Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MEL & THE POORBOYS: A Snappy Little Combo!

A Snappy Little Combo!

Argh, shiver me timbers!
Starboard two lads and 
a lass out thar drownin' in 
the treacherous sea of 
gnarly cover bands. Argh
throw 'em some rope 
'fore they're shark grub!

I've been connected to the Florida music scene for the last 35 years — and I've seen the trends all come and go. I can remember Florida's east coast original music explosion during the late '80s and early '90s. In those days the area was all abuzz with exciting, creative and talented bands — all doing their own thing. In fact, in terms of the country's top scenes, there was LA, New York, Athens, Austin and — Melbourne, Florida. But that was a very long time ago. Oh sure, there's no current shortage of high-energy bands who all cover "Man in the Box," "Enter Sandman" and "Crazy Bitch," but very few can truly close the deal like back in the day. Well, I finally discovered one! 

Me with "the Poorboys'" Jeff Stanton
backstage at a Florida music event in 2012.
I first met singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jeff Stanton, at a radio appearance in December 2011. I was hocking my soon-to-be released book, C'MON! and Jeff was promoting an upcoming gig with the band, Honey Miller. I could hear them playing live on the air as I waited in the station's lobby. Simply put, the band was incredible. Jeff and I ran into each other again a few months later, backstage during a Florida music awards ceremony at which we were both appearing. As a solo artist, Jeff's performance once again was stellar and he brought the house down. So when I heard recently that he was seeking gigs for his new band, Mel & the Poorboys, I called him up, and in short order, booked them to play at a club where I DJ in Palm Bay...

Singer, songwriter and frontchick, Melissa Webber, led her band onstage with confidence. Smacking of the alterno era circa 1990, her songs are beautifully simplistic — uniquely catchy and edgy, yet organic and delicate. And when coupled with Stanton, the vocals are HUGE and the harmonies are absolutely superb! For his part, Stanton also contributed some lead vocals while switching off with Webber from guitar to bass sporadically throughout the show. By the end of the night, Jeff also had knocked out a few tunes on keyboards. And from behind his vintage four-piece kit, drummer Ryan Perez possessed the skills to overplay, but maintained the discipline not to do so. Less IS more indeed.

Three 45 minute sets is a long stretch, to be sure. However, Mel & the Poorboys had no problem devoting half of those 135 minutes to original material — a feat practically unheard of these days. Bravo! From funky old school R&B ditties to a few pop classics to an impressive Beatles repertoire, the band delivered just enough covers to get the the gig, but enough solid original material to be a legit contender — captivating several of the club's regulars far past their typical "bed times." As for me, I thought that the band was a welcome breath of fresh air and I look forward to seeing and hearing them again soon.

-Christopher Long
(April 2013)

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.


  1. Is there any way that those of us displaced Floridians can get a sound bite?


  2. We have a couple songs on our website- www.melandthepoorboys.com