During the past few months, we received three excellent albums of what could be described as “old timey” music. We thought it would be apt to do a quick round-up of these. We borrowed the article’s title from The Howling Kettles (it’s the tagline for their website). Continue reading
I sat down over tea with composer and multi-instrumentalist, Mike Tamburo, near his home in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. We talked at length about the arc of his musical career from the middle half of last decade to present. Mike will be on tour starting in July, supporting his latest recording as Brother Ong, Mysteries of the Shahi Baaja Volumes 1 & 2.
W&W: It seems like whenever I’m out performing there will inevitably be someone who, after finding out I’m from Pittsburgh, asks: “How’s Mike Tamburo? Make sure you tell him that I said hello.”
W&W: The community that’s loosely formed around guitar music tends to be a small world. You’ve obviously made your way around it and left a positive impression. Can you reminisce for a bit about the years when you were touring extensively: where all did you go and who were some of your touring companions?
First of all, tell them all that I’m fine. (laughs again) In 2005, I decided that I wanted to permanently stay on tour. I’d just been through a traumatic shift in my life… honestly, at that time music was the only thing that I had. I didn’t really know where to start. A lot of people were connecting for the first time through the internet. So I started reaching out to people that way, booking shows during the three week period before I left. Nick Schillace found me and suggested we go out on tour together. I listened to his music, which was incredible, and said “let’s give it a try.” Other than talking to him on the phone I didn’t know anything about him or his life…
W&W: It’s a quick way to get to know someone!
(laughs) … definitely, and we were headed through a part of the country that’s a little bit harder to tour in, making our way from Detroit to Seattle. I remember South Dakota was very difficult. We ended up playing at a Christian Bookstore and I accidentally offended the promoter. It’s one of the memories that is sure to keep Nick and I close (laughs again)… we endured the “red” states together, and parts of the country that neither of us had any experience with. We had beautiful shows in Iowa City, Nebraska, Minneapolis (where I met Paul Metzger) and Seattle. By the end of it, Nick had become one of my closest friends. His older songs feel like the soundtrack to my life during that time. Continue reading
The Fantastic Voyagers Festival has become one of my favorite Pittsburgh traditions these last few years. Certified-fantastic organizer Mike Tamburo has now curated three installments of the fest, and each has been a unique experience, always musically expansive and diverse. Though Tamburo has been staying close to home and concentrating on hammer dulcimer compositions for the last couple of years, he has toured extensively for the better part of a decade, and he’s forged enduring friendships with musicians from all over the country. When Mike sent me the early lineup for this years installment, having moved the proceedings to Jeffrey Alexander’s intimate Morning Glory Coffeehouse and declaring it a “return to the quiet”, I knew that it was going to be a great time, and that I would have to make every attempt to document the event for W&W. Continue reading
Though a couple of acts are still being confirmed, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tamburo has announced the lineup for the third installment of his Fantastic Voyagers Festival, to be held this year at Morning Glory Coffeehouse on March 6 and 7. The musicians represent several styles, genres and techniques, and this years fest will see its participants exploring the quieter side of their repertoires.
The confirmed list (not necessarily in order of appearance) :
Keenan Lawler (Louisville)
Nick Schillace (Detroit)
Eric Carbonara (Philly)
Chris Forsyth (Philly)
Aaron Lennox (West Virginia)
Joel Peterson (Detroit)
Mike Tamburo and pals (Pittsburgh)
Sundog Peacehouse (Pittsburgh)
Tusk Lord (Pittsburgh)
Hunted Creatures (Pittsburgh)
Melissa St. Pierre (Pittsburgh)
Dire Wolves (Pittsburgh)
Chris Niels (Pittsburgh)
Great Blue Heron (Pittsburgh)
Darren Myers (Pittsburgh)
Well, the title of the post and the above image pretty much say it all… if you’re in the Detroit area, don’t miss these shows! These three fine players, formerly known as Jennie & The Sure Shots, were in Pittsburgh just a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to get this video of their song “Leave That Country”.
That’s the amazing Nick Schillace back there on the resonator guitar! If you’re a fan of solo acoustic guitar, I can also highly recommend Nick’s two solo albums : Box Canyon and Landscape and People.