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Melodime draws from family history to make new album, charity


This really should begin with “Once upon a time,” but the following is a truthful tale.

One day, a poor family with five brothers heard a knock on their door. On the porch were five musical instruments, which were left there by anonymous donors. Each brother chose an instrument, learned how to play it and, over time, became good enough to play around town and earn money for the household.

Only within the past year did siblings Sammy and Tyler Duis of the Virginia band Melodime hear that story involving their great-grandfather and how he acquired his violin.

“My dad casually mentioned it,” bassist Sammy Duis says, “and it sounded like a cool story, so we wrote a song about it.”

That song — the appropriately titled “Brothers” — served as the inspiration for the content of Melodime’s latest album, Where the Sinners & Saints Collide, as well as the band’s nonprofit organization, Now I Play Along Too.

Through a Start Some Good campaign, Melodime raised more than $30,000 in 30 days, using the money to cover recording and production costs for the new album.
“We did away with the mandolins and the banjos and the stuff on the last album [3 Reasons for Fighting] and kept to a more sleek rock sound for this one,” says singer/guitarist Bradley Rhodes.

Drummer Tyler Duis credits producer Rick Beato (who also played guitar) for Melodime taking a more stripped-down approach on Where the Sinners & Saints Collide.

“There’s a lot less stuff and a lot more concentrated parts on this album,” Duis adds. “I don’t think there’s a single loop in any of the drum tracks.”

Melodime won’t earn a single cent from sales of Where the Sinners & Saints Collide: All album profits will go through Now I Play Along Too and be used to purchase instruments for people around the world in impoverished communities.

“We always wanted to do [something charitable with] instruments, but we weren’t quite sure how to make it work,” Rhodes says. “That story [about the five brothers] helped us get down to the details of exactly what we wanted to do.”

— By Chris M. Junior

Melodime on tour (schedule subject to change):

* Oct. 31: World Café Live — Philadelphia
* Nov. 1: The State Theatre — Falls Church, Va.
* Nov. 2: Seacrets — Ocean City, Md.
* Dec. 14: Seacrets — Ocean City, Md.
* Dec. 20: The Rock Shop — Brooklyn, N.Y.
* Feb. 22-26: Rock Boat XIV — Miami to Great Stirrup Cay