Crispo’s time has come.