Tales From the Wood

By Mike On January 14th, 2017 in Installments, Tunes /

So, it took almost 4 years, but I finally have a follow-up to my debut “Mighty Lopez” CD. “Tales From the Wood” is a pretty serious departure from the feel & presentation of that collection. Whereas “Mighty Lopez” is pretty much me & my 12-string, live off-the-floor, warts & all, with minimal overdubs, each song on “Tales…” was given room & allowance to evolve & mature using whatever instrumentation was suggested. The result is a pretty disparate, almost schizophrenic collection of aural vignettes, as varied as a photo album from a road trip across North America.
This album wouldn’t have happened without George Axon (see his bio page). It was his idea & he did most of the work. We used his mics, he played some killer dobro, mandolin & lap-steel,he produced & engineered, I took over his house & his life for a few months….all because he liked my songs & wanted to make them shine. I am lucky to have met him & to have forged the musical relationship we have.
These songs were written between 2013-2016 & feature a couple of collaborations & another R. Carstens tune. I recorded his song “Writing on Benzedrine” on “Mighty Lopez”, and he passed away a year later. “Waiting For the Walls to Cave In” is a great song we used to play together years ago. Sean Cotton is another one of those people who, like George, has been put in my path & who has become a great musical partner & friend. I can bounce song ideas off Sean & always get something clever back…in “Hard Time of Year” his re-write of my lyrics was the keeper. He also wrote “Dancing Moose”, which I recorded for an “Edge of the Woods” theater company project. Following a conversation about tastes in country music, George & I began skyping ideas back & forth until “Hillbilly & Honkytonk” was born. “Every Time You Smile” was written by George for his wife Brenda in honor of their wedding anniversary.
Then there are the musicians. Aidan Mason on the fiddle, Ed Roth on organ, Brad Smith on harp, Sean Cotton on slide & Jamie Sherman on nylon-string guitar. What I’m especially proud of, is having my big bro Brigham Phillips blow his horn on a couple of these tracks. I’ve always had a little brothers’ admiration for his musicianship, and he didn’t let me down here!
So, enjoy.

P.S. if you enjoy this preview, please send me an email mightylopez9@gmail.com to arrange to order your pre-release copy of “Tales From the Wood”…that would be greatly appreciated!

Espresso & Weed

Every Time You Smile

Dining Down & Out

Hard Time of Year

Hillbilly & Honky Tonk

Shot With My Own Gun

I’m Leaving

Oil Boomtown

Waiting for the Walls to Cave in

I Didn’t Stand a Chance

Walking With My Baby

Dancing Moose

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The Lousy Blogger’s new CD

By Mike On November 1st, 2016 in Installments /

Ya…I hafta admit I’m lousy updating my website. I haven’t logged in in over a year…brutal! That’s no reflection on how busy I’ve been musically…I’ve been steadily gigging around Muskoka, both as a solo act, & as a bass-playing sideman. Indeed life has been very busy in general. The three most notable events were the passing of my Father in August after a sudden & brief battle with colon cancer, buying a house & moving to Huntsville last April, & beginning pre-production for my new CD. I’ve been partnering-up with seasonal Muskoka resident George Axon, a fine dobro & mandolin player. He’s also a fine recording engineer, having made his living as a “jingle” producer. After listening to some of my home-recorded demos, he became interested in producing an album for me. So stay tuned…cdcover

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New Video Posts

By Mike On March 14th, 2015 in Installments /

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By Mike On January 29th, 2015 in Installments /

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve checked in & checked up….been a busy year. Lost my full-time cabinet-shop job, which is a mixed blessing as it has renewed my efforts to focus on music full-time. I’ve been busy writing & recording @ home, & working the accordion & double -bass into my solo act. Bought a banjo ukelele & last year & have been using it a lot too….my act is becoming a one-man variety show. Hope to see you out sometime!

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some pics

By Mike On January 29th, 2015 in Installments /




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Merry Xmas/Happy Soltice

By Mike On December 18th, 2013 in Installments /

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, musically speaking. Last weekend was the “Griffin Sessions”. Once a month my local pub the Griffin chooses two artists to perform Fri & Sat nights, then a cogeco film crew shoots them Sun aft, & then they perform at a house concert at Stable Studio art gallery. Tamica Herod performed a blues set Fri eve with myself on bass & the talented Sean Cotton on guitar. I did my solo 12 string thing Sat. The filming went well, as did the gallery show. The previous weekend I played bass for the Muskoka Rock Choir, a rehearsal intensive show put on at the Algonquin Theater in Huntsville. Looking forward to a quiet couple of weeks to enjoy some time with my girls. Back at the Muskoka Gallery for a house concert Dec. 28. Hope everyone has a moment to pause & enjoy the season & the goodwill it brings.Cheers!

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Tree Ring Records

By Mike On November 30th, 2013 in Installments /

So we launched a new record label last Sunday with an open house @ Shon Ropers’studio, Ghettoblaster Sound Factory here in Bracebridge. It’s the brainchild of Sean Cotton & Michele Bateman. The idea is to provide local original acts with the services needed to get their music recorded & out into the community. The music scene in Muskoka has lots of talent but is relatively ignored by the larger arts community, & we hope to change that by creating a presence. Sean & Michele were talking about recording a concert series out of a studio in Huntsville, where I first recorded my tracks. There were sound problems so I turned to my friend Shon Roper who was in the process of renovating his space from a studio set up to a performance venue, to record live….exactly what I was looking for! In the process I introduced Shon & Sean who liked the set up & the sounds I was getting. Sean opted to record his cd there as well, & came up with the idea of a record label to join our efforts in promoting our new projects. Other artists heard about it & got interested in the cooperative effort. So on Sunday Sean & I released our cds, along with Juan Barbosa & RW Haller, who had both recorded new cds elsewhere but wanted to be a part of it. We had a great turn out & some great performances as we showcased our new material.
The plan is to bring in acts as they are ready to record a performance @ Ghettoblaster to a paying audience. The admission gets the attendee a copy of the cd upon its release & provides a crowd-funded to assist in the production. There are several acts getting prepared so look out for some new Muskoka based music in the new year.
A special shout out to James Jones who put a website together for us. Check it out…


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jughead reunion/cd release party

By Mike On October 28th, 2013 in Installments /

A few thoughts re: last Sat. night @ the El Mocambo….way too much fun. We got together @ 3pm at the club to rehearse & soundcheck….it’s amazing to me how well we fell in after 4 years of inactivity as a band….there were a few key changes due to older throats & that did cause some confusion in the heat of battle, but jugheads’ fans are fairly forgiving . There was a Who tribute band below us providing some sonic distraction but we persevered….over 100 friends & loyal fans showed up to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of jugheads’ debut cd “Uncorked”, which yielded the gold record award (Can.) winning “Hockey Song”, & help me celebrate the release of my debut solo effort “Mighty Lopez”. Daniel Joseph di a short solo set of his “A.K.A. Sugarlips” act…..all in all it was an amazing time. Alas, renowned banjo hero Chris Quinn Could not attend due to birthday plans with his family. Regardless, we powered through our favorite tunes like a well oiled machine & I do believe we gave the people an good time. Next year is the 25th anniversary of the start of the band so we’re already talking about the Horseshoe in 2014….stay tuned…

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By Mike On October 21st, 2013 in Installments /

So…I spent the weekend in Mississauga….popped my OCFF cherry, the Ont. Conference of Folk Festivals…
a 3 day shmooze fest bringing together folk musicians, their publicists, festival artistic directors & all sorts of agents & what-not. Got home @ noon yesterday & am processing. It was intimidating, humbling, yet encouraging & inspiring. So many talented musicians! Loved the jamming/rehearsals in the halls….saw some great showcases. I bought into a private showcase room with Swamperella, soozimusic, Hannah Shira Naiman, & the Horables….a great line-up. There were 2 floors of private showcases going on so it was no surprise my sets were poorly attended, but it made me feel better walking past unattended performances. Hope to make it next year, & thinking about my next album.

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welcome to my blog

By Mike On October 14th, 2013 in Installments /

Hey….thanx for dropping in. I’ve had this website 4-5 years now, & I really haven’t been that active on it, mostly ’cause of that lack of new music. This past year I put some effort into writing, actually completing some songs. I ended up with 6 that I like enough to want to record….a 600% increase in song-writing productivity from the previous 30 years. Let’s just say I never tried too hard.
So I recorded two live sessions towards the end of Aug……one at “The Barn” in Huntsville & one at Ghettoblaster Sound Factory” in Bracebridge. Due to sound problems, the Huntsville session was a wash, but I liked what I got in B’bridge. It will be released as “Mighty Lopez”, the premiere release on the fledgeling “Tree Ring” record label. The official launch will be held @ the El Mocambo in T.O. on Oct. 26th…..I will be doing a Muskoka launch party, most likely in conjunction with Sean Cotton’s cd release…..Tree Ring’s second offering.
So….with a cd to promote, I will be trying to get out more…expand my circle of gigs. I will also try, on a daily basis, to post my goings’ on here. Please feel free to add your 2 cents.

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