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 Micah Blue Smaldone (1 Albums, 1 Tracks)

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LOCATION:04974
RELATED PROJECTS:
  • Fire on Fire
  • Death Vessel

Micah Smaldone (born 1978) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist based in Maine. He was a member of several New England area bands, and is best known for the solo music made under his given name, Micah Blue Smaldone.

 

 

 

As a teenager, Micah was a founding member of the Pinkerton Thugs - an anarchist street punk band who played an integral part in the thriving mid-90’s Boston punk revival. He was a member of hardcore legends Out Cold, Boston Rockabilly group the Racketeers, and garage-rock stalwarts the Shods, from Lowell.

 

 

 

After several US and and European tours with the Racketeers and Out Cold, Smaldone withdrew from the scene, and began focusing on solo music. By the summer of 2003 he was often found performing on street corners in Portland, Maine, playing resonator guitar in an authentic pre-war Ragtime-Blues fingerstyle similar to Mississippi John Hurt or Blind Blake, and singing like a holdover from the 78rpm era. With the encouragement of Portland’s Cerberus Shoal, Micah released his first solo album, Some Sweet Day, in early 2004 on Northeast Indie Records. The album displayed an impressive grasp of Ragtime-blues styles, featured several songs and instrumentals of his own composition, as well as a few re-interpretations of  pre-war classics. Magnet Magazine wrote of this: "Micah Smaldone should, by the sound of it, be dead. Seemingly held over from the era of vaudeville and ragtime...when he yodels his Dustbowl-beggar blues about outlaws, in-laws and old-fashioned hurtin', you can't help but wonder where all the good music has gone."

 

 

 

Smaldone began touring widely in 2004, often with Cerberus Shoal. In early 2005 he appeared on Death Vessel’s debut album, Stay Close, and later that year released his second solo album, Hither and Thither. Departing from the period-correct style of Some Sweet Day, Hither and Thither was recorded live to cassette, lending an immediate sound to Micah’s songwriting efforts.

 

Bollard Magazine wrote - "If ever a collection of songs captured the palpable sense of unease felt in these days of terror levels and loved ones fighting a needless war, it is Hither and Thither." The album also featured a 12 string guitar arrangement of Jelly Roll Morton’s New Orleans Bump.

 

 

 

Micah toured extensively on the album, both at home and in UK/Europe, reaching such far flung places as Iceland, Balkans, and Greece. In early 2007, a live EP was released on North East Indie documenting a performance of Smaldone's in Belgium in 2006. Around this time Micah began performing with members of Cerberus Shoal in a group called Fire on Fire, who released the Orchard on Young God Records in 2008. He also recorded a guitar duet with Jack Rose, for his Dr Ragtime and Pals album.

 

 

 

Smaldone’s third album, the Red River, was released in November 2008 by Chicago label Immune Recordings. Once again self-recorded, the Red River retained Micah’s 12 string fingerstyle guitar work, while adding full band accompaniment and string/vocal harmony arrangements. BBC’s Sid Smith wrote of the albums lyrics “…beneath the veneer of dusty Americana there's a song-cycle carrying a heart-of-darkness travelogue filled with terse observations about the malevolent force within us all that slips off the leash with a depressing regularity… Avoiding any crass preaching, Smaldone sings quietly of terrible things. Yet his absence of cynicism suggests these are ultimately songs about, and of, hope.”

 

 

 

In Spring 2012 Smaldone began playing some of his live shows with members of the band Coke Weed from Bar Harbor, Maine.

 

 

 

In Fall 2012 Immune Recordings released a split LP of Smaldone and Big Blood.

 

 

 

In Spring 2013, Immune Recordings released the Ring of the Rise, Smaldone’s fourth full length. Inspired by Dylan and the Band, Neil Young, and Richard and Linda Thompson’s first albums, the Ring of the Rise saw Micah playing electric guitar, as well as the drums, bass, and organ.

 

 

 

Following the release, Smaldone toured Europe extensively with Asa Irons, again reaching audiences off the beaten path in places like Kosovo, Montenegro, and Greece.

 

 

 


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