Showing posts with label Mike Fekete. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Fekete. Show all posts

February 17, 2013

Listen Hear! - Fingerpicking

Listen Hear! is a periodic (probably irregular) feature covering what I'm listening to these days.  Feel free to comment and let me know what you are listening to these days.

Here's a few of the new CDs I've been spinning lately.  At least...fairly new.  I don't always get stuff right away, but that's ok!

Michael DeLalla is a local guitarist.  You can visit his site, Falling Mountain Music.  Looks like he is working on a new tour.  He does tour pretty regularly and I would suggest you go see him, very entertaining.  His new CD, this is how i disappear is available at his site or CDbaby.

I'm so glad to see Mike Fekete put out another album.  I love his playing and his compositions.  Great to see his piece, "The Sacred Monster Blues" committed to this new effort.  I've heard it live a time or two, good stuff.  Check out Dakota Territory Blues at

Ah, and then I have a duo of Tompkins Square releases.  TS has been busy lately and I'm behind on releases.  But these are the two that are spinning furiously in the player at the moment   And furious might be an apt description of some of the playing here!  Imaginational Anthem hits a surprising volume #5!  Who'd a thunk it?  It's not quite the line-up of newbies and unknowns that we were treated to in the initial IA.  But then isn't that to be expected by Vol. five?  Bill Orcutt gets the best song title award for "John Fahey Commemorative Beer Can."

Rounding out the duo is Daniel Bachman's Seven Pines.  Bachman is touring like a madman, even making two stops here in Colorado to my surprise, very exciting!!  So dig up his schedule and watch for him.  You can get the TS releases at and widely at your favorite shop.

That's it for now.  I plan on this being a regular feature and I hope you dig it!

October 12, 2011

Mike Fekete & Pat O'Connell

What's better than seeing a Pat O'Connell or Mike Fekete show?  How about a show they do together?  You've gotta read this nice little article about how two guys got together to play some music.

Read the article HERE

Here is a short clip of a duet they performed.  Both of these guys got me into Slack Key guitar, thanks guys.

Check them out
Pat O'Connell on CDbaby


January 26, 2011

Mike Fekete - Olympia Winter Nights

Mike Fekete performed a 30 minute set on a live television show in Olympia WA Friday, January 28th. It's a cool live in-studio music performance show called Olympia Winter Nights. It will broadcast on local television, but it will also stream on the net.  Here are some hi-lights if you missed the show.

For more information or to see archived video of the performance visit the show's website

Be sure to check for updates on Mike's Facebook page.
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December 5, 2010

Podcast - Christmas Music & Jack Rose Tribute

In this first episode I play some tracks from the new Sean Smith Christmas release as well as tracks by Mike Fekete and Ragtime Ralph. The second part of the show is a tribute to Jack Rose where I play a wide variety of his music.

Or DOWNLOAD the show.

Download from iTunes or search Delta Slider in the iTunes store.

Show Notes

00:53 – Sean Smith – Christmas Time is Here, a Meditation from “Christmas”

03:14 – Mike Fekete – Silent Night, KAOS 89.3 Olympia WA broadcast

09:58 – Ragtime Ralph – White Christmas from “Vol. 4”

14:23 - Sean Smith – Christmas Morning (Improvisation I) from “Christmas”

15:32 - Sean Smith - Christmas Eve (Improvisation II) from “Christmas”

17:03 - Part Two – Jack Rose

18:20 – Jack Rose – Tex from BBC Maida Vale

31:55 - Jack Rose – Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground from BBC Maida Vale

36:01 - Jack Rose – Kensington Blues from Peel Sessions

39:16 – Jack Rose – Buckdancer’s Choice from split 7” on Funeral Folk (same cut as Dr. Ragtime CDr)

41:40 – Jack Rose – How Green was my Valley from split 7” on Funeral Folk

43:53 – Jack Rose – Knoxville Blues from Dr. Ragtime CDr

Credits, etcetera…
Thanks to Tompkins Square, Mike Fekete and Ragtime Ralph for permission to play selected cuts.
Jack Rose cuts are bootlegs or out of print.
Thanks to James “Tapeleg” Gralian for the voice over introduction.
Into and outro bumper music by Ragtime Ralph
Produced by J Scott Moore

Please leave a comment or a review on iTunes to let me know what you thought of the show! Thanks for listening.


November 9, 2010

An Interview with Mike Fekete

All week Delta-Slider will be running interviews with artists from the Imaginational Anthem Vol 4 release.  Today we are talking to Mike Fekete.
When I met you on your last tour you mentioned having a strong opinion about guitars for solo guitar, would you like to expand on that? Maybe start by telling me what you play...
  I play a Taylor 312ce which I bought new in 2000, right around when I started playing solo guitar. It's been my main guitar since then. I think that what I was talking about when we met was about solo guitar records, not about guitars themselves.

I am curious about what attracted you to solo guitar.
  What I'm drawn to most is the idea of seeing how much can be expressed by one person within the constraint of one instrument.

You have some pretty long pieces, how much do you improvise during live performances? While recording?
  When I play live I like to connect pieces together and improvise the segues. As far as improvising within the actual compositions, I do change the amount of times I repeat certain ideas, but I rarely do anything like improvise a melody. I never improvise while recording.

You seem to go on tour regularly lately, is that something you enjoy?
  I like everything about it. It's always interesting to see how the music resonates differently based on the geography. Also, I'm a big fan of driving long distances alone, and touring with this kind of music provides many opportunities for that. The only hard part I can really think of is trying to talk about it without sounding cliché.

How is George Winston important to you?
  He has everything to do with me being a solo instrumentalist. It was his solo piano album, Plains, that first made me want to play solo instrumental music. He also produced and released--on his Dancing Cat label--the compilation, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters, which was the first guitar record to have a big impact on me. In addition, I recently found out that he was responsible for providing the previously unreleased first half of Fahey's, America, for the 1998 CD reissue--which is my favorite Fahey album and the most influential on me. He told me that he was going through a used record bin in Los Angeles and he came across a double LP in a blank sleeve and the only thing written on the label was "John Fahey" which was in what he recognized as John's own handwriting. It turned out to be the original test pressing of America, including the first half, which at that point nobody really knew existed. George has influenced my music in many different ways, and I've also gotten to know him personally a bit, and through that relationship have been inspired by his deep kindness and generosity.

Considering the critical acclaim that this series has garnered, how do you feel about being included in this 4th volume?
  I'm a big fan of the first three volumes, and of Tompkins Square in general, so it's a total honor. Also, I personally think this new volume is a solid addition to the series, and I'm very proud to have been a part of that.

Tell me about your connection to Pat O'Connell. Have you met other members of the compilation?
  I got in touch with Pat after hearing him on the Fahey tribute, Revenge of Blind Joe Death. We began communicating and discovered that we both grew up in Ohio, and literally right down the road from each other. The more I got into his music, the more I could see how much we come from the same place musically as well. What I'm drawn to most about Pat is his strong sense of melody. He currently lives in New Mexico, and I'm in Washington State, and we still haven't met in person--although I've enjoyed getting to know him via email. We've been trying to meet up in Ohio to do some shows, but we haven't been able to work it out yet. The only person on the compilation that I've actually met is Aaron Sheppard. I first met him at a show I was doing in Santa Cruz. I played with Sean Smith in San Francisco the night before and Sean had been raving about Aaron--so based on that I invited him to come up and play during the set break. His playing was so impressive that it turned into a long break. I invited him up after my second set as well. Afterward, he told me it was only the third time he had played in front of an audience. One thing I really love about Aaron's playing is how articulate the rhythm of his right hand is. Besides being a great guitarist, he is also one of the nicest people I've met. We did a show together down in Portland not too long ago, and I hope to do more performances with him in the future.

Future projects we should know about?
  I put out four EP's between 2001 and 2006 which were all limited release, and are currently unavailable. I'd like to make them available again, and that'll probably be my next release. Also, I have most of my next album written, and I'd like to have that out sometime in 2012. I like to sit with music for a quite a while before I record it.

Be sure to check out Mike Fekete on CDbaby
Mike is also on MySpace, and Facebook.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of IA4 on CD.  I'll pick the best one on Friday.

And don't forget that you can buy IA4 on vinyl, very limited edition and well priced.  Get it HERE
Probably much shinier than this old thing.

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November 8, 2010

Imaginational Anthem Vol 4 - Tompkins Square

I think the most important function of a compilation CD is to introduce us to new artists. I’ve come to count on that in fact. I will often give a compilation a chance if there is one artist on it that I recognize, with the hope that the others will pan out.
IA4 does not disappoint. I’m already familiar with roughly half of the gentlemen on this release. But the other half are unknown to me or I’ve heard them mentioned around but haven’t hunted them down yet. So a compilation is always a great way to get me motivated to search out the new sounds presented to me.

This week Delta-Slider will feature interviews with three of the guitarists on the IA4 release, Aaron Sheppard, Pat O’Connell and Mike Fekete.

The excellent radio show, Sideways Through Sound will feature the IA4 release this week.  A happy coincidence.  It's an Australian show but it streams online and you can d/l the shows too, so check it out.

Here are some links to the artists of IA4
Chris Forsyth
William Tyler has this excellent release, The Paper Hats
Sam Moss has a lot of releases that you should be listening too!
Nick Jonah Davis has a fantastic release that appears to only be available on eMusic.
Pat O'Connell on CDbaby!
Tyler Ramsey
Micah Blue Smaldone will be touring with Cian Nugent soon! 
Mike Fekete on CDbaby!
Aaron Sheppard on MySpace
C Joynes on Myspace

Buy the CD at Tompkins Square, or get the vinyl while they last.

The interviews start tomorrow so stick around!

And one more thing,  leave a comment on this post or any of the posts this week for a chance to win a copy of the IA4 CD.  I'll pick the best comment on Friday.

July 11, 2010

Mike Fekete - Summer Tour Dates and a Free MP3

Folks, I'm happy to say that Mike Fekete has some upcoming solo guitar performance dates!!

He was recently on 89.3 KAOS in Olympia, WA doing an in-studio performance and was kind enough to allow me to post one of the songs from Charlie Zaillian's weekly show, Defensive Indifference.

Download the song HERE

Folks, if you are anywhere along Mike's tour route this summer, I highly suggest that you make the effort to go see him play.  Mike is full of music and he wants nothing more than to share it with you.  Though he has only one CD currently available, he has a lot more music in those fingers of his.
He recently passed through Colorado and I went to two of the shows.
So what will you hear at a Mike Fekete show?
You will likely hear Mike's treatment of a John Denver or a Band song. 
But most of all you will hear Mike's work, perhaps his suite of songs titled Museum 1, 2 and 3, though he doesn't necessarily play them in that order.
Of course you will hear a few tunes from the CD, Raccoon in a Tree being one of my favorites, but you will also hear a lot of other music that hasn't been widely released (or at all).  And that is part of what makes the live performance so essential, he has so much music to share that you probably haven't heard before!
And then there is the 20 minute finale, "The Sacred Monster Blues Suite"  Fantastic stuff.

Tour Dates:

7/17 – Coal Creek Coffee – Laramie, WY

7/18 – Off The Leaf – Billings, MT

7/19 – Wild Joe’s – Bozeman, MT

7/20 – The Hummingbird Cafe – Butte, MT

7/21 – One World Cafe – Moscow, ID

7/23 – Calypsos – Coeur d’Alene, ID w/ Jonathan Nicholson

7/24 – Indaba – Spokane, WA w/ Jonathan Nicholson

7/28 – The Camellia Lounge – Portland, OR w/ Aaron Sheppard

8/2 – Barking Spider Tavern – Cleveland, OH

8/12 – Rider’s Inn – Painesville, OH

8/13 – Central Vineyard – Columbus, OH w/ Brian Werstler and John Morgan

8/15 – Rider’s Inn – Painesville, OH

8/27 – Cafe Luna – Vashon Island, WA

8/28 – El Diablo – Seattle, WA

Mike Fekete on Myspace
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June 8, 2010

Beyond Berkeley Guitar

This release is the follow up to the 2006 Tompkins Square release of Berkeley Guitar. This time Sean Smith expands the concept with more guitarists from a wider region geographically as well as musically.

I have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed with this disc the first time I gave it a spin. Or the second or third. But the compositions have grown on me. I suppose that I was taken a bit off-guard by the expansion of styles and Smith notes the danger of such an endeavor. I’m very partial to the Takoma style and I don’t have the background that many of these artists have in electronic music. They are obviously coming from a different place than I am musically. And I’m sure that affects what I hear. To me, the electronic/solo acoustic connection is a mystery.

Anyway, the CD starts off great with the promising young Aaron Sheppard. I found Sheppard on MySpace some time ago and was reminded of him by Mike Fekete recently. They met during Fekete’s latest tour through the area. Sheppard is a guy I will be keeping my eye on and I’m looking forward to a Gnome Life release.

“Dream of a Distant Summer” starts as a quiet piece that builds in intensity until the notes are like the blinding Sun as it shimmers on a rippled pond. Richard Osborn has great chops, but the improvised composition begins to fall apart near the end. Nonetheless I’ve come to enjoy this piece.

Trevor Healy deftly veers the feel back toward Takoma-country with his 12 string work. This one is strong on melody and Healy takes his time. Like I said, merely veering towards Takoma, this isn’t Kottke.

Chuck Johnson completes the return with a very nice Takoma-style performance full of pertinent pauses and nuances that really make this piece work.  Tompkins is offering this as a free mp3 downlod.  "A Struggle, Not A Thought"

Sean Smith checks in with cut #5. As is usual with Smith, he doesn’t disappoint. Modern American Primitive as I have come to expect from Smith. This one lasts eleven plus minutes but you don’t notice it.

Lucas Boilon’s “Studies Of The Oak As Pertaining To Drudic Rites Of Passage” is almost longer in title than the piece itself. However, Boilon’s playing turns out to be a rather compelling performance recorded in his living room.

And wrapping things up is Ava Mendoza. I applaud the intention by Smith but I just don’t see how this piece of music fits into this concept. It’s jazz. Now, before anyone gets bent out of shape that I’m not gushing over Mendoza’s inclusion in this project (as many are) and suggests something foul: I have taken lessons from three very good guitarists over the last few years. Two of them women, specifically: Mary Flower. So don’t even…ok? I just don’t think it fits into the concept, no reflection on her playing or style.

That wraps it. If you are looking for old-school Takoma playing, look elsewhere. If you want to expand your listening and discover some new musicians, look no further.
I highly suggest that you pop over to Work and Worry this week. They have scored an interview with each and every one of these artists and will be running one a day all week.

February 1, 2010

Delta-Slider’s Tops of the Decade

Hey, you aren’t a real blog if you don’t do a Top Ten list, Best of the Decade or some other sort of list that says, “I know something you don’t…”

Well I don’t know shit, but here it goes anyway…

in no particular order:

Bob Brozman is usually all over the place, and that's fine, but I generally like his blues work the best. And this one is a beauty! You can get a run-down of each song on Blues Reflex at his website. I love to read where the song is from, what the artist was trying to do or how they got an idea. This isn't your usual blues playing and Brozman smacking, tapping and beating on the guitar is a bonus! Get it!

Yair Yona is up next, going in a completely different direction.  See my short review of this one here, posted just recently. 

Glenn Jones' three releases have all been great and after much waffling I pretty much picked this one at random.  They are all very good efforts.  But I do have one criticism of Glenn, dude, post your touring schedule somewhere, I just missed you recently and I'm very sad.

Ah, Sean Smith.  This was one of the first modern American Primitive releases that I stumbled across.  Though his second effort is arguably more intricate and his composition abilities made a huge leap, this one is a favorite of mine, perhaps just because of how blown away the first time I heard it.  You can find him HERE

Jack Rose was a monster when it came to releasing stuff and I decided that one of the rules I was going to have for this list was only one effort per artist would be listed. When I got to Rose, that rule made things difficult. But I decided to go with Kensington Blues.  It's got a little of everything, slide, 12 string, 6 string, raga and rag influences and a Fahey cover.  Be sure to check out VHF Records, Thrill Jockey and Three Lobed Records for releases.

I came across Andrew Stranglen either on the Fahey board or MySpace...or maybe it was CD Baby...I don't recall, but I'm glad I did.  This little gem is about as far as I go when it comes to experimental music.  I know, I know, maybe I need to try harder.  But nonetheless this one works for me.  Love it!

Ok, Cam Deas.  Here's a guy I found clicking around on MySpace again.  He gets the comparisons to James Blackshaw, and he does play 12 string, but Deas is much rawer, something I like.  This release WAS available here but he has since re-released it so you'll have to go to his site to get it.  Go HERE to read the review.

Careening back into the realm of blues: Felonius Smith is a local here in Colorado and I have the good fortune to see a lot of good live music from these guys. Get the CD Hoolay Moolay.  This is blues with an old-timey and fun feel to it.  But don't let that fool you, there's some great chops on this one.  Felonius studied with Bob Brozman before moving to Colorado.

John Hammond has really come though on this one. This is strictly solo guitar and harmonica along with some stomping and grunting. Hammond is an amazing act to catch live and this is almost as good.

Pat O’Connell was featured here on Delta-Slider back in June of 2009 when I wrote a review of his forth-coming release of On the Sunny Side of Ashland, also available at Amazon.

Mike Fekete was featured here in August of 2009 as a prelude to a successful tour. Mike is planning on re-releasing some of his earlier work this year. You can get his CD Yellow and Red on Amazon or CDbaby.

Mike Fekete and Pat O’Connell have something in common, besides being great guitarists. They, along with Aaron Sheppard are expected to be on the next release of Tompkins Square’s Imaginational Anthem Vol. 4. Yeah, freakin’ awesome, eh? In addition, Sheppard is going to be on volume two of Berkeley Guitar. Volume one of Berkeley Guitar gets an honorable mention in the Delta-Slider list.

Nick Schillace’s first solo CD, Box Canyon was fantastic, but he upped the ante with the second: Landscape and People.  You can also get his stuff at CD Baby

Next we have C. Joynes’ Anglo-Naïve and Contemporary Parlour Guitar Vol. 1.  The title is a bit much but the music is much simpler. I love the feel of the recording. I think this is a home recording and it has a great feel to it. The songs are simple and beautiful. Joynes has a real talent for playing songs in an unhurried way. It’s a real hard thing to do, most people try to play everything as fast as possible. Whenever I try to play slow it just sounds boring…and slow.  This is out of print so d/l it at the link above.  Don't miss this one.  Also, Joynes has been busy as of late and you can get a couple more releases on Amazon or at the label, Bo'Weavil Recordings.

Next is Ragtime Ralph’s Vol. 4 release, click on the lick to d/l it!!
Ragtime Ralph and his nom de plume Blind Brand X have been VERY popular downloads here on Delta-Slider. All of his stuff is here on Delta-Slider and it's all free.  And it's all good.  Just give him a listen, you’ll understand!

Mark Lemhouse plays the blues, damnit!  This release, Big Lonesome Radio is amazing.  No, I don’t have a free download for ya. Here’s the deal, this came out in 2002 and since then Lemhouse has been spiraling into insanity, an insanity catalyzed by banjo playing. It’s said that he wanders aimlessly around the Northwest. And when he isn’t plunking his Banjo, he’s cuddled up to it asleep…dreaming of plunking it. Nonetheless, he does stop by Yellow Dog Records once in a while to pick up a royalty check.  Won’t you buy a copy of Big Lonesome Radio?

Pat Donohue's latest is Freeway Man.  This is one of the best Donohue has put out in years. His choice of music is unique and he arranges them nicely as well. He’s got a thumb and an attack that is just so solid.

This was really off the top of my head hard and took a lot of time!   I was going to do an honorable mentions section but I think I will just save that for a later post skip it.

I’m sure I forgot some great music. What do you think I should have included?

What do you think of what I DID include?

How is it possible that I didn’t include a single Radiohead release?

August 27, 2009

Mike Fekete - Yellow and Red

Mike Fekete is currently living in one of the hottest places for music, especially acoustic guitar music, the Northwest of the United States. He keeps good company with the likes of Terry Robb, Sean Smith (a little less North), Mary Flower and even John Fahey. Specifically, Mike Fekete lives in Olympia, WA. At 29 years old he is part of the new wave of musicians that has embraced the beauty and power of the acoustic guitar. Even better, he plays solo acoustic.

Mike says his music is equally rooted in the Takoma sound as well as the Windham Hill sound. Now, I like a guy that will stand up and mention Windham Hill. It has taken a beating for a long time, and still does, but the fact of the matter is that Will Ackerman sought out and signed a lot of very talented musicians. One of which was George Winston.

George Winston has had occasion to listen to Mike's music and says, "Mike Fekete is one of the great new 21st Century guitarist/composers." Now that is high praise indeed. I bet that makes you want to hear some Mike Fekete.

Mike has been kind enough to allow me to post a song from his release, Yellow and Red and make it available for download!

Click on the player to listen to "Magnolia (In Blossom)"

Click on the link to download your copy.

If you like that piece you need to head on out (but please come back) to



or iTunes

Visit Mike on MySpace

to get your copy Yellow and Red. The hard copy is very reasonably priced if you are the type that still likes an actual CD, or you can d/l it for a bit less.

So, having given Yellow & Red a good, thorough listen, I see what Mike is saying about his roots. In a single song his is very likely to start off down the Windham Hill of sweet melody only to subtly veer into Takoma territory with a bit of dissonance and aggressive picking. Strings rattling, the bass line shifting in and out of harmony and then deftly, you are back on the road he started you down, the sweet melody is back and you think, OK, I need to hear that again! A couple of my favorites are track 6, Not Above Not Below and track 8, Rainforest Coast.
Back to the Windham Hill influences, it's interesting that Mike sites Winston as his reason for picking up the guitar as a solo instrument. When he started playing solo guitar, he had yet to discover the genre, so he was trying to play music like Winston, but on guitar. Next came Hawaiian Slack Key and then the flood gates opened eventually leading him back to Winston when he found that Fahey had produced Winston's first album. I think the title cut sounds like it's got a lot of Hedges in it, so the influences do go beyond Winston.