The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is credited for her latest album, One Way Out Melissa Etheridge recorded songs that fell through the cracks.
Now Etheridge, a native of Leavenworth, is bringing them to light.
“I just loved putting them out now because I can play these songs live,” she said. “I really missed her. I didn’t record them then, but those reasons are so silly to me now. I’m so happy to bring them out.”
Etheridge adds her to her extensive repertoire, which includes hits like “I’m the Only One”, “Like the Way I Do” and “Come to My Window”.
Etheridge will bring these tunes and more to life on stage at 8 p.m. on August 14 at Liberty Hall644 Massachusetts St. in Lawrence.
Former band members helped her edit her new album, which is available in tangerine vinyl for $23.98.
“I did them with my original musicians from the ’80s,” Etheridge said. “It was really fun getting back together with them.”
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’
The title of Etheridge’s album and tour, One Way Out, reflects how she approaches life.
“The way out is to just walk through it and don’t let anything stop you,” she said. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Etheridge has experienced fear numerous times in her life, including facing stigma in 1993, coming out as gay, being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and watching her child struggle with and die from opioid addiction in 2020 .
Etheridge campaigns on the issues that have affected her the most – equal rights for queer society, support for people affected by cancer and their ability to use cannabis products for treatment, and ending opioid addiction.
“This is a big part of what I’m talking about and the path I’m walking,” Etheridge said. “These things are important to me. They are part of my life.”
Rockstar: Equality in queer society is in a precarious situation
“That’s something we’re sadly thinking about,” Etheridge said of Roe v. Calf. “I always hope for the best.
“The world is full of fear and people are very afraid of the ‘other’, especially that which is not like themselves, and it is unfortunate that our love scares them.”
Etheridge said she was sad but hopeful the pendulum would swing back in a more inclusive direction.
Melissa Etheridge: Marijuana is needed to treat diseases
“I used cannabis after having breast cancer, and I enjoy legal cannabis here in California,” Etheridge said.
“I wish there were[marijuana legalization laws]in Kansas because cannabis helps a lot of people and there’s a whole lot of misinformation about it,” she said.
The Kansas-born singer says opiates are a threat to society
The rock star’s son, Beckett Etheridge, was 17 when he became addicted to opiates in 2016 after breaking an ankle.
He battled addiction for four years and eventually became a user of fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2020 were due to an opioid.
“There were no alternatives and he was having such a tough time,” said Melissa Etheridge. “That’s why we have them Etheridge Foundation.”
The organization supports scientific research into new treatments for opioid use disorders.
An enduring love for Kansas
The singer said she loves being back in Kansas, although she was more than ready to spread her wings after high school.
“I lived about three blocks from the correctional facility, and I tell people, ‘I spent 18 years in Leavenworth,'” she said. “I was one of those people that was ‘I can’t wait to get out of here and into the world,’ and now that I have kids and I’ve seen the world, I’m like, ‘Come on, I want to go back to Kansas.'”
Melissa Etheridge loves the work ethic, the “do good in life and harm no one” and “be a good person” philosophies of Kansas, she said.
“That’s pretty much what I learned in my hometown,” she said.
How to get tickets to see Melissa Etheridge in Lawrence
Tickets for Melissa Etheridge’s “One Way Out Tour” range from $69 to $122 Ticketmaster website. Those wishing to purchase tickets are urged to do so soon as availability decreases and ticket prices are likely to increase.
The organizer requires a COVID-19 vaccination certificate from the participants (14 days after the last vaccination).
Children under the age of 12 may be required to undergo a COVID-19 diagnostic test (usually within 48 to 72 hours prior to the event) and provide proof of the negative result before entering the venue.
Proof of vaccination can be a physical paper copy or a snapshot on a mobile device along with a matching photo ID.
Catheryn Hrenchir is a feature writer for the Topeka Capital journal. She can be reached at [email protected] or (785) 817-6383.