"Bukka bustin’ barrelhouse blues with the punch of punk rock, a full throttle blast of traditional blues set to maximum acoustic volume to blow your juke house down." -ROOTSREVIEW.BLOGSPOT.COM
Orb Mellon is the alter ego and roots moniker of Mike Malone, founder and guitarist of the seminal 90s indie rock band Dirt Merchants.
Between 1992 and 1997, Dirt Merchants released a handful of critically acclaimed singles on their own label, V-Hold. Their first full length album “Scarified” was released on then fledgling label Zero Hour in 1994 and re-released on Sony/Epic in 1995. Dirt Merchants’ DIY concept EP “Swiss Bank” was released in spring 1997 shortly before the band decided to call it quits. Their second full length album “The Speed At Which You Speak,” produced in 1996-1997, remains unreleased.
After Dirt Merchants, Mike joined the short lived Chicago based indie supergroup Ultraswiss which included members of Veruca Salt, The Joy Poppers, and Nectarine. More recently, Mike contributed slide and electric guitar to 27’s album, “Holding On For Brighter Days” (EU release: Undergroove, 2005; US release: Relapse, 2007).
As Orb Mellon, Mike mines the raw energy of pre-electric American roots music, particularly whiskey fueled house party delta blues. Influenced by the likes of Son House, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, and Charlie Patton, Orb performs pure, righteous, and sonically aggressive acoustic blues, free from any quaintness or historicism, prompting one reviewer to identify Orb Mellon's work simply as "blues in all its primeval glory" (Tangled In The Roots, July 2006).
Recorded in the late autumn of 2006 and including cameos by Dirt Merchants band mates Maria Christopher (now of 27) and John Malone, Orb Mellon’s debut album "Love Above" was produced with a commitment to preserving the directness, spontaneity, and emotional urgency inherent in the best early blues recordings. To that end, all but one of the album’s thirteen original tracks were recorded in a single day with the majority executed in only one take. The goal was to produce a raw, diverse, and exciting collection of original country blues.
Since it's release in January 2007, "Love Above" has been reviewed in regional, national and international press and was recognized in Real Blues Magazine as one of the Top 100 releases of the past year. These days, in addition to writing and recording new material for his next album, Orb Mellon continues to perform regularly throughout the northeastern United States planning eventually to bring his live show to a wider national and international audience.