||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
|Birth name||Colin Patrick Henry Meloy|
October 5, 1974 |
Helena, Montana, United States
|Genres||Indie rock, indie folk, folk rock, progressive rock, baroque pop, alternative country|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bouzouki, percussion, harmonica, keyboards|
|Labels||Kill Rock Stars
|Associated acts||The Decemberists, Tarkio, Happy Cactus|
Gibson J-200 Montana Gold Custom
Martin 000-17SGretsch 6120 Nashville
Colin Patrick Henry Meloy (born October 5, 1974) is the lead singer and songwriter for the Portland, Oregon, indie folk rock band The Decemberists. In addition to vocals, he performs with an acoustic guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki, harmonica and percussion.
Early life and education
Meloy attended the University of Oregon in Eugene for two years, studying English and Theatre, before returning to Montana and enrolling in the creative writing program at the University of Montana in Missoula. He graduated in 1998.
While in high school, Meloy was in the band Happy Cactus, and when in college, in Missoula, he was the lead singer and songwriter for Tarkio. Both were indie/folk/alternative country bands. Soon after graduation, Meloy left Tarkio and moved to Portland. There he found, to his disappointment, that he pretty much had to start again, "going to open mics, ... sometimes with no one else in the room save the bartender. ...However, when I was in that position, with nobody to appeal to or scare away, I thought, ‘I might as well do whatever I want to do,’ Meloy said [in 2009]. 'And that created a new thing.'"
In 2005, he went on his first solo tour to support the self-released six-song EP, Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, consisting of six Morrissey covers. Only 1000 copies of the album were made and they were sold only on this tour. Meloy did a second solo tour in January 2006, playing with Laura Veirs and Amy Annelle. On this tour, he sold an EP featuring covers of British folk artist Shirley Collins. 2006 tour performances were recorded for a live release.
Meloy began another solo tour in April 2008. This coincided with the release of his debut solo album, Colin Meloy Sings Live!, on the Kill Rock Stars label. Singer-songwriter Laura Gibson was the supporting act for the full tour. As with previous EPs, Meloy sold an EP only available on this run: Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke, a collection of five Sam Cooke songs, arranged and performed by Meloy, with Laura Gibson singing harmonies.
On February 24, 2006, Carson Ellis, Meloy's wife, gave birth to a son, Henry "Hank" Meloy. Ellis shares her birthday with Meloy, and is a graphic artist for the Decemberists. In about 2010, Meloy revealed that Hank has high functioning autism. On March 14, 2013 Ellis gave birth to Milo Cannonball Meloy.
- Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey (2005)
- Colin Meloy Sings Shirley Collins (2006)
- Colin Meloy Sings Live! (2008)
- Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke (2008)
- Colin Meloy Sings The Kinks (2013)
In 2003 Meloy contributed vocals to the track "The Lady From Reims" on Reclinerland's The Ideal Home Music Library. Meloy contributed vocals on the tracks "Cemetery Row" and "Twilight Distillery" on The Minus 5's 2006 Yep Roc release. Meloy also covered the Elliott Smith song "Clementine" for a compilation of Portland, Oregon artists to support a children's charity. In mid-2006, he contributed the track, "Lazy Little Ada" on the Kill Rock Stars compilation, The Sound the Hare Heard. In 2007, Meloy lent his voice to an episode of Lil' Bush. He has appeared with Charlie Salas-Humara in the music video for "A Pillar of Salt" by The Thermals (2:16).
Meloy made his debut as a children's writer with Wildwood illustrated by wife, Carson Ellis. He kicked off the book tour as the keynote of the AJC Decatur Book Festival on September 2, 2011. The second novel in the series is Under Wildwood, published in 2012, and the third book in the series Wildwood Imperium was released in 2014.
- "Colin Meloy". Montana Kids. Montana Office of Tourism. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Monger, James Christopher. "Biography: Colin Meloy". Allmusic. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Schweber, Nate, "The Making of Meloy", The Montanan, Winter, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
- "Biography". Carson Ellis. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "The Decemberists - Meloy Opens Up About Autistic Son".
- "Twitter / colinmeloy: Accord has been reached". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Bloomsbury Publishing: Let It Be". Bloomsbury Publishing: Let It Be. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "AJC Decatur Book Festival". AJC Decatur Book Festival. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
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