In early 2011 Ocie Melanson approached her husband, Russ Clarke and told him she was joining a band. Russ, a professional musician who had retired from playing music ten years before said, “No way! You don’t know the business.”
In her own right, Ocie is a remarkable vocalist who is constantly being compared to Stevie Nicks. One moment Ocie can go from sounding like Stevie to suddenly pulling out all the stops convincingly singing country or hard rock.
It was this talent that got her noticed by a local band and ultimately hired. She used this to win her compelling argument letting Russ know she was joining this band unless he came out of retirement.
As they continued to make their mark, many fans started asking why Ocie didn’t have a full band, especially one that could cover Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks songs. “Every time we perform Landslide you can hear a pin drop and everyone’s head snaps around no matter what they are doing,” Russ told us. “People close their eyes and come running up telling us how they really thought they were hearing Stevie Nicks in the house!”
It was becoming evident that they had to seriously start on building a Tribute project, after all these people couldn’t be wrong or be hearing things.
“We started our search for the right musicians, and it wasn’t easy. Baltimore isn’t like Nashville or L.A. where you have a concentrated area of top national players. It’s not that they aren’t there, they are just tough to come by because everybody is working, so the search dragged on for some time,” Ocie explained. “We had a bass player first while we searched for our drummer. The drummer search was long and tedious but we knew we had our Mick when Glenn Logwood showed up. He had purchased a set of wind chimes just for the audition and brought in this amazing drum set. He played every tune to perfection! We then set our sights on a back up vocalist, this turned out to be a bit easier, but the toughest part was landing a great keyboardist. As tough as it was we finally got our guy, Keyboardist Ro Cube, to round out the band and Leather and Lace – A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks was born.”
After their first gig together it became obvious to both Russ and Ocie that they would have to make an adjustment at the Bass and backup vocalist position. That is when they brought in Tim Gove on Bass and Amy Strow on backup vocals.
As we all know, this is an interesting time in the music world because tribute bands are taking off. Many people do not want to pay the high ticket price to see the actual artists so many are turning to tribute shows.
Leather and Lace is starting to fill that void on the east coast of the United States. Ocie tells us, “You can come out and see us at a fraction of the cost, and in many cases for free at concerts sponsored by cities and fairs. Recently we performed for The City of Frederick Maryland at a free concert in the park. We performed for about 1500 people.”
Amy Strow, back up vocalist shared, “It is really fun to go into a show where the majority of the people haven’t seen you and they have their arms crossed thinking, yeah O.K., sure Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks…we’ll see. Then the band starts playing, sounds great and they loosen up a little. Then Ocie walks out in costume and the mouths gape a little, then Ocie opens her mouth and starts singing and all jaws hit the floor. The whole band just giggles inside and enjoys the moment. From that point forward it’s on and they are drinking the cool aide…it’s so cool to hear everyone singing along with us.” She also added how great it is for her to be a part of a band that doesn’t miss the nuances in the music and how joyful it is for her as a singer to be around that level of musicianship.
Ro Cube, who plays keyboards with a number of outstanding musical groups in addition to Leather and Lace, added to the conversation, “I have a really busy schedule, so busy it has taken us months to get together for an official band photo, but this project is cool. I am not in the band because I need work; I am in this band because it is 100% all about entertainment and quality of musicianship. Russ and Ocie are so dedicated to bringing the fans what they seek and they deliver it every time. This group is relatively young but I see a bright future to entertain the masses, I like that…a lot! Watch out for this band, Ocie is the real deal.”
To hear Leather and Lace you can check out their some of their music and get links to more on their Leather and Lace WoodStocROC Band Bio page!