Melissa McClelland

Melissa McClelland (born May 18, 1979) is an American-born Canadian singer-songwriter who lived in Hamilton, Ontario, in her youth and now bases her career from Toronto, Ontario. McClelland's music is influenced by blues and americana. A writer on CMJ's staff blog wrote that McClelland has "a persona reminiscent of a female Tom Waits."[1]

Melissa McClelland
Melissa McClelland
Melissa McClelland
Background information
Born (1979-05-18) May 18, 1979 (age 41)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresPop, rock, folk rock, pop rock
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass
LabelsSix Shooter Records, Orange
Associated actsLuke Doucet, Ladybird Sideshow, Whitehorse


Melissa McClelland was born in Chicago, Illinois. She spent her youth in Burlington, Ontario before developing her career in Toronto, Ontario. McClelland married Luke Doucet on 24 June 2006; the two have played together on numerous stages, including at the 2006 Calgary Folk Music Festival. He has produced three of her records, Stranded in Suburbia, Thumbelina's One Night Stand and Victoria Day.

In 2006 McClelland opened for Matthew Good's solo acoustic tour across Canada. During the tour the two singers closed Matthew Good's set with a duet performance of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt".[2]

She also works with Sarah McLachlan, providing backing vocals at her live shows. McLachlan makes a guest appearance on the song "Go Down Matthew" from McClelland's album Thumbelina's One Night Stand.

Performing live.

"Skyway Bridge" (off of Thumbelina's One Night Stand) features Greg Keelor from Blue Rodeo. Additionally, McClelland is the only guest artist on Blue Rodeo's 2008 live album, Blue Road.[3]

Melissa McLelland at Wolf Trap 2019

In 2007 McClelland opened a tour with Jesse Cook and sang on his recording of "It Ain't Me Babe" (a Bob Dylan cover) which was released on his 2007 album Frontiers. "It Ain't Me Babe" was released as a single from that album, which spent 3 weeks in the top position on Billboard's world music charts.[4]

Also in 2007, McClelland's "Passenger 24" won in The 6th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Americana Song.[5]

McClelland's song "Rooftop" was featured on the 2005 soundtrack CD of the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation. The song was played on the ending montage of the 2004 episode "Time Stands Still Pt. 2", in which a main character, Jimmy Brooks (Aubrey Graham) was shot by a bullied student, Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis). She also performed the theme song for the children's reality show This Is Daniel Cook. In 2008, she contributed to the soundtrack of the film One Week.[6]


As a solo artist

As a member of Whitehorse

Stranded in Suburbia Edit

In 2004 McClelland released Stranded in Suburbia on Orange Record Label. In the same year, her side-band Ladybird Sideshow released a live album entitled Ladybird Sideshow Live at the Orange Lounge.

Thumbelina's One Night Stand Edit

McClelland's follow-up album, Thumbelina's One Night Stand was released in 2006. Reviews drew attention to the eclectic nature of the album. Exclaim! Magazine described the album as "impossible to pin down stylistically, as it segues from roots-y rock ("Passenger 24") to country ("Taxi Ride") to chamber pop ("Solitary Life") to folk (a cover of Randy Newman's "Dayton Ohio") and blues ("Go Down Matthew")."[7]

Victoria Day Edit

In late 2008 Melissa McClelland began work on Victoria Day, her fourth album, and first for Six Shooter Records. Victoria Day was scheduled for release on April 14, 2009. The album was recorded at Canterbury Music by Jeremy Darby, and was produced by Luke Doucet.[8]

Victoria Day has a vintage 1950s sound, combining dixieland with "high lonesome twang".[9] "Seasoned Lovers", from Victoria Day, features vocals from Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith.

Whitehorse Edit


In 2011 McClelland and her husband Luke Doucet released a self-titled album under the moniker Whitehorse on Six Shooter Records. It included reworked versions of McClelland's hit "Passenger 24" and Doucet's hit "Broken" and was recorded at the Catherine North studio in Hamilton, Ontario, Sarah McLachlan's house in Vancouver, British Columbia and a studio located at McLelland's and Doucet's house.[10]





  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Matthew Good & Melissa McClelland - Hurt Live 4/07/06. YouTube. 8 April 2006.
  3. ^ Blue Road liner notes
  4. ^ Rockingham, Graham (4 October 2007). "Cook-ing up a duet". Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007.
  5. ^ Independent Music Awards - 6th Annual Winners Archived 1 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Bell, Kathleen (5 March 2009). "One Week does Canada proud: Landscape, culture are road trip film’s real stars Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Fast Forward Weekly. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  7. ^ Doole, Kerry (2006). "Wood, Wires & Whisky". Exclaim! (June).
  8. ^ Victoria Day liner notes
  9. ^ Keller, Jason (11 March 2009). "Disc Reviews: Melissa McClelland - Victoria Day". Now Magazine. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  10. ^ Doole, Kerry. "Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland find their sound as Whitehorse". Retrieved 13 September 2011.

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