Fan review - James Rutherford August 17, 2012 This Passion - album * Track 3 (When It Rains)- This song speaks to me right now; I can really feel: 'tears on my heart'. * Track 5 - (This Passion) fills in lots blanks for me - I now I have an impression of how you've lived your life - and an honourable one it's been too by the sounds of it! * Track 6 - (No Moss) I like the production of this one - I hear much more of you in this track - for me, you are in the foreground and it sounds like you are not straining to stay in front of the music. For me, you have a balladeer's voice - you sound great. The song is pretty good too. * Track 8 - (Missing You) what a beautiful song ... takes me back to one particular (failed) relationship ... so much to say and you've captured it really well. Great production too. Ends This Passion is a multimedia CD - so you get bonus features including the videoclip of the radio hit 'Forever', plus photo gallery, artist profile and more. Great value! "All classy tracks, well suited to her sweet vocals. Congratulations to Merilyn and Marcus on this quality album" - Deborah Minter, CAPITAL NEWS.' This is Merilyn's debut album after having already tested the waters with a warm welcome from her debut EP, 'Forever'. It was recorded in Sydney, Australia at Bloody Dog Studio's by producer and studio owner, Marcus Holden. All instruments on this album are real and were played by session musicians, even the full orchestral string arrangement on the beautiful ballad, 'Missing You'. This was done by Marcus himself by laying and overdubbing violin parts many times! Other musicians on this CD were James Gillard (The Flood), Ian Lees (ex Moving Pictures), Geoff Andrew (ex.Southbound), Glenn Wilson (drums), Gary Steel (piano & accordion) Karen Lynne (duet vocal on When It Rains), Clare O'Meara (harmony vocals). So what's it all about? 1. Charades The album opens brightly with this uptempo number. Literally a 'dream' song as the whole chorus came to Merilyn in a dream! When she woke she quickly grabbed pen and paper before it left her head and penned the verses. She says it all took about 30 mins...and not one word or note was ever changed. If only they all came that easy! The song tells of the confusion of new love and the charades often played out with each other. The song earned a finalist nomination in the Professional section of the TSA Awards. 2. You Don't Wanna Know A personal favourite of fans and Merilyn's, especially at live shows. It tells the story of two people who meet but have different expectations of each other and the relationship, if there is one at all. The mandolin and fiddle certainly lends a rootsy country flavour to this one. It has earned several finalist places including the TSA and MusicOz Awards. 3. When It Rains (Duet with Karen Lynne) We come to a change of pace with this lovely duet ballad about a farmer's life on the land in Australia. It tells the story of a man who suddenly loses everything - house, family, livelihood, and has to find a way to carry on and start again. A very moving and touching song and one that can be only too real to many outback Aussie farmers battling drought and other tribulations. This was a finalist in the recent Duo of the Year section at the Horsham Awards in Victoria in 2007. 4. Forever This was the song that first introduced Merilyn to radio when released as a single on her EP of the same title. It was very warmly received by all and made several chart positions including a top 40 on Mildura's Hot FM. Make sure you view the videoclip of the song and other multimedia if you buy this CD! Features some lovely scenery and a classic old American Ford. Also nominated in the Top 50 (#49)in the MusicOz Awards. 5. This Passion The controversial title song of the album. Why controversial? Not due to it's topic or language as you'd expect, but merely for the fact that it did not turn out how Merilyn wanted it to sound at all. So much so, that she was even considering leaving it off the CD altogether which would have also meant a title change. She envisaged it as a kind of power rock ballad which instead was produced as a gospel type of sound. After several consultations from other colleagues who convinced her to leave it alone, she gave in. Ironically, it won her the most noteable award to date, a trophy for 3rd place winner in the Open Gospel section (which she entered as a joke) of the Tasmania & New Zealand songwriters awards. Who'd have thought it! It's not really a gospel song at all, but it's certainly inspirational and the reality of Steele's struggle with art, money and the industry. 6. No Moss A tale about youth, love and being a free spirit - for those who can remember! 7. T.L.C. (Ten Less Candles) This has got to be everyone's favourite - certainly was in Denmark as it made the #1 spot on the playlist! A very witty and fun song that explores what starts happening as we grow older...with a little help from producer Marcus Holden and Geoff Andrew. Some brilliant lyrics and a well crafted song that also has become an often requested birthday number. And why not!? Have a careful listen and you'll find out why. The song was a semi-finalist in the Comedy/Novelty and Open Prof. Section with the TSA Awards. 8. Missing You Classic tale of girl missing boy, but boy doesn't realise it. If only she could find a way to tell him...a beautiful ballad with brilliant instrumentation. Some lovely, delicate, piano playing from Garry Steel gives a true warm acoustic feel. As does the magnificent string arrangement with the sound of an orchestra that builds up to the solo. And this has all been done by Marcus himself, overdubbing the violin time after time to get the full sound. It's brilliant - have a listen! The vocal performance too is first class with convincing emotion and dynamics in all the right places. It was this song and the performance that earned Merilyn her recent accolade of Female Vocalist of the Year in 2007 at the Horsham CM Awards in Victoria. Well done! 9. By Your Side This is a classic bit of folk rock reminiscent of the Stone's Honky Tonk Woman kind of sound and drive. Or is it country pop/rock? Maybe up to the listener to decide but either way, it's just a good, fun, lighthearted song that rocks it up nicely. 10. The Hardest Part Now we come to an intro with the very French flair of the piano accordion, again beautifully executed by Garry Steel. With a story of a heart with questions determined to find answers, but not the answer she wanted. A story about letting go that which you can't have or change and having the wisdom to accept it and move on. Kind of like 'Deserata' in a song! 11. You Don't Wanna Know (acoustic version) Just what it says, an acoustic and 'unplugged' version of track 2, nice to hear it at roots level. 12. Finger Lickin' The album finishes off on a high note and uptempo with this cheeky, suggestive number. It explores differences in a relationship including age, tastes, outlooks and the old adage that opposites attract. With the quirky lyric of the chorus which can be taken a couple of ways, it's a wonder KFC hasn't picked this one up! Some innovative playing from Marcus with an electrified, distorted fiddle doing the main riff throughout. Most interesting! Feel free to write your own review of the album, individual songs or just comment on the samples. A unique & versatile vocal style, a vivacious personality and award- winning, memorable songs that evoke every emotion - that's the magic of Merilyn! What a great year for singer/songwriter Merilyn Steele who, after releasing her debut album 'This Passion' in 2005, won the TSA Award for the title song. She then received 2 finalist nominations in the Tamworth Songwriters Awards for 'Ten Less Candles' and 'Charades', both off the album. All that was topped off with the Independent Artists EP Award nomination for her first EP, 'Forever'. Since then Merilyn has been busy with many radio interviews, live performances and much overseas interest with a #1 spot on the playlist in Denmark for her comedy hit single, 'Ten Less Candles'. There have also been shining reviews of the CD both here and overseas. Merilyn was born and bred in Sydney, Australia and one of her 'passions' is Australian music and the heritage of her country. This is strongly reflected in her writing and music. Merilyn's Dad bought her first guitar for her when she was just 12 and began taking her to music lessons. She loved artists like Linda Ronstadt. She penned her first song at 14 and never looked back. Today her influences are more contemporary and include Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Shania Twain and even Alanis Morissette. Merilyn is a regular at the Tamworth CM Festival and has appeared at many other festivals such as Kempsey, Wauchope, Mildura and the Newcastle Steel City festival. Merilyn has a driving passion for her music and a craving to perform. Particularly, she loves the feedback and buzz she gets from a live audience. An experienced performer, she has worked successfully with her duo/trio, Alter Ego, for the last 10 years and performed locally, interstate and in New Zealand. She's had training by some of the best in the industry including songwriting workshops with Kasey Chambers, Garth Porter, Graeme Connors, Beccy Cole & Catherine Britt. Merilyn has been support act to entertainment greats like Lucky Grilles, Chad Morgan and Normie Rowe. Her last single 'Charades', released March 2006 is a favourite with fans at her live shows and is creating much interest with radio. Merilyn is now working on creating exposure for her songs both locally and internationally. Having recently been signed to South Australian based independent publisher, Imagine Music, there are exciting times ahead for such prospects. 'You Don't Wanna Know' achieved Top 100 status in the 2005 Musicoz Awards country category, and 'Forever' came in at #49 in the 2006 Musicoz Awards for Best Country Artist of The Year. Merilyn continues to hone her craft and is eager to tour and perform her songs to audiences throughout Australia and beyond. BRAG BAG & CLAIMS TO FAME: 2007 - Signed by Independent publisher 'Imagine Music Publishing' on a 3 year worldwide contract. 2007 - Winner - Female Vocalist of The Year - Horsham CM Awards VIC on the strength of her CD, 'This Passion'. 2007 - Finalist for Best Group/Duo, Horsham CM Awards VIC for her song, 'When It Rains'. 2007 - Featured in April on 'Songwriters Across Australia' TVS,(Channel 31) with videoclip broadcast of 'Forever'. 2006 - Top 50 MusicOz finalist (#49) with 'Forever' for Best Country Artist of The Year 2006 - Released radio single 'Charades' on NFS#104 in April 2005 - Top 100 MUSIC OZ Finalist (#84)with ' You Don't Wanna Know' 2005 - Nominated for Best Independent EP Award for 'Forever' with Tas & NZ songwriters. 2005 - Finalist in Comedy/Novelty section for 'Ten Less Candles', Tas & NZ songwriters 2005 - Released radio singles 'When It Rains' and 'You Don't Wanna Know' on the GSL label 2005 - Released multimedia debut album 'This Passion' with videoclip of 'Forever'. 2005 - Hit #1 on the playlist on Midtfjord Radio, Denmark with Ten Less Candles in March 2005 - Semi-finalist for both 'Ten Less Candles' & 'Charades' with TSA Professional Section 2004 - Released Single 'Ten Less Candles' with Steer Records in October 2004 - 3rd Place winner in Tas.NZ Songwriters Awards for title song, 'This Passion'. 2003/04 - Twice State Finalist in the NSW 'Champion of Champions' quest, Newcastle. 2003 - First video clip 'Forever' featured on CMC, PayTV, A Little Bit Of Country - Prime 7, Nu Country, Channel 31 & 'Landline' - ABC. 2003 - Three live television performances on Channel 31 Sydney 2003 - Top 40 hit with 'Forever' the Top 100 Country Hits chart 2002 - Released debut single 'Forever' - also on radio compilation NFS #75 2002 - National Songwriter Finalist: C.C.M.A. for 'City Girl, Country Heart' 1999 - Nominated for Best Female Vocal: C.C.M.A. Quest in Tamworth 1994 - National Songwriter Finalist: Tamworth Songwriters Assn. For 'Something More'