Exciting things coming to Cinema Salem – Melissa Ferrick Pride Concert and Comedian Tony V’s Project X

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CinemaSalem joins with all the North Shore in celebrating Pride Week with a concert featuring Melissa Ferrick, one of our most accomplished singer/songwriters.

Melissa Ferrick’s recently-released 12th original album is a coming home. She has arrived in a place musically that is both familiar and new. Melissa is a better writer, engineer, producer, and overall artist. The self-titled album is, in many ways, a new beginning for Ferrick. Written in just over a year, recorded at home, and released on her own relaunched label, Right On Records, Melissa Ferrick has given us a simple, eloquent, and honest acoustic album with an undeniable level of maturity.

For long-time fans, this will be a welcome new arrival. For those who are just discovering Ferrick, this is a superb way to be introduced. A completely solo effort in its process, creation, and release, Melissa Ferrick is marking the middle of her career with a perfect return to songwriting, and to herself.

Melissa grew up in Ipswich, MA during the 70’s, playing the violin and going to jazz clubs on the North Shore with her father, who managed local bands. In elementary school, she learned to play trumpet and bass guitar, which led the way to songwriting in high school. At 16, Melissa was accepted into the New England Conservatory’s Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensamble as a trumpet player, giving her the opportunity to tour with the Conservatory’s Extension Division, which traveled to perform in California and China. She was accepted to Berklee College of Music on songwriting and trumpet scholarships and chose to continue her music education there from 1988-1990. After two years playing Boston’s local rock club scene, Melissa left school and moved to New York City.

In 1990, Melissa lived on 14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, playing at the Bitter End weekly and working at Right Track Recording studios and Chrysalis Records to learn the ropes of the business. In July of 1991, Melissa’s phone rang and she was asked to open that night for Morrissey in Boston on his his ‘Kill Uncle’ tour. She was invited to finish the U.S. dates with Morrissey and to continue on to the U.K. as his opening act.

When she returned to the States, 21 years old, she was offered deals with three major labels.
Melissa signed with Atlantic Records, and in 1993 she released her debut album, “Massive Blur.” After her sophomore effort, “Willing to Wait,” was released in 1995, Melissa was dropped by Atlantic Records. She regrouped, got sober, and released three albums on Boulder, CO based W.A.R.? Records. In 2000, Ferrick founded her own label, Right On Records, and released a string of Albums and EP’s. In 2010, before almost going bankrupt, Ferrick put her own label “on the shelf” and signed with NY based MPress Records. Melissa released two albums with MPress, 2011’s “Still Right Here” and 2013’s “the truth is”. Still Right Here debuted on Billboard’s Heat-Seekers Album Charts, won an 8th annual International Acoustic Music Award (IAMA), and garnered two Independent Music Award (IMA) nominations. The title track’s music video premiered on the launch of Huffington Post’s Gay site and won two RightOutTV awards. Ferrick was also a featured music honoree in OUT Magazine’s OUT100 – focusing on artists who make an impact on the community. 2013’s “the truth is” was the first self-produced album since 2004 and an evolution in the sound she had developed over the course of her career.

The record was also a creative departure in its collaborative approach to the recording process, hiring grammy award winning engineer Trina Shoemaker to mix the album remotely from Alabama and Independent Mastering to master the album remotely via Nashville. The result was a sweeping Americana/Alt-Country soundtrack with some of the lushest, brightest, and expertly written songs of her 20-year career. “the truth is” won the 2014 Independent Music Award for Alt-Country Album of the Year Fan Vote.

Ferrick is also an eight-time Boston Music Award winner and regarded by the industry and her peers as one of the most prolific and hardworking artists in the business. Ferrick tours regularly and plays throughout North America, performing upwards of 100 shows a year. She has shared the stage with Morrissey, Marc Cohn, Paul Westerberg, Dwight Yoakam, John Hiatt, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, G-Love & Special Sauce, Bob Dylan, Dan Bern, Ani DiFranco, k.d. Lang, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Joan Armatrading, Mike Doughty, The Indigo Girls and many others.


Comedian Tony V. to preview clips from his new television project at CinemaSalem

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Boston comedian-actor Tony V. will unveil his latest project at a show on Thursday, July 14 at CinemaSalem, One East India Square, at 8:30 p.m.

“Tony V’s Project X” is a comedy-educational offering that will offer real instruction mixed with a healthy dose of humor and advice on multiple subjects from the show’s host. The live show will feature standup comedy, video segments from the show, and audience interaction, including Q&A with Tony V. Guests on the bill include comedians Dave Rattigan and Chris Pennie, and Northern Essex Community College Chemistry Professor Michael Cross, Ph.D. 

“It will be funny, and people will walk away with knowledge even if they don’t intend to,” said Tony V., real name Tony Vivieros, a veteran standup comedian (Conan, Comedy Central) who has also built an impressive resume as a film actor. Included in that is a memorable scene opposite Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat” as a precinct officer who is verbally eviscerated by McCarthy’s crude and rude detective. He also appeared with Ben Affleck and John Hamm in “The Town,” and opposite Robin Williams in “World’s Greatest Dad.”

“Tony is a great interviewer and also a very inquisitive guy, which makes him great in this format,” said Paul Van Ness, CinemaSalem owner and a co-producer of the show. “In the first show, we cover chemistry, car repair, and self-help.”

He said the plan is to shoot the pilot, get feedback from the live show, and market it to networks with an educational interest.

“He hides it well, but Tony is smart,” Rattigan said. “He’s also great at communicating complex concepts in a clear way, and adding humor to the learning process.”

“With an educational segment, it’s important to establish your priorities in advance, and ours were, number one, humor; and number two, safety,” Vivieros said. “In the end, no one was badly hurt, and we all had a ton of fun. And I learned how to drench a friend without him knowing it was me that did it.”

 “Tony V’s Project X” is, at this stage, a working title.

“I could tell you we wanted to create an air of mystery about the project, but really we just couldn’t think of a name,” Van Ness said. “We have a few other titles in mind, but if I shared that, there’d be no mystery.”

For more information, go to www.CinemaSalem.com.