Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Melissa Etheridge Rocks Columbus Jailhouse

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Like Johnny Cash before her, Melissa Etheridge has a passion for helping out local jailbirds. She made a pitstop Wednesday to perform a half-hour set at the Ohio Reformatory for Women to encourage inmates to make more productive choices.

The singer was inspired to drop by the prison after seeing a video of inmates singing her track "Little Bit of Me." Tapestry, a group of recovering addicts within the reformatory, sang the song as part of its collaboration with Columbus community choir The Harmony Project. The video of their performance was shown to Etheridge when she spoke at the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, sparking her interest in visiting the prison herself. 
A quick stop before a concert in Newark, the show was stripped-down, with Etheridge by herself and an acoustic guitar. In total, she played five songs for around 2,300 women, inviting the 90-piece Tapestry to sing "Little Bit of Me" with her on-stage. 

Before leaving, the musician left a mark on the facility, both literally and figuratively. She left signed yellow and orange handprints on the wall, per the prison's tradition of allowing inspiring visitors leave a bit of themselves with the inmates. 

For video of the performance, check out the Columbus Dispatch's coverage of the event.

And check out our 2013 feature on the rock bands that have formed inside Trumbull Correctional Institution

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 29, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation