Melissa Etheridge to test ‘This Is Me’ in Edmonton

Melissa Etheridge GigCity EdmontonJust a little late for the folk fest, a Melissa Etheridge “solo” show would’ve been perfect – and it still is expected to be a breath of fresh air when the 53-year-old rock icon takes it intimate and unplugged for a tour she calls “This is ME Solo,” coming to Edmonton’s Jubilee Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Alberta’s own singer-songwriting hero Joe Nolan will open. Tickets are $35-$95 and go on sale Friday, June 27 at TICKETMASTER.

In a statement, she said she’s doing this for two reasons: To “get ready” for the new album – so fans should be in for a treat with untested new material from the forthcoming release “This Is Me” – and to bring “new freshness” to older hits. It has been said that a truly good song must be able to withstand the Trial By Acoustic Guitar. Or at least Piano. Most of Etheridge’s signature songs are balls-out rockers such as “I’m the Only One” and “Bring Me Some Water,” the latter dating all the way back to 1988, so this should be interesting.

Etheridge’s personal life has certainly been as fascinating as her music. A cancer survivor, philanthropist and human rights activist, she came out as a lesbian in 1993 – something of a pioneer in that respect – had one child with her first wife Julie Cypher, with sperm donated by David Crosby, and twins (via anonymous sperm donor) with her second wife Tammy Lynn Michaels; they’ve since split up.

One of Etheridge’s crowning achievements was winning an Oscar in 2007 for her song “I Need To Wake Up” in Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. She also starred for a stint with American Idiot on Broadway, and still finds time to host a daily syndicated radio show. Aren’t you supposed to slow down when you hit middle age?