New Album "House of Ghosts" : CD | Digital | Vinyl

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October Music News







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Hey, Friend,

Fall is finally upon us!

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, it’s the perfect time to pull out your favorite blankets and curl up to some groovy tunes. If that sounds like your cup of pumpkin spice, have I got some great news for you!

In a stroke of fortuitous timing, I just so happen to be releasing my sixth album this month, a full-length record brimming with new music. Titled House of Ghosts, I’ll be (very fittingly) releasing the album on Halloween, my favorite holiday! To celebrate the launch, I’ll be hosting not one but TWO release parties in late October. You can catch an intimate, private show on Saturday, October 27, at a very special venue in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District: McFarland Manor. Why is it special? Well, for one, I live there. But more than that, it’s a DIY house show venue project I helped found, and the Halloween event will be its sixth show. Yes, my sixth album will be released at McFarland Manor’s sixth show, being held in the Sixth City….

If you can’t make it to the first show, I’ll also be playing in Akron on Sunday, October 28. The Oddmall Outpost, an “emporium of the weird” featuring wares from some of the area’s most unusual, creative, and unique vendors, will be hosting a plethora of events for Halloween, and yours truly will be playing the entire House of Ghosts album live in the Assembly of Odd Sunday afternoon.

Regardless of whether you can make either of my live events, the album itself is already available for pre-order on my website. Though the vinyl pre-order was launched last month, I’m so very happy to tell you that CD format ordering is now open. Head over to reserve your copy and score free shipping with your pre-order!

So, I’ve done CDs, and I’ve done vinyl, and for We Are the Architects I even did LEGOs, but now I think it’s time for something a little different. House of Ghosts will feature an exclusive 3-D PRINTABLE digital album option! From what I can tell, this special release is the first of its kind, so allow me to expound on the idea: you’ll purchase the 3-D printable file just like you would order the album on CD or vinyl (through the website). The 3D data in that file will be split into four piece, each representing a quarter of the final item. Once you’ve printed the pieces, you’ll assemble the item, which will form a scale 3-D model of McFarland Manor – which is featured on the album cover as my own personal house of ghosts. On the bottom of the model, you’ll scan the digital music code and voila! I’m serenading you with my latest hits. You’re welcome!

Whichever way you choose to experience it, I hope you’ll find, as I do, that House of Ghosts is my most compelling album yet. Over the years I’ve learned that no matter whatever city we may move to or wherever we may roam, we carry the phantoms of our past with us. The songs reflect my realization that the memories and heartbreaks of life and relationships create inside each one of us our own house of ghosts.

Album release aside, I still have plenty of upcoming tour dates for you to catch me live! In fact, just after clicking “send” on this month’s letter, I hopped in the car for a trip down to North Carolina (how do I know this? There are time paradoxes involved, best not to get into it), where I’ll be playing a Friday show at Olde Mecklenburg Brewing in Charlotte before heading over to Cary to catch the US Women’s Soccer squad take on their next opponent in the World Cup qualifiers. If you’re in the area, be sure to bring your smiling face over to say hello!



As always, there’s a chance I might end up picking up a few more shows over the coming weeks, so be sure to like my various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and keep an eye on the Tour Dates page to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael







Copyright © 2018 Michael McFarland, All rights reserved.

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September Music News







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Hey, Friend,

Hi kids! Do you like vinyl?

If you’ve followed my Instagram over the years, you know that I’m a big fan of vinyl records; they’ve become my favorite way to collect the music that I love. My car no longer has a working CD player – heck, my computer doesn’t even have one, I have to plug in an external drive to get music off CDs – so if I’m listening to music, I’m either streaming it, or it’s coming from my turntable. There’s something about having a physical representation of the music I love; plus, I know that in 50 years, if properly cared for, those records will still be playable, just like the 12″ of Harry Belafonte’s Calypso – the first record my father ever purchased.

Recent additions to my own vinyl collection include Danger Days by My Chemical Romance, This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars, Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins, and the self-title album by my friends in Crunk Witch, who are on tour now and you absolutely should not miss if they’re coming through your neck of the woods.

So with that all said, I’m super excited that my impending House of Ghosts release will feature my second vinyl offering! Given the high demand for vinyl manufacturing right now, it probably won’t be ready in time for the Halloween release date, but you can pre-order now, lock in free shipping, and get a free digital download of the record on October 31!

Oh yeah, the cover art is complete as well!  Have you checked it out yet?
 
I’m also very excited to tell you a little about another special format I’ll be featuring for the release.  Before I spoil too much of the surprise, I’ll just leave you with this little image as a clue…  If you do choose to pre-order the vinyl, you’ll be able to get the record in this new, super-secret format as a free bonus!  Let’s just say that it’s in keeping with the theme of “physical representations of music” about which I was pontificating earlier, thought it will certainly be a little different from your traditional vinyl!

I also have a nice batch of upcoming shows for the remainder of this month, including a journey to Austin, Texas to perform once again at Wizard World Comic Con:



As always, there’s a chance I might end up picking up a few more shows over the coming weeks, so be sure to like my various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and keep an eye on the Tour Dates page to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael






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August Music News







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Hey, Friend,

Pardon my tardiness…

My monthly newsletter’s a little later than usual this time around, but that’s only because I’ve been extraordinarily busy, in the best kind of way. Not only have I been pouring myself into various creative projects, I also fit in a visit to the west coast to celebrate my brother’s 25th wedding anniversary – the first time in nearly a decade all my siblings and my parents have been in the same place at the same time. Prior to that, Eric Bert & I finalized the last of the mixes for House of Ghosts, my new full-length album set to be released on Halloween of this year, and I’ve also been getting things in order to spend a lot more time touring the country and sharing this music in person!

First things first: rest assured, I have no intentions of entirely retiring the motorcycle as a means of touring. In fact, I’ve recently swapped out my beautiful red Triumph Bonneville for a beautiful blue Triumph Bonneville. My former noble steed was named Clyde, so if you have any good name suggestions for Clyde’s successor, please reply and let me know!

Motorcycle touring, however, has its limitations in both seasonal restrictions (let’s face it – it’s not a lot of fun once you reach late fall) and traveling companionship. To remedy those issues, I recently purchased a home-away-from-home, a 24-foot Coachmen Catalina Lite travel trailer. I expect it will rack up more than a few road miles in the coming months and years! (Also yet to be named – any suggestions?)

My first planned tour with the new digs is set for late September & early October – I’ll be sure to let you know the dates as they fall into place.

I’ve also released the last of the four “Almost Like Live” videos which were an attempt to reproduce the experience of attending one of my live performances. This final one is for my song “A Work In Progress”, for which you might have seen a music video in the past months. Click here or the image below to check it out (and please share if you enjoy!), or head to this playlist to watch the entire video EP.

I also have a nice batch of upcoming shows for the remainder of this month:



As always, there’s a chance I might end up picking up a few more shows over the coming weeks, so be sure to like my various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and keep an eye on the Tour Dates page to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael






Copyright © 2018 Michael McFarland, All rights reserved.

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July Music News







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Hey, Friend,

It’s July 4th!

If, like me, you’re in the United States, you’ll likely spend today celebrating Independence Day in one form or another; spangling whatever banners you find with stars, glaring at red rockets, and – Oh! – saying everything you see. If, however, you happen to live in Japan, you might be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Nozomi probe to Mars, or if you inhabit the tranquil pine clad valley of Ziro in the Lower Subansiri District of India, you might be celebrating the first night of the Dree Festival.

I, myself, will be celebrating the way I do most 4ths of July (I believe that’s the proper pluralization, like Inspectors General, or Dollars Bill), by hosting a shindig at my humble abode. There promises to be revelry aplenty, as my concert-organizing partners-in-crime Cassie Bishop, Mikey Silas, and I have put together a heck of a hootennany, with an amazing array of musicians performing, and a pop-up art show by fantastic visual artist (Tessa LeBaron). If you happen to be lacking July 4th plans and find yourself in the Cleveland area, you should absolutely join – details on the event are here.

For a while I’ve been teasing a release date for my next full-length album, House of Ghosts. I’m finally ready to reveal that release date is the most obvious possible choice – none other than October 31, my favorite holiday, Halloween. Expect a haunted-house themed release party – details will be forthcoming as they are finalized!

I’ve been continuing to release songs from my Almost Like Live video EP. The idea behind doing this was to showcase what my live show looks like for those who haven’t had a chance to attend, and also to give a first listen to several of the songs that will be on  House of Ghosts. So here’s the third Almost Like Live video, “Skip”:

I’ve got a nice batch of concerts this month, including one on Thursday, and it would be wonderful to see some friendly faces at those shows!



As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael






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June Music News







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Hey, Friend,

Stay cool…

…in the most literal sense of the word possible. At least here in Ohio, temperatures have been unseasonably warm, which means I’ve been spending a good bit of time in the basement of my un-air-conditioned house. While somewhat dungeoun-esque, it’s generally a good 10 degrees cooler than the floors above. It also happens to contain my recording studio, which means I’ve been spending quite a bit of time down there working on some super-secret projects… more on that soon!

Fortunately, the temperatures look to be dropping over the next few days. This is especially timely, as I’ve embarked on a journey with my friends Cassie Bishop (Shy Moon) and Mikey Silas (Somewhat Silas) of organizing monthly house concerts at my big, dumb Victorian house in Cleveland, affectionately referred to as McFarland Manor! The first show will be this Friday, June 1, and features a stacked lineup of talent from North East Ohio. If you’d like to attend, we’d love to have you – head over to the McFarland Manor Facebook Page, give it a “Like”, and send us a message for the address!

If you’re looking for some great new music to listen to, I’ve made no secret about the fact that my main conduit to learning about awesome new artists is my good friend Kevin Conaway (a fantastic singer-songwriter), who somehow always has a new, amazing band to recommend. He’s recently started to curate a Spotify playlist, called Caught in the Current. I highly recommend taking a listen to it and subscribing – he’s updating it regularly with new songs (which you’ll find at the top of the playlist) and rolling off older ones from the bottom, so, you’ll want to check in on it regularly to catch the latest tracks.

I’m also very excited to announce that if you’re into all things geeky, you’ll be able to catch me performing at Wizard World Columbus all three days of the Comic Con – the times of my performances will be going up in the next few days (the ones you’ll see lower down are when the con starts on each day), but there’s enough to keep you busy at Wizard World that you might as well set aside a whole day, and swing by the stage to see me play at whatever time that ends up happening!

I’ve been continuing to release songs from my Almost Like Live video EP. The idea behind doing this was to showcase what my live show looks like for those who haven’t had a chance to attend, and also to give a first listen to several of the songs that will be on my upcoming full-length House of Ghosts. So here’s the second Almost Like Live video, “The Last Sunset”:

I’ve got a nice batch of concerts this month, and it would be wonderful to see some friendly faces at those shows!



As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael






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May Music News







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Hey, Friend,

Happy… Summer?

So I’m never one to complain about the weather. I prefer cooler temperatures in general, so winter/snow/etc isn’t bothersome. I also chose to live in Cleveland, so I know it gets hot in the summer.

But this year, it feels like we’re in the beginning of some blockbuster disaster film, where things start going haywire with the weather… and theres a group of scientists who’ve been warning about potential calamity, but the government dismissed them as alarmists peddling propaganda.

Oh wait… 

Regardless, for the moment at least, life continues on! A few weeks back, my co-producer Eric & I got a chance to sit down an finalize all the mixes for my upcoming full-length, House of Ghosts, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it sounds. I’ll be working on the artwork within the next few weeks, and putting together the promotional & release plan, after which I’ll finally be able to share a release date! Make sure to follow my social media accounts to catch that info first.

The mixing and editing for my video EP Almost Like Live is also complete- and as expected, Mark Sowers knocked it out of the park on the visuals for this one. I’m releasing the songs one by one – here’s the first one, “Fresh Out of Love Songs”:

I’ve got a few nice batch of concerts this month, and it would be wonderful to see some friendly faces at those shows!



As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael






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April Music News









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Hey, Friend,

Happy Spring, or something like it!

The calendar assures me that soon, the grass will start to turn green again, flowers will poke their heads through the soil, and young hearts will turn to love. But that calendar’s 2 years out of date, and I’m only keeping it because I like the pictures of tigers for each month, so I’m not sure how well I should trust it.

Regardless, things charge ahead! The mixes for my upcoming full-length, House of Ghosts, are sounding fantastic. I had the opportunity to give a sneak preview of three of the tracks, and chat about tour stories with Mike Sandy on the CLE show last week – you can check out the interview here!

No release date set yet, but if you want to be first in line to know when that’s announced, make sure to follow my social media accounts to keep up to date.

Editing is also almost all complete on Almost Like Live, the multimedia EP that I’ll also be releasing shortly. Here’s a few still frames from the videos – as expected, Mark Sowers knocked it out of the park on the visuals for this one.

I’ve got a few shows this month, including one TONIGHT in Erie, PA with my friends in Ashley. I’d love to see some friendly faces at those shows!



As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Also, while I don’t usually mention it in these e-mails (they are, after all, labelled as “music news”), one of the many hats I wear is running a board game company. We’ve got a Kickstarter campaign going right now for our second game, a memory game called Flip & Find’s Diner that’s all about trying to remember where you left your noodles. If you’re in to tabletop games, give it a look!

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael

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March Music News









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Hey, Friend,

Happy March!

My birthday month is upon us. I’ve never quite understood the saying about how “March comes in like a lion” until last night, when I walked to the local convenience store through gale-force winds and thundersnow. Those barbecue chips were totally worth it, though.

Things are charging forward with getting the new record finished! This past week I’ve been listening to the first full set of House of Ghosts mixes Eric (of Eric Bert Audio) sent over, and they’re sounding fantastic. I’ll be getting my mix notes back to him within the next few days, and it’s going to be a wonderfully short document. I intend to have the album artwork complete by the end of next week, so a release date can’t be far behind… be sure to keep an eye on my various social media outlets for the latest news on all that!

I’ve also been working on upgrades to my recording space, Spontaneously Combustible Studio, where I recorded the new record, and am currently producing records for several other artists, including my good friends Kevin Conaway and Sean Benjamin. The studio now features a properly grounded electrical system, snazzy track lighting, and most recently, a logo mural (as pictured) by Kim Kennedy. If you’re looking to hire someone to paint something big on a wall (or something small on a canvas), head to allyouneediskim.com and hit her up.

I’ve got a few shows this month, including my yearly sojourn to Cape May, New Jersey to play at the Singer-Songwriter Cape May Festival, a show tomorrow night in Kent where I grew up, and a mid-week gig in Cleveland with my friends in Ashley. I’d love to see some friendly faces at those shows!



As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Cheers,
Michael

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February Music News









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Hey, Friend,

Did you see your shadow?

Groundhog day has come and gone. Punxsutawney Phil, despite Bill Murray’s best attempts, emerged from his hole at Gobbler’s Knob, saw his shadow, and predicted that winter is not yet over. Judging by the weather forecast here in Cleveland, that seems entirely believable.

While I was growing up, my parents were avid gardeners, and so I always thought of groundhogs as troublesome beasts, sneaking through fences and devouring tomorrow’s dinner. It struck me as strange that some saw them as sage creatures, prognosticating the weather. I also was confused because I was never quite sure if they were the same as woodchucks (they are), and if so, why there were no clever rhymes asking about how much ground a groundhog could hog (if one could hog ground). Since those days, I’ve learned that these creatures are also known as Whistlepigs, Thickwood Badgers, Canada Marmots, and my new favorite, Weenusks. (Any other good ones I should know about? Write me back and let me know!)

All of this is apropos of exactly nothing, except that it’s still cold outside, which means that it’s good weather to stay in and try to accomplish things to stave off crippling depression. One big thing I accomplished in January: I successfully got all the tracks for my new full-length record, House of Ghosts, handed off to Eric Bertagnolli of Eric Bert Audio for mixing! Which means it won’t be long before these 10 new songs will be heading towards your ears.

Every time I start working on a new record, I worry that what I’m creating won’t be as good as the last thing I released, and that I’ve already written my best songs. Having said that, I’m not trying to be self-congratulatory when I say that when I closed out the recording sessions for House of Ghosts, I felt truly proud of what I’d created. I really love this set of songs; I feel like I’ve written and recorded something that I would want to listen to, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I hope you feel the same way.

I’m starting to ramp up my show schedule a bit, now that I’m done with the heavy lifting of recording the new album:



As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot – I’m also working on a 4-song audio-visual release called Almost Like Live, which will feature 4 tracks from House of Ghosts, recorded in a studio setting, but performed exactly like I do on stage – beatboxing, looped vocals and guitar percussion, the whole deal. Each song will be accompanied by an almost-like-live video shot by my good friend Mark Sowers – he was the videographer on the A Work In Progress music video, and if you’ve seen any press shots of me in the last few years, he’s also behind the camera on those. You can check out his Instagram here.

I’m not positive if Almost Like Live will come out before or after House of Ghosts. What I do know is that my next two releases are, abbreviated, ALL & HOG. All Hog. An apt description of my treatise on Whistlepigs earlier.

Thanks again for joining me on this journey, and special thanks if you made it this far in the e-mail, for allowing me to indulge in these digressions.

Cheers,
Michael

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January Music News








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Hey, Friend,

Happy New Year!

We’re less than 2 weeks in to 2018, and already I’ve successfully mis-written the year as 2017 at least a dozen times. I think that’s a new personal record!

Speaking of new records, even though I stayed primarily in North East Ohio during 2017, I played more shows over the course of the year than in any year previous. I’m aiming to keep that momentum going throughout 2018, with new music, new videos, and if plans come together, a new tour or two! If there’s any specific part of the country you’d like me to visit, please write me back to let me know… a friendly couch to crash on and suggestions of nearby venues to play would also be great.

Also on the topic of new records (pun fully intended), I’m excited that recording is completed for my new full-length, House of Ghosts! My target was to have it wrapped up by the end of 2017, and I just barely met that goal – the final vocal track was completed at 7:00 P.M. on December 31! Let it never be said that I don’t like to live dangerously…

That picture you see here is of the project file right after completion. If those screens were a mirror, you’d see a my ugly mug sporting a cheesy, self-satisfied grin, so I thought this would be more appealing.

Just because tracking is complete doesn’t mean that the project is over, though! I still have to prep the tracks to hand off to my co-producer Eric Bertagnolli (he also played the drums on the record) of Eric Bert Audio – if you pop over to his Soundcloud Page, you can catch a first listen to the title track of House of Ghosts… though there might be a few adjustments to the song before it’s officially released – and I’ll be finishing the album art while Eric completes mixing and mastering the record. I’ll be sure to let you know when the official release date has been set!

To make sure that release date isn’t too far in the future, I’ve only taken on a light load of shows this month – just two of’em at the moment:


As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

I hope your year is starting off well… Thanks for joining me for another spin around the sun!

Cheers,
Michael




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December Music News








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Hey, Friend,

Happy December!

Every year, it’s always a surprise to me when December 1 rolls around – not that I didn’t expect that it would happen eventually, but the passage of time still bewilders me. Last December seems a lifetime away, and yet this year feels like it’s passed by incredibly quickly.

Recording for House of Ghosts is almost complete – all instruments have been recorded, and all that’s left is my final vocal tracks. Those would have been completed earlier, but I ran up against a bit of a chest cold later on in November, and was also out of town for a bit over a week celebrating Thanksgiving in California with my parents, and the majority of my siblings, nieces and nephews. I’m still not entirely de-jetlagged from the trip, but it was well worth it.

Since it’s December, I’ll likely continue my tradition of putting out a new video of me performing a Christmas or holiday song. No promises to when that will drop, but you can check out the playlist of previous holiday offerings, and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get a notification for when that goes live!

I’ve got a nice batch of shows this month, including one tonight!


As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

I hope you have a great holiday season! Thanks for joining me for another year on this journey!

Cheers,
Michael




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November Music News








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Hey, Friend,

House of Ghosts is nearing completion!

There’s a lot that goes in to making a record: writing the songs, road-testing them, pre-production… but for me, the biggest milestone is always finishing the drums; whether it’s using found objects, like on A Failed Breakup and A Sarcastic Tango, using percussive sounds created entirely on my guitar, like on We Are The Architects, or using a full studio drum kit like on Made a Mess, Waking Up Is A Letdown, and now House of Ghosts, finalizing the drum tracks always feels like the tipping point, where the structure and foundation of the record is complete, and all that’s left is to add the finishing touches.

That’s why I’m crazy excited that this past weekend, my co-producer Eric Bertagnolli came in to the studio for two days, and knocked out all the remaining drum tracks for the record.

This also means there’s a finalized track order!

1. The Things You Couldn’t Find
2. House of Ghosts
3. Fresh Out Of Love Songs
4. Skip
5. The Photograph Lies
6. If I Had Happened
7. The Last Sunset
8. A Work In Progress
9. The Year We Came Alive
10. Starting To Believe

In the course of recording, Eric broke one of this sticks, so I got him to sign it for posterity:

With the drums complete, I expect I should have the rest of the tracks complete and sent over to Eric for mixing by the end of November!

I’ve also got a nice batch of shows coming up this month, including a show at The Winchester in Lakewood, Ohio, opening for a couple great acts on tour:
I The Victor (Atlanta, GA) 
Fletcher’s Grove (Morgantown, WV)

That show’s happening Friday, November 3 – you can find the Facebook event here.

Here’s a list of all the shows I’ve got on the calendar this month:


As always, there’s a chance a few more dates may pop up on my calendar – you can always find all the upcoming shows on my Tour Dates page.

Finally, since we just passed my favorite holiday (Halloween), Allow me a little self-indulgence in sharing this year’s costume (and a LOT of self-indulgence in the presentation of the costume in poster form!) You can’t see all the details in this, but the accessories included a functioning walkman with a playable cassette copy of The Awesome Mix, Vol. 1. It’s the little details that matter!

Thanks again for taking this journey with me!

Cheers,
Michael




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