What happens when six
popular, multi-talented performers come together bringing
twelve decades of experience to bear on an unsuspecting
mass audience? You get the group MEL COOLEYS, a
Seattle-based sextet made up of some of the best
musicians the Pacific Northwest has to offer. And just
who are these musicians?
Well, first of all there`s LIBBY TORRANCE!
Libby Torrance is a well-known vocalist and jazz pianist
whose career as a performer and songwriter has taken her
from the music clubs and recording studios of Seattle to
New York City. Her nationwide studio and performing
credits include work with Nancy Wilson, Bob Hope, Phyllis
Hyman, Janice Pendarvis, Dianne Schuur and Michel le
Grande. Libby's voice has been featured on hundreds of
recordings, including numerous jingles for clients such
as HBO, A&E Network, Nike and many others. In
addition to performing with Mel Cooleys, Libby is
currently working on her upcoming solo recording.
Second, you have GAREY SHELTON. Bass player,
singer, engineer, producer... From session to stage --
whether recording or touring with Tingstad & Rumbel,
B. B. King, James Brown, Randy Meisner, Bo Diddley, Jesse
Colin Young, or Chuck Berry &endash; Garey Shelton is
known as quite simply the best bass player around. He's
been a member of groups like Hi-Fi, The Allies, and Jr.
Cadillac and appeared on just about every important
recording project to come out of the Northwest in the
last decade. Garey's been called "a valued customer" by
The Seattle Times.
Next, there`s ANDREW RATSHIN. Andrew, also
known as Electric
Bonsai Band...it's not electric, it's not a band, is
a member of, and principal songwriter for the group
Bonsai. He has 5 solo releases, 8 Uncle Bonsai
releases, and now brings his guitar playing and
songwriting talents to this new group. Andrew "writes
songs that are intriguing mixtures of social commentary
and playful theatrics," (The New York Times) and the
Associated Press says his "lyrics are witty send-ups of
consumer culture and the American psyche."
Then you have PATRICE
O`NEILL. Patrice O'Neill is a performer, a writer, a
mom, and a past Director of Victory Music. She currently
spends most of her time as Director of Acoustic Sound
producing the Wintergrass Bluegrass and Acoustic Music
Festival in Tacoma WA, and the Adventure Bluegrass
Festival in Stevenson WA. She has recorded 2 solo Cds,
including the Yellow Tail release "Elusive",
and has performed extensively as a solo performer and as
a member of the Mel Cooley's band. She is easily
distracted by shiny things.
PUFF. Robert Puff, a versatile musician who doubles
on alto and soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute,
tinwhistle and Irish low whistle, as well as vocals and
guitar, has toured internationally with the USO and as
Musical Director for the Women's AGLOW organization.
Since 1974, Robert has shared the stage with, among
others, R&B artists the Neville Brothers, Diva
Natalie Cole, Brazilian singer Nana Bao and her Bossa
Boys, Christian recording artist Twila Paris, Singer
songwriter Dave Irish, Jazz pianist Mike Strickland,
Fusion guitarist Scott Lindenmuth, Harpist Bronn Journey,
Rock band Gabriel and the eccentric folk / pop band Mel
Finally, there's CATHY
CROCE! CATHY CROCE, one of the original members of
Mel Cooleys has performePutting
Words Into My Mouth" produced by Wayne Horvitz. She
has performed with many local musicians and theatre
groups. Cathy has showcased at Bumbershoot, North by
Northwest, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and the
Australian Music Showcase. She lives in Ballard with her
husband Kenny and is now known as Mrs. Volpone.
So there are the six members of MEL COOLEYS.
And what does MEL COOLEYS sound like? Good question!
Let`s just say that sometimes there`s six-part harmony,
sometimes there`s guitar, mandolin and bass, sometimes
there`s a saxophone or clarinet or a
wind-controller...maybe there`s an accordion ... the
truth is, they sound like lots of things. But mostly,
they sound like MEL COOLEYS ... all new original songs,
all new original sound.