Here's a note to singer-songwriters based in Toronto: It's hot there in the summer. Come east, the weather's lovely and the ocean is magic this time of year. That's exactly what Melanie Peterson has figured out, as she makes her East Coast debut 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Petite Riviere Vineyards at Crousetown, N.S. That's on the South Shore, near Bridgewater, and a great afternoon drive from Halifax. That sounds like a perfect introduction for Peterson to the charms of the area.
Peterson is actually from Saskatchewan originally, now making Toronto her headquarters. She's put out a couple of albums and a couple of EP's the last few years, featuring a couple of directions for her sound. Her most recent, What You're Selling, features three songwriter tunes in her acoustic folk style. Before that, her EP Two has larger, pop productions, which is what she plans for her next full album. I'm kind of torn between both styles, although the layered vocals and strings on the pop EP shine.
For her Sunday show, it's Melanie and her bass player, so I'll concentrate on the folk EP. On this less-adorned material, her voice stars, high-pitched and warm, charming and very appealing. She makes you want to lean in and soak up her stories, especially in "Lillian," the young girl from the troubled side of town, who needed a friend. She can do heartbreak too, but with strength. "What you're selling, I no longer buy," she advises the lying guy who she's giving the boot.