Melissa Etheridge Covers Rock Classics, Revisits Old Favorites & Debuts Orlando Tribute 'Pulse' for 'Infinity Hall Live': Exclusive Premiere

Todd Gay
Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge will wrap up this season of PBS' Infinity Hall Live on Friday with a performance showcasing material from her upcoming Stax/Volt covers album, greatest hits and her emotional response to the Orlando shooting tragedy, "Pulse."

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Ahead of its airing, the rock singer and songwriter is sharing a peek at the season five finale exclusively with Billboard

Watch Etheridge cover the classic blues standard "Rock Me Baby" here:

In an interview airing with the episode, Etheridge explained how fun it was recording MEmphis Rock and Soul (due out Oct. 7), an album of all covers for the legendary and now defunct Stax label that uses all of its songs as material. 

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"I always wanted to jump into the whole world of cover songs, songs that have already been done because I grew with that -- I started playing in bands and played other people's songs for many, many years and I've always been a huge music lover," she said. 

"I'll throw in a cover song every now and then when I'm playing –- but to go into this project, go into the Stax Records catalog, which is to me the beginning of rock and roll, it's the home of rock and roll... it's just the finest musicians, the finest singers, some of the greatest songs. And I got to reimagine it, I got to go and sing it, so now when I'm performing it, it's just ridiculous. I don't think I should have that much fun, but I do!"

As well, Etheridge tells Billboard about the emotional impact of performing "Pulse" for the first time during the episode -- something she didn't decide to do until after soundcheck -- having written it just days before, following the tragic club shooting massacre in Orlando. 

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"When I realized that the first time I would perform the song 'Pulse,' it was going to be recorded for public television's Infinity Hall Live, I was a little nervous but also very grateful that this moment would be captured on film," she says. "It was emotional and intense, but I am definitely grateful."

Infinity Hall Live's season five finale airs Friday, Aug. 27. Check local listings or tune in online to watch Etheridge's performance that evening here