It was all whispers and rumors until 1993.
That’s when Melissa Etheridge finally answered the question that had been posed by so many fans and journalists since her 1988 debut.
After coming out with a performance at the LGBTQ-focused Triangle Ball celebrating Bill Clinton’s inauguration, the pioneering lesbian rock star would go on to release the album Yes I Am as well as the potent, heartfelt rock ballad that has become one of her signatures, “Come To My Window,” and then embarked on her first of several stadium tours as an out-and-proud headlining act.
Etheridge had been out to herself as well as to close family members and friends for years before 1993.
And by that point, it’s no surprise to learn that the rather prolific songwriter had stashed away other songs that skirted the issue in ways deemed just a little too close for comfort for public consumption at the time.
Last fall, Etheridge released One Way Out, an album of nine original songs, all of which are roughly 30 years in the making — originally written in the late ’80s or early ’90s, and then recorded a decade ago with her original backing band as part of a planned retrospective box set that never materialized.
The set includes her latest single “As Cool As You Try,” imparting advice that ultimately works better sung by an older, wiser Etheridge, and “For The Last Time.”
“Finally recording and releasing a song about my frustrations with my relationship in the ’90s is very cathartic for me,” Etheridge says of the breakup anthem, which rocks nearly as hard as the two from 1988 that helped catapult her career right out of the gate, the Grammy-nominated “Bring Me Some Water” and “Like The Way I Do.” Expect it to get a little hot when she performs all of them in her debut at the new Capital One Hall.
Etheridge appears on Tuesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. Capital One Hall’s Main Theater, 7750 Capital One Tower Rd. in Tysons, Va. Tickets are $55 to $99 plus fees. Visit www.capitalonehall.com.