Melissa Etheridge at Spirit Mountain Casino

Melissa Etheridge

Has it really been so long that the iconic lesbian folk-rocker Melissa Etheridge is already relegated to the casino circuit along with oldies station hits? Does that happen in less than two decades? Apparently the answer is yes, as Etheridge takes stage at Spirit Mountain Casino (27100 SW Salmon River Highway, in Grande Rhonde) tomorrow Tuesday the 24th.

But that doesn’t mean she isn’t still rockin’. This show may be out of town but it is sold out. Despite a recent divorce and battle with cancer the butch blonde heartthrob has had a Broadway debut, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and her new album Fearless Love is getting damn decent reviews.

The second in a trilogy of intensely personal albums, Fearless Love returns to Etheridge’s rockin’ roots with distinct hints of a U2 guitar sentiment here, a ZZ Top lick there, or even some straight up 70s Zeppelin rock. But this grit combines with tenderness as a newly single mom finding her way in the world. She says of their influence on this album:

“I can’t help but be influenced now by my children. I said I was thinking of calling the album Songs of Love and Fear and my daughter said, ‘No mom, that’s way too long.’ ‘It has to be about love and fear,’ I said, ‘so how about Fearless?’ ‘That’s Taylor Swift’s song,’ she told me, ‘what about Fearless Love?’ ‘That’s perfect,’ I thought. ‘Now I have to write a song called “Fearless Love.”

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