Local country singer Madeline Merlo rocked the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre on Feb. 22 when she opened for singer Dean Brody.
Twenty-year-old Merlo, from Maple Ridge, has been singing since she was six-years-old.
Her dreams of hearing her song on the radio came true last month when Vancouver’s country station JRFM debuted
her first single, Sinking Like a Stone.
Merlo excels at playing the guitar, which she learned by ear two years ago.
She wanted to try something new, so she picked up a harmonica and started playing.
“Harmonicas are the coolest,” said Merlo.
Maple Ridge’s Merlo stomped on stage in her brown cowboy boots and performed in front of a packed venue.
Her mom, dad and sister were in the audience to cheer her on for her first big concert and she showed no signs of nerves, opening with an unreleased, up-beat single, Surrender.
It put the audience in a feel-good-mood for the rest of her set.
Merlo connected with audience
When Merlo sang her tearjerker If We Weren’t Meant to Last, she connected with the audience on a personal level.
The lyrics, she said, reminded her of a good friend who had passed away.
The country-loving crowd loved her love for Johnny Cash.
“Anyone who knows me knows I love Mr. Johnny Cash. If I ever had the chance to meet him I’m sure him and I would’ve been best friends,” said Merlo.
Surprisingly, Merlo took a turn from country when she covered Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive and put her own spin on it.
This wasn’t her only cover song of the night.
She belted out an acapella version of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind, though her voice was nearly drowned out by the deafening applause from the audience.
An instant favourite of the teenage girls in the crowd was Merlo’s Deleted, which is a fun spin on a typical break-up song, poking fun at social media.
Merlo closed her set with her debut single Sinking Like a Stone, and the audience sang along with her the entire song.
Sinking Like a Stone is now available on iTunes, and her extended playlist will be available this spring.
As you can see from her Twitter, Merlo had as good of a night as she did a performance.