Melly-Mel at The Listening Room

March 10, 2018

Melly-Mel is what many people call him

Melly-Mel  is Jamell Richardson

Gulf Coast Blues Boy


As a mother, I know we often come up with cute little names for our children that are a play on their actual names. I do not have any idea what the origin of  Melly-Mel could be but to me it sounds like a mother was involved. I can just see a sweet little mommy saying, “Melly-Mel come here baby!”  


Jamell "Melly-Mel" Richardson is his name and the blues is his game. I’ve known his names and title for years; I have even heard him sing a song or two. But last night was my first full show with him. What a show it was!


They were all dressed so nice, it made us feel special that they cared about how we perceived them. The musicians all wore nice black dress jackets and sharp looking white dress shirts; acceptable dress for almost any fancy place you may want to go. Jamell wore a black dress jacket and a black shirt which made him standout as the leader of the pack you might say. He is a master.


I watched as they did sound check and it was a mini show in itself. My eyes were drawn to the bass player (his name is Chris Allen) and he held my attention most of the evening. He is tall, slim and his hair was styled in a man bun. He was sporting a cool little goat-tee, but no mustache. There was something about how he carried himself; he just oozed confidence and it was mixed with serenity and calm that made me think of the eye of hurricane—strong on the outside and calm in the middle. He smiled a controlled smile that said, “I got this!”


The drummer was Tyrone Dunning and he knew the drums (I know that sounds odd, but I have heard drummers who did not). He was familiar with the nuance of when to bang them for attention and emphasis and when to touch lightly to soften the song. I have seen lots of drummers over the years and not all of them understand… Tyrone is aware.


Most of the evening the keyboardist was out of my view. I am shorter than most, so seeing him required me to lean to the right. I watched him as he played that keyboard and he knew exactly what each song needed and he delivered. His name is Travorus Edwards.


The star of the show is Jamell Richardson. He is known well in our part of the world and he is known across the globe too. Some people are born with music in their soul, Jamell is one of them. Some come into this world with music bored into their DNA and there is no denying it. This special group of talented people live, eat and breathe music. Anyone can clearly see that Jamell is the blues, the blues is in Jamell.  He wears the blues like it was tailor made just for him.


In addition to his brilliant guitar playing and soulful singing, Jamell has another talent; he can draw the audience into his world. No one can just sit on the sideline comfortably at his shows. He opens the door wide open and beckons you in. You come for a show and before you know it, you might be standing at the microphone as one lady was last night. Or you may even be dancing with him as one of the Music Moms Podcast members was last night (Dotty Armour, you go girl!). When he grabbed her hand, Dotty went willingly and spun like she had been a dancer in a former life. He has that kind of power.


Symone French Cobb (local singer, daughter of Pat French-Music Mom Podcast member) joined him for one song and really showed her musical talent. She's got the music in her for sure and is headed for a big future.


He had us singing, chanting, dancing, laughing; doing all the things that happy people do. Way to go Mr. Richardson, you made us into happy people; that sir is true talent.


No one could be bored, or doze off at a show led by the “Gulf Coast Blues Boy”! This talented guy pulls you in, makes you participate, makes you have fun. I would like to say Thanks Melly-Mel for the memory of last night’s show.


If you ever see a billboard, poster or online note of one of his shows coming soon, make plans to go, you will be glad you did.


As always, I want to say THANKS to Jim Pennington, (owner and operator of The Listening Room), for creating this place so we could come.


Juanita Smith

Music Mom



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