If you've ever visited The Kraken, you know that we welcome the heart and soul of the community. We wouldn't have such amazing music here if we didn't have great friends helping out like our friend Jonathan Lee. He's a longtime Guitartown representative, and he's responsible for engineering our special Sunday perfomance. It started with two amazing musicians, Jeff German and Todd May, who are relentlessly touring the country supporting their solo acts, and then adding Mike June who's already gathered local support though he and his wife just moved Hillsborough officially a few weeks ago and have started their own exhausting touring schedule.
If you've ever listened to Lydia Loveless, you will likely have heard either Jeff German or Todd May who have both participated in her band. She's kinda like the Ohio version of Sarah Shook. Todd May backs Lydia here on one of our favorite syndicated music shows, Sound Opinions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDq1_rnJVE4
Our new "local", Mike June, closes out the evening and we welcome you to come out and welcome him with our whole-hearted hospitality. Consider it a house-warming, since we expect him becoming a regular.
Since it's Sunday, we're going to start a bit early... 7pm. Come on out and enjoy the evening with good friends.
We've got one of the most dense populations of great musicians living around here [insert joke], but we always welcome more. Mike June just got married in April to his singer-songwriter wife Jess Klein, honeymooned, packed up cars and moved to Hillsborough, and then went out on tour! I hear they moved from Austin, or perhaps more appropriately, everywhere in America.
Mike June has performed as part of Beth Lavinder's House Concerts in the Dance Barn series just up the road from The Kraken over the past few years, while also playing another 600 shows across 48 states, Canada and the UK. This breakneck pace, he says, is necessary for an artist like himself to survive in today's ever-changing music business . “I don't have much of a choice,” says June when asked why he spends most of his year on the road, driving six to eight hours a day, sometime only to play in front of a handful of listeners. "I'm doing this without a record label or radio promotion , so in order to connect with my fans, I have to go town to town and play my songs for people to hear them." With typical self-deprecating humor, he adds "I'm like a door-to-door song salesman."
Mike follows a venerated tradition of musicians who work countless, difficult jobs to support their passionate missions to provide music that makes us normal folks able to forget our countless, difficult jobs, not to mention our problems from day to day and year to year.
He started his first band in 1999 and began playing in clubs in and around New York City. He released a two well-received records, but landed in jail several times after succumbing to drugs. Seeking a fresh start in 2008, he moved from New Jersey to Austin, TX, spending several years away from the stage and concentrating on his job as a pre-school music teacher.
Shortly thereafter, he made the leap back into his musical passion. He buckled down and released several critically acclaimed records that drew on his working-class experiences, his addiction, his depression and his heartbreak, and he found an audience here in America and beyond. His latest album, "Poor Man's Bible", is receiving great reviews.
Mike plans to keep on spreading his message, and we hope you will join us to truly welcome him into our supportive community.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDeB-zi6838 (Saxapahaw house concert video)
Todd May brings his love of classic country, Motown and Stax, along with his discovery of punk. He's a solid Midwestern representative, representing Northern Kentucky and Columbus, Ohio, while working his creativity and supporting great bands with solid common sense.
While some of his musical peers may have initially made larger waves, everyone has consistently praised Todd's songwriting and ability and supporting roles. Todd has plugged away with his own brand of alt-country from "the land of Lucky Strikes and Blatz, reticence and violence" and has done well on his own and continues to achieve and entertain in a big way.
Todd has been touring across the states since the 90s, beginning with The Lilybandits and their cross between early punk and americana soul, occasionally sharing bills with emerging bands such as the Drive By Truckers. He helped form the group Fort Shame in 2007 with Sue Harshe who was part of the late 80s and early 90s influential group, Scrawl.
We can't neglect to mention his lead role with The Mooncussers, who simply blow us away. This is some chart-topping music that we hope to bring to our humble roadhouse before they start performing on the big ticket stages.
Finally, it's worth mentioning that Todd supports Lydia Loveless too.
Jeff German grew up just south of Detroit, in Lincoln Park Michigan, close to the stench of rendering plants in Del-Rey. He relentlessly travels and shares his rust-belt upbringing with heartfelt original music.
Jeff credits his family for his inspiration and drive - His older brother's records of Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Stones and Faces, and then The Clash, The Damned, The Jam, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran are certainly a key influence... Yet likely no more or less than his father, a strong union electrician, and his wife, children and grandchildren. It's a solid midwest tradition that fuels his music and his work ethic.
Currently based out of Columbus, Ohio, he's been a key part of the acclaimed Cur Dogs and The Blankety Blanks, and he's contributed heartily as a studio musician and supporting great national acts such as Lydia Loveless. "Each one of them means something very personal to me. I'm not going to play myself off as a 'blue-collar rocker', just a dude with a song in his heart."
He released his first solo album, "12 Rounds", at the age of 50. At this point, he expresses to the press that he doesn't feel tied to a genre... he's continuously been labeled as "Blue Collar" and "Americana" but he reaches beyond. Here's to his effort and wisdom and ability to transcend labels and genres.
$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!