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Concert preview: Melissa Etheridge declares ‘This Is M.E.’ in solo tour

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Courtesy photo Melissa Etheridge.

By David Burger

Special to The Tribune

First published Aug 22 2014 09:05AM
Updated Aug 25, 2014 09:23AM

When an artist comes out with a new album called "This Is M.E." in the midst of a much-lauded career — as Melissa Etheridge has just done — you have to wonder: Was that not you on all those other albums before?

"That’s funny!" the 53-year-old Kansas native responded in an email interview. "They have all been me, as in very personal. I think the title is referring to the Me right now."

Etheridge is one of the most popular singer-songwriters of her generation, with millions in album sales and multiple Grammy nominations. (Her new album is out Sept. 30, with the single "Take My Number" already receiving radio play.)

Headlining a solo show at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on Wednesday, Aug. 27, Etheridge, who married Linda Wallem in California in May, answered questions posed by The Tribune.

Do you have any memorable Utah memories, musical or otherwise?

Utah has been one of my favorite vacation spots. I have many fond memories of Lake Powell and Bryce Canyon. Skiing in Park City and playing Deer Valley were some extra-special times also.

Utah has been in the national news as a battleground for same-sex marriage. Are you surprised that Utah is at the forefront on the issue?

Because Utah is a state with very deep religious roots, the issue of same-sex marriage, of course, would have some great challenges here and also some of the strongest support.

What inspires you on a day-to-day basis?

When you have gone through something like cancer — 10 years cancer-free, by the way — every day is an inspiration. Every new morning. Every night I am filled with gratitude.

Does suffering have to be involved for you to write music?

Suffering makes for some intense colors, yes, but there are many other colors in the crayon box of creation.

Where are you in life right now?

I am old enough to be wise and young enough to be dangerous.

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