JOHNSON CITY (Dec. 13, 2021) – In the late 1980s and 1990s, Melissa Etheridge was a rock ‘n’ roll rebel with confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals. In the 21st century, the singer/songwriter is known as a rock queen and icon.
After months of waiting for a break in the country’s and state’s health situation, the East Tennessee State University Martin Center for the Arts has finalized plans for its first public show as a presenter – an evening with Etheridge on her One Way Out tour, set for Wednesday, April 27, in the center’s ETSU Foundation Grand Hall.
Local tickets will go on sale on the Martin Center website on Friday, Dec. 17.
“The day is finally here, and we could not be more thrilled to announce our first Martin Series public performance featuring a rock ‘n’ roll icon,” said Jennifer Clements, executive director of the Martin Center and University Events. “Melissa Etheridge was at the top of our A-list of artists to bring to the Martin Center. Her concert will be the perfect culmination of our spring semester at ETSU, a respite and a celebration.
“Before long, we hope to be announcing additional 2022 Martin Center exclusive performances and more opportunities to savor the arts together.”
Etheridge will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. April 27 to share not only fan favorites, but also to spotlight cuts from her newest album, One Way Out, released in September, a collection of songs she wrote in the 1980s and ’90s, never-before released.
“She’s one of the finest and most passionate songwriters of the past 40 years,” says RockandBluesMuse.com. “Her vocals equal the power of her lyrics and she has the rare gift of being able to touch listeners’ hearts directly, often with a single line.”
Her original songs, such as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy” – for which she won a Grammy® in 1992 – laid the groundwork for her legendary sound and style. Her breakout album, 1993’s Yes I Am, reached Number 15 on Billboard and sold more than six million copies on the strength of the singles “I’m The Only One” and “Come To My Window.”
In recent years, she has continued to tour, record and launch her own live streaming subscription and concert platform – Etheridge TV.
Etheridge is also known for her activism and ground-breaking transparency regarding her sexual orientation, journey with breast cancer and social causes. She celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“We are honored to have an artist of the caliber of Melissa Etheridge at ETSU, and to help us inaugurate our Martin Series of performances at our new arts center,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “Her talent and courage make her a wonderful example for our students, as well as an artist whose messages of renewal, reconciliation, compassion and healing are relative and relevant to almost anyone of any age.”
In its review of her concert last month in Long Island, N.Y., the Digital Journal called Etheridge “one of the most gifted and underrated musicians of our time.”
“Melissa Etheridge was spectacular at The Paramount, and proves that she gets better with age and experience,” the Digital Journal says. “She commanded the stage well and the Long Island audience knew that they were in the presence of a rock and roll and musical icon ... She belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”
For more information on Etheridge, visit melissaetheridge.com. For more about the Martin Center or to purchase tickets, visit ETSUMartinCenter.org or call the Martin Center box office at 423-439-2787.
About the Martin Center for the Arts: The 93,000 square foot ETSU Martin Center for the Arts, located at 1320 W. State of Franklin Road, Johnson City, features three venues, as well as three rehearsal/meeting rooms. Construction on the center began in early 2018 and was completed in fall 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. The ETSU Foundation Grand Hall can seat nearly 1,200.