Melissa Etheridge tour promises powerful night

Greatest hits album takes singer down 'Road Less Taken'

By Chris Azzopardi

DETROIT - Melissa Etheridge has taken her share of punches. First a nasty breakup. Then a recent battle with breast cancer.

But with each punch, Etheridge has stood up taller and woven intricate snapshots of her life in her candid lyrics.

Critics are pegging Etheridge's new 40-date tour, in support of her greatest hits album "The Road Less Traveled," as a powerful culmination of not only music, but also courage.

"The crowd was with her all the way, voicing solidarity not only with the anguish but also with the strength to overcome it," writes Nate Chihen in The New York Times about Etheridge's recent show in New York.

The trek will delve into Etheridge's enormous song catalog, including new ditties like the cancer survivor theme "I Run For Life" and the Janis Joplin remake "Piece Of My Heart."

"Being on the road this summer will give me a chance to reconnect with my fans and friends, play some new songs and remember some old ones," Etheridge says in a statement. "I can't wait."

At New York's Theater at Madison Square Garden Etheridge sifted through her hits and performed crowd-pleasers "I Want to Come Over" and "I'm The Only One." She also sang the moving tune "I Need To Wake Up" from the Al Gore global-warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," according to The New York Times.

Chihen writes: "Backed simply but effectively by some longtime collaborators - the guitarist Philip Sayce, the bassist Mark Brown and the drummer Fritz Lewak - Ms. Etheridge gave each big chorus the additional heft of her voice, still a raspy and incandescent howl."

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