Chris Meldrum is the son of Mick and Barb Meldrum of Algonac. Chris and his wife Dena have 2 children. Chris grew up in Algonac and was influenced by music from a very young age. Chris’ dad, Mickey, has been a long time local favorite entertainer, singing and playing music for people for over 50 years. There was always music in the Meldrum house. Whether it was mom and dad’s influence of classic country or Chris’ older siblings listening to now classic rock, Chris was influenced by so many genres. His brother Gary has also been playing drums in bands for over 30 years and later would join Chris in the band. Another big influence on Chris was his cousin Jim Meldrum who also has been entertaining around the area since the 1980’s.
Chris started his music career later in life. He coached varsity girl’s basketball for 15 years, so music took a back seat for a while. During that time in the late 90’s, Chris started singing a little Karaoke around the local establishments. He won a contest that helped propel his confidence in his singing. From there it wasn’t until Chris was about 30 years old that he bought a guitar and started honing his craft. Chris started playing guitar and singing around campfires and jam sessions with cousins, which then to a few parties of friends that turned into hired gigs at local establishments.
Because of the variety of musical influences he has had over the years, Chris plays a wide range of music styles. You can hear him playing Classic Rock, Country, Folk, Rock, and Top 40 on any given night. Chris started his musical career playing solo and then had his brother Gary join him playing congas on a few gigs. Before you know it long time friends TJ Fernandez and Dickie Poole joined, Gary moved back to drums, and they became the Meldrum Brothers Band.
Chris plays a Taylor 414 CE guitar and Takamine G-Series NEX guitar.
Note from Chris: I’m so honored to be in a band with these guys. They are the best musicians around and more important, they are great friends. Singing to me is very therapeutic and a joy to do. I love seeing all of our friends and fans have a great time when they come out to hear the band, and I feel very humbled with all of the compliments that we get and I get personally. The band is a very big part of my life and one that I enjoy tremendously.
TJ was born and raised in Algonac, Michigan, a city that divides the US and Canadian borders with a population just over four thousand. His family was very musical where an 88 key baby grand piano was the center point of their living room. The piano was played by all but mastered only by sister Julie. Brother Fred (Chico) looked like Elvis and sang like him as well. Brothers Dave and Paul were also multi-talented musicians. Dave played guitar, bass, and sang lead vocals in his band. Paul plays keys, guitar, trumpet, and just about anything else he picks up. Believe it or not, TJ first started off playing the banjo!!! When he was around 7 or 8 his father Fred who always loved the banjo sent him off to banjo lessons for 3 years. After that TJ learned to play guitar from Paul and Dave. TJ’s sister Gail plays trumpet, guitar, and sings like an Angel. TJ, Gail and Dave played in the Algonac High School Jazz Band called the “TAFT ROAD JAZZ SOCIETY”. This was a band that traveled and played gigs to raise money for school band equipment and trips. Gail is the one who persuaded TJ into playing the bass guitar when he was a freshman in high school. The senior bass player had just graduated and the band needed a new bass player. There was only one problem; TJ didn’t know one thing about playing the bass guitar. Luckily big brother Dave stepped in and hooked TJ up with a new bass guitar that had stickers all over the neck showing him where all the positions were on the guitar. This was a great way for TJ to start learning how to play the bass. A few months later TJ learned how to read music. TJ loved the continued trend of excellence that came with playing in the jazz band for 4 years under the direction of the Great, George Appelman!!!
TJ has been playing all over the St. Clair County area from 1979 to present. He started playing with the Meldrum Brothers Band in 2008 sharing the stage with Chris, Gary, Erik and Richard. To date, the latest accomplishments for the band have been the bigger stages. Performances include opening up for Lee Greenwood on his “Stars and Stripes” tour, the Luxurious Ovation Yacht, and Toby Keith’s Bar. Performing on Lake St. Clair at the Aquapalooza, a Pure Michigan Campaign started and sponsored here locally by Colony Marine. Colony Marine is also one out of only 3 worldwide Sea-Ray Dealers to have achieved a 100% customer satisfaction score.
TJ has also recorded in 2 world class studios; Silver Dragon Productions under Mike Oswald and the famed Studio “A” in Birmingham MI. TJ’s bass tracks can be found on 3 Christmas cd’s that raised money for Toys for Tots, as well as two other cd’s from artists making their professional debuts, Kelly Watkins and Tim Raymond.
TJ has 6 bass guitars in his collection, 2 of them being acoustics, one a fretless. TJ currently plays a Fender American Deluxe Jazz 5 string Bass and uses a Fernandes Tremor Deluxe 5 string as his back up. TJ plays out of a Trace Elliot AH 250 Bass head with a Trace Elliot 4×10 cabinet, using a Trace Elliot 2×10 cabinet for smaller gigs. When TJ hits the big stages he uses 2 Trace Elliot 1015h cabinets side by side, each loaded with two specially designed Celestion 10 inch speakers. Also included in the cabinet is a high frequency variable attenuation horn in a natural band pass sealed chamber for tight midrange. This allows the single 15 inch speaker below them more internal volume!! The two cabinets are powered with a massive Trace Elliot AH 1200 – 12 Amp. TJ also uses Bose speakers with Crown power amps to keep the band’s PA system jumping.
Note from Chris: As anyone could tell you, T.J. brings the energy to the band. He is the ultimate performer. He gets the band going every night and helps us stay at the top of our game. T.J. and I have been together the longest in the band and it is a joy to perform with him every night.
Erik has been playing the drums since his 5th grade music class. His mother was a music teacher for over 30 years and influenced him greatly to become a music teacher himself. He then studied drums privately in middle school and eventually took instruction from Norm Fickett, the Principal Percussionist from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during his freshmen year in high school. During the same period he took drum set instruction from Detroit Studio Drummer Joe Chila, and by his senior year in high school Erik had studied with six more instructors from various genres of music. Because of the many musical influences, he decided to study music in college and major in Music Education and minor in Music Performance.
The choice was obvious to attend Central Michigan University and study under Professor Robert Hohner. At this time, the CMU Percussion Studio was ranked at the top for performance. During this period, Erik performed with David Samuels, David Friedman, and the Midland Music Society. He also performed with numerous orchestras including: Alma Symphony Orchestra, West Shore Symphony Orchestra, Saginaw Symphony Orchestra, Macomb Community Orchestra, Mt. Clemens Symphony Orchestra, Midland Symphony Orchestra, Cedar Point Amusement Park Live Shows and Amazement Park Revue, Central Michigan University Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony Band, Symphony Band Ensemble, CMU Jazz Lab 1, Central Air Jazz Band, Studio 12 Jazz Band, CMU Faculty Jazz Septet, and the CMU Percussion Ensemble. He also taught instrumental music for the Mt. Pleasant District Bands and Percussion Ensembles, the Port Huron School District Band and Percussion Ensembles, and private instruction for local drum lessons. Other performances include the MENC National Convention in Chicago Illinois and Anaheim California, PASIC National Convention, and The PAS International Convention at Oakland University, the Elmhurst Chicago Jazz Festival and Ohio State University Jazz Festival. Erik also worked for the CMU Recording Lab to record college performances which included concerts, clinics and recitals.
Upon graduation, he took the Band Director position at Clintondale High School and taught instrumental music for 20 years. During this time he instructed the marching, concert, and jazz bands along with teaching Music Appreciation and American Jazz Studies classes. For two years Erik also worked as the Performing Arts Director for the Clintondale District in which he created the CHS Educational Jazz Festival performing with music greats Phil Woods, Bobby Lewis, Jeff Berlin, Paul Wertico, Steve Talaga, and Bobby Shew. He also directed the pit orchestra for the community plays and other local events.
Erik originally played with TJ and Dickie in high school band class for which they soon started their own performing group. They played together for over 13 years at various establishments in the area and developed a great following. Erik then re-joined TJ and Dickie to play with the Meldrum Brothers Band featuring Chris Meldrum in November of 2011 and continues to play to this day.
Note from Chris: After my brother Gary had to leave the band, I was worried that we would not find someone who could fit our band with all the different types of music that we play. Boy was I wrong. When Erik joined the band in 2011 we didn’t skip a beat and continued to grow as a band. His drumming skills still continue to amaze me. We are so lucky to have Erik in our band.
As far as I can remember back, music and musical instruments were always available in some form or another. My grandfather played violin and piano. My father was a drummer and working musician.
My grandmother on my mother’s side played the organ, so there was always some type of musical instrument around to play with, no matter where I was. Playing or listening to music was as natural as breathing for me.
My father’s enthusiasm and excitement towards playing and practice was a huge influence.
The guitar hit me like a ton of bricks, as soon as my fourth grade teacher Mr. Bob Morrow brought an acoustic guitar into the classroom. From that moment on I knew that the guitar was going to be my main instrument. My father bought that very same guitar for $35 from my teacher when he wanted to sell it. I played it all the time. By fifth grade it was electric time! By high school I was toting a Fender Strat everywhere I went. George Appleman, my high school band teacher, was a big influence on me as well. I was in Jazz Band “Taft Road Jazz Society”, and also concert band. That is all I remember about high school, making music and playing guitar – it was all that mattered. I have been in several bands through the years, leading up to the Meldrum Brother’s Band. I have always said it’s one thing to be playing in a band with band mates; it’s unbelievable to be doing it with your best friends. With TJ, Eric, Chris, and myself we have chemistry between us on and off the stage that is priceless to me. Best friends that are band mates, with our love of music and performing, it elevates the MBB to an indescribable high. The band tailors to the individual’s need of the event, the band is very modular, and I think that’s one of the reason’s it works so well.
Hobbies: ITF Taekwondo-Do Assistant instructor / student, second gup red belt. Active Amateur “Ham” Radio operator KC8VWZ, also St.Clair county SkyWarn Spotter for Algonac area.
Playing 2005 Fender Eric Johnson model 57 reissue. 2010 Gibson SG Standard. Mostly Boss Pedals and Mesa Boogie amps. Sure Beta 58 – 57 Mikes.
Note from Chris: If you have seen us play, you know Dickie is a huge reason for our success. He is the most talented guitarist I have ever seen around this area. There is literally nothing he can’t do. We are blessed to have him in our band.