Mel Annala was born in Duluth, Minnesota and moved to Minnesota's Iron Range much later in life than Bob Dylan. In about 1961 his brother Dale was visiting from Washington state. He borrowed a guitar from somewhere and entertained for hours. Mel was captivated. He first picked up a guitar and learned a few chords when his other brother, Bob (not Dylan), got one for Christmas 1963. His brother really didn't find time to play and ended up giving the guitar to Mel. It was a Stella. Once the Beatles hit it was all over.
His first band "The Agents" (007 was big at the time) was formed with friends Darrel Maki and Lorry Stratioti when they were in eighth grade. Throughout high school he played with his friends John Sorensen and Phil Jewell in a folk trio called "The Scarcity of Time" (cool name for some protest singers).
After high school Mel joined the Navy and another opportunity to play came in the form of a country group. They needed a bass player, and he had just bought a Fender Precision bass out of curiosity for the instrument. After the service he ran into another opportunity to play bass with Charlie Pelto, Larry Anderson (guitars) and Ken LaFave (drums) and did a few bar gigs with them in a band that was sometimes referred to as "MadDog 20/20" Even played "The Palace" a few times (the one in Oliver, WI., not New York or Caesars Palace in Las Vegas). For a short time, along with his son Jesse on drums along with guitarist Danny Jenner Mel had a band called "Moonburn" that played weddings and such.
In 2003 an injury and subsequent surgery prompted and early retirement from his "day job". Mel now had more time to pick up the guitar. He got together with a fellow named Jeff Berg, Who had similar musical interests playing acoustic rock, folk and Americana type tunes. Jeff and Mel did a few shows together, and then he had to leave the area for work. Mel decided to set out on his own in the summer of 2006 and have been keeping busy ever since playing traditional folk songs and rural roots music (with the occasional acoustic rock number thrown in). He now finds himself performing at resorts, the local bar and grill venues, county fairs, coffee houses, private events, house concerts, a few retirement communities, and anywhere folks would like to hear me play. And let's not forget gathering around the campfire to sing a few tunes. Lots of shows and great people out there.
|In Your Eyes
Acoustic six and twelve string guitarist/vocalist. Perfoming Americana, folk and rural roots music. "Mel Annala has put together a solid collection of songs that we all know and love and he has a fine voice to carry them to your heart." Pete Morton, International singer/songwriter; London, England.
CD Price: $11.97