"Gently floating, half-asleep, somewhere between Mazzy Star’s So Tonight That I Might See, the Cowboy Junkies’ The Trinity Session, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand is this album, not coincidentally the product of a duo: Melissa DeOrazio’s languid voice hovering against a spare backdrop of husband Matthew’s guitar arabesques, lots of echo, and an acoustic anchor. It’s the work of two gloomy but only somewhat jaded romantics taking a very slow, very deliberate honeymoon.
As you also might expect, there’s a brace of covers backing up the originals, and they’re all similarly bleak: Dylan’s “Man in the Long Black Coat,” an eloquent “St. James Infirmary,” Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil.” (Even their version of Gershwin’s “Summertime” seems stranded in the desert at dusk.) The closest they get to anything upbeat, literally or figuratively, are the trilogy of songs that close out Spark, but between his slide and six-string excursions, which are jazzier than most country pickers’, and her unique vocal take on the genre (imagine Stevie Nicks as Natalie Merchant), the atmosphere is plenty intoxicating at any speed. Going on that third date with someone who claims they don’t believe in love anymore? Here’s your mood music."
Review by Robert Fontenot at Offbeat Magazine (Spark 2019)
"Melissa DeOrazio’s vocals are a consistently compelling cross-weave of warmth and tension. Spouse and lead guitarist Matthew's fluid, incisive axe work provides a suitably sturdy response. The NOLA-based duo's chemistry is well-showcased on tracks such as "Who Will Be Your Spark", "Something", and a most unique take on the George Gershwin classic "Summertime".
Review by Duane Verh at Roots Music Report (Spark 2019)
"Folk-country hybrid with a warm and inviting glow, and stuck to the theme of the title, turning all five tracks—even the jaunty closing instrumental rag “Homeward Bound”—into a brief song cycle about finding one’s way back to one’s strength. The gentle nature of their traditionalism only helps to put an even softer focus on these intimate snapshots. You might very well feel like staying for dinner."
Review by Robert Fontenot at Offbeat Magazine (Home: Vol. 1 2015)
"Melissa DeOrazio’s vocal persona, simultaneously youthful and world-weathered, and spouse Matthew’s pinpoint, Knopfler-esque guitar generate all the incandescence needed to light up a constantly charming, soul soothing mini-set. The haunting yet comforting chorus of “Who Will Be Your Spark” makes it an airplay natural, alongside the quietly urgent “It’s Gonna Rain” and Shelley King’s righteous, rousing “Welcome Home”." Review by Duane Verh at Roots Music Report (Home: Vol. 1 2015)
"Sweet Jones (from the album Home: Vol. 1) - Sweet Jones was a result of Hurricane Katrina. Matthew DeOrazio was in Austin retreating and recovering from the storm when he met Melissa at a gig. The New Orleans-based couple record as Sweet Jones, with the recently-released E.P., Home: Vol. 1, as a calling card for their music. Blues hovers a little above the songs on Home: Vol. 1, like the spirits hearing “Welcome Home” as they head towards the hopes of better days. The stories on the album sway with a sadness in the reverie of “I Remember Your Half Grin”, the weariness of a long journey with “It’s Gonna Rain”, and a hollowness from the empty heart and bed in “Who Will Be Your Spark”. Home: Vol. 1 exits with the bright promise of “Homeward Bound” as Sweet Jones pick and pluck a path out of the E.P."
Review by Danny McCloskey at The Alternate Root
"Not a whole lot of vocalists will match Melissa DeOrazio for a convincing delivery. And the matching of from-the-heart sounding vocals and lyrics and warm-blooded, uncomplicated melodies present on Magnolia makes for one of this year’s major listening treats. The disarming, youthful sweetness of Ms. DeOrazio’s vocal persona is coupled with a quiet emotional strength that never fails to charm. Her musical and spousal partner Matthew provides a most suitable deep-voiced counterpart as well as brilliant guitar on any given track. The New Orleans twosome’s performance and penmanship are further matched by self-production skills worthy of second careers. On a virtually flawless set, the tracks “Love Remains”, “This Bird” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” stand out." Duane Verh, Roots Music Report
"Magnolia is the debut effort from New Orleans based Sweet Jones. From the upbeat rhythms, tight guitar licks and harmonies that float like the bayou mist mixed into a gumbo of blues, roots rock, folk and Americana, Magnolia is a pretty strong first outing for the husband and wife duo Matthew and Melissa DeOrazio. There's a real synergy between these two and Magnolia reflects an honesty and sincerity for the music they've created here. Hope displaces despair, love conquers loss and life springs eternal in what is essentially a love letter to each other and a cool summer album for the rest of us." - The Alternate Root - New Release Rack, April 2013
El DeOrazio & Friends live review from a traveling fan, 2014
"'This Bird' is built on a much stronger melody and harbors a lot of sincerity. Both take turns on vocals, Matthew’s melancholy, blues-tinged delivery contrasting with Melissa’s honeyed songbird voice. She excels on “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” the CD’s best cut."
Joseph Irrera, Offbeat Magazine, Nov. 2012
"We really enjoyed having you at the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival-your mix of blues and other tunes was perfect...I'll definitely keep you in mind for future events." Dale Riegle, Technical Director, WUWF Public Media - Pensacola, FL
"Inventive singers and songwriters, ...crowd pleasing set lists, ...cordial professionals in the business part of music. A joy to work with."
Greg Ensslen - Freret Street Market - New Orleans, LA
WWOZ 90.1 FM New Orleans
WHIV 102.3 LP FM New Orleans
WTUL91.5 fm New Orleans - Mark Tobler and Nicole Harvey - The Folk Show
KTCU 88.7 fm in Ft Worth - on Sunday Night Second Line show with Mike McAbee
KMRD 96.9 FM in Madrid, NM - The Wondering Minstrel with Dennis Overman and Lily Whiteswan
KBAC 98.1 FM Radio Free Santa Fe
KBYS 88.3 fm, Lake Charles - interview Braylin on the morning show
KPFT 90.1 fm, Houston - Roark on Wide Open Spaces
KNCE 93.5 fm True Taos Radio - Susan Dilger - Sat. Southwest Americana show
Sun Radio 100.1 - Austin's Solar Powered Radio - Bill Paige
WRUW 91.1 FM - Cleveland, OH
WHUS 91.7 FM UCONN - Connecticut
WXNA FM Nashville
FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL - 2019, New Orleans, LA
Santa Fe Wine Festival - 2015-17, Santa Fe, NM
New Orleans Rock & Roll Marathon - 2012-2018
Arts Market of New Orleans at Palmer Park - 2014-15
Uplifting the Coast Festival (Baton Rouge) - 2013
Slidell Antiques Fair - 2013
Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival (Bedford, TX) - 2012
Hattiesburg Zoo Blues Festival - 2012-13
LadyFest New Orleans - 2011
Friday's at the French Market, Bud Light Stage (New Orleans) - 2011
Greater Gulf Arts Fest (Pensacola, FL) - 2010
Freret Street Market (New Orleans) - 2009-2017
Covington Farmers Market (Covington, LA) - twice/year since 2010
NOLA Veggie Fest (New Orleans) - May 2010; May 2011; May 2014
Crescent City Farmers Market (New Orleans) - Dec. 2009; 2016-2017
SFC Downtown Austin Farmers Market - 2015-2016
Performed two of our original songs on the show NCIS: New Orleans (Season 4, Episode 23; May 2018)
Performed instrumental version of our song "I've Seen" (Magnolia 2012),
in the show NCIS: New Orleans episode (Season 3, Episode 3; 10/11/16)
Performed the Cole Porter tune "I've Got My Eyes On You",
in the show NCIS - Crescent City Pt 1 episode (Season 11, Episode 18; 3/25/14)
Song, "Good Times - Gulf Blues" by Matthew included on the soundtrack for the
National Geographic Documentary - After The Spill: The Last Catch (2010)
Melissa and Matthew together:
The Dirty Rain Revelers - Spark (2018)
Sweet Jones - Home: Vol. 1 (2015)
Sweet Jones - Magnolia (2012)
Sweet Jones - "Le Grande Soiree" Live CD/DVD (2010)
Melissa On The Rocks - Wiser Cause (digital only; 2009)
Melissa Mullins - Solo-Style (2005)
Significant Digits - Bird (2004)
El DeOrazio - EP (2013)
Performed Guitars, Vocals, arranged and engineered.
Preacher Keen - Heal Yourself Or Die With The Blues (2007)
Performed Lead and Rhythm Guitar.
El DeOrazio - Not For Sale (2004)
Performed Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Drums; Authored, arranged and engineered.
MJ Baby & The Last Word - Unbound (2004)
Performed Guitars, Harmonium, Drums; Co-Authored, Co-Arranged, Co-Produced.
Mercy City - Mercy City (2001) - Performed Guitar, Vocals; Co-Authored, Co-Arranged, Co-Produced.
Funkin' Donuts - Funkin' Donuts (1997) - Performed Guitars; Co-Authored, Co-Arranged.
Festivals as Melissa On The Rocks -
Pride Fest (New Orleans) - June 2008
Dewey Beach Music Conference (DE) - September 2007
L.A. Women's Music Festival - August 2007
South Park Music Tour (CO) - June 2007
GoGirlsMusic.com at Folk Alliance Conference - Feb 2006-07
GoGirlsMusic.com at SXSW (Austin, TX) - March 2005-07
GoGirls Music Fest, Austin Coordinator/Promoter/Performer - 2005-06
Featured Artist on Sonicbids.com twice in 2006
Dreamtime Festival (CO) - July 2005
D-Fest, (Tulsa, OK) - July 2004
Ladyfest Texas (Austin, TX) - May 2004
Features as Melissa On The Rocks -
'Three Strikes', featured on BandPromote.com compilation
'Anesthesia', featured on Females On Fire compilation (series 3)
National Marketing Director for Songsalive! (2007)
Austin & Denver Chapter Coordinator for Songsalive! (2005-07)
Founder and Coordinator of 'Writers Who Rock', a songwriter showcase in Austin, TX (2004-07)
Elite Member of GoGirlsMusic.com and Songsalive!