Cravin' Melon is not an old Southern guy with an eye patch and a battered guitar playing the blues in a dimly lit juke joint. Cravin' Melon is from the South.
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The four members of the band met while in college at Clemson. Playing live is where Cravin' Melon built its regional popularity. As the band prepares to record their next studio album as a follow-up to last year's Mercury debut, RED CLAY HARVEST. Cravin' Melon has recorded a live EP as summer present to their fans, Squeeze Me is an collection of audience faves that have never been recorded previously and live versions of the two singles off of RED CLAY HARVEST.
Formed on New Year's Day in 1994, in South Carolina, when drummer Rick Reames, guitarist Jimbo Chapman, singer Doug Jones, and bassist JJ Bowers all left their respective bands at the same time, Cravin' Melon immediately signed to Carolina producer Dick Hodgin's management company and embarked on a rigorous tour schedule through the southeast that would last two years.
On the strength of the band's energetic performances, word-of-mouth and regional radio play, Cravin' Melon sold over 20,000 copies of its first, self-produced indie disc. In 1996 the band signed to Mercury and released its debut which was greeted with enthusiasm all over the country, more than tripling their sales base. The band hit the road again and in the process captured the attention of new fans all over the states with their live performances. Highlights of last year include the Jim Valvano V Jam@ kick-off concert for the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Tournament that saw the band's performance broadcast on ESPN alongside Hootie And The Blowfish, Mike Mills (REM) and Edwin McCain, among others. The band has also received the South Carolina Musical Group of the Year award for 1998. The previous recipients include James Brown and Hootie And The Blowfish. "The fact that our music is being recognized now is due to the fact that we've been touring and playing to more and more people and making friends," says guitarist Jimbo Chapman. "We are definitely a live band. I always thought that it was just a matter of time before someone paid attention."
After one listen to the SQUEEZE ME EP, especially their most recent radio single "Come Undone," where the audience sings the chorus in spirited unison, it becomes clear that Cravin' Melon has no problem engaging their fans' attention and keeping it. From the breezy jangle pop of "Running," to the anthemic thrust of "Sweet Tea," SQUEEZE ME is a fresh platter of heartland music and passionate, tour-tight entrees . Cravin' Melon loves playing live and Squeeze Me, recorded at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, finds the band serving up some of its best performances. The seven tracks are filled with a perfect balance of Southern pop ballads and rock guitar rave-ups. The EP is a real treat for fans who are already Melonheads, and the perfect introduction for new fans just getting acquainted with the band. Bassist Rob Clay makes his Melon recording debut as do a number of unrecorded audience faves from the band's live shows like the provocative "My Ex-Stepmother is Gay," and the soaring remake of Hoyt Axton's "Never Been To Spain." The EP includes a special hidden bonus track of the band's Southern anthem Sweet Tea.
Squeeze Me captures Cravin' Melon one night in America, and its perfect balance of spellbinding southern rock and infectious Carolina grooves is an example of Cravin' Melon at its crowd-pleasing, rocking-the-house-all-night- long best.
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