Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester will celebrate the release of You Gotta Love the Life, her first studio album in a decade and her first-ever independent release, with a string of U.S. tour dates. Manchester will kick off the festivities on Saturday, January 31, with an album release show at the brand new Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills, California. On February 10, the day of the album’s release on Long Run Entertainment via MRI/RED, Manchester will appear at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The session, which is part of the popular “The Drop” series, will feature an extensive interview with Melissa, a Q&A period with the audience and a performance. Her East Coast dates will include four shows at 54 Below in New York City (March 26-28).
Manchester will be introducing audiences to her new material – including the smoldering lead single “Feelin’ For You,” which goes to radio on January 19 – and performing hits from throughout her remarkable career. Click here for a preview of “Feelin’ For You.” The track features an electrifying guitar solo by contemporary blues icon Keb ‘Mo’, who co-produced the song with Manchester and Terry Wollman.
Manchester and Michael Feinstein will spin tracks from You Gotta Love the Life on the new episode of Song Travels, which airs this week on NPR. Fans in Los Angeles can check out Manchester’s in-store performance at Barnes & Noble at The Grove at Farmers Market on Thursday, January 29. Additionally, Manchester will appear on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family (premiering on February 16 and re-airing on February 17) and on PBS’ Tavis Smiley (air date to be announced).
With You Gotta Love the Life, Manchester celebrates not only more than 40 years as a Grammy Award-winning performer and songwriter, but a renewed independence and vitality. The buoyant title track opens the album with Gershwin/Tower of Power-inspired horn fanfare and gutsy, autobiographical lyrics. “Other End of the Phone,” a tribute to enduring friendships that she co-wrote with the late Hal David, pairs Melissa with one of her all-time idols, Dionne Warwick, and features Joe Sample on piano in one of his last recordings.
Other guests on the album include Dave Koz, Al Jarreau, who duets with Manchester on “Big Light,” and Stevie Wonder, who plays harmonica on the romantic “Your Love Is Where I Live.”
Manchester’s career is remarkable not only for its longevity and accomplishments, but for its versatility. Following her stint as a founding member of Bette Midler’s Harlettes, she established herself as a solo artist with Top 10 hits like “Midnight Blue,” the Grammy Award-nominated “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the Grammy Award-winning “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Her songs have been tapped by motion pictures, netting her two Oscar nominations, and recorded by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, and Roberta Flack. Manchester has appeared on the bigscreen in movies (For The Boys) and small screen in television (Blossom), as well as the stage.
She is an honorary artist in residence at Citrus College, where she recorded the new album. Manchester also teaches at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and it was, in fact, her USC students who inspired her to consider taking an independent route with You Gotta Love the Life. Manchester financed the album with an Indiegogo campaign and is contributing a portion of the proceeds to Barry Manilow’s The Manilow Music Project, which benefits school music programs. She will be doing master classes with students at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell on February 26 and 27, culminating with a concert on February 28.