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October Shows and Such

10 Oct

Fall is nice around these parts.

Hey there, folks. Just a few quick notes here…

Tonight, Friday, October 10 the Rebel Darling fellas and I will open for The Hello Strangers, a Nashville based band fronted by two sisters whose harmonies will give you that tingling tension in your chest. There’s something to be said about kin singing harmony. Join us tonight, and find out just what there is to be said. Consider youself in the know. Oh, we opened for them last time the sisters and their groove slinging band came through town, and we stuck around until the last note. Roger (pedal steel) left his car in a parking garage which closed on him, locking the car behind formidable chain-link gates. We got carried away listening and with a good time, and forgot about the lock down. I smiled for the cameras as I broke into the garage to retrieve his house keys from his car. I ruined a shirt, but it was worth the thrill. I’m looking forward to finding out which article of clothing I ruin tonight…

Here are the details:

    Rebel Darling opens for The Hello Strangers
    WAMC Linda Norris Auditorium
    399 Central Avenue
    Albany, NY 12206
    Doors at 7:00 p.m. / Rebel Darling at 8:00 p.m.
    Click here for info and tickets, or call (518) 465-5233

October has already been a busy month, with a few trips out of town, and the general rolling around. I’ve been fortunate to have played in the Adirondack Mountains a few times this fall, and the clean air allowed for some crisp baritone bellows, good singing. I also spend a day in the Boston area, recording for the Locals Covering Locals, Vol. 2 project I mentioned in Low Down Review No. 26. Project producer and artist, Brian Carroll snapped the below panorama of the fellas and I in the studio. I’m looking forward to hearing the finalized product… That was a fun day, capped off by a night of songs.

Myself, Scudder, and Olson in the Studio / Photo by Brian Carroll

Well, all the other upcoming shows are listed below. I’m going to catch some fresh air before tonight’s show. Be in touch guys, and as always, thanks for everything…

– Mike

Comanche Moon – Live at Caffe Lena

21 Apr

As a performing musician, there are moments after I complete a song that I think to myself, “That felt great. I hope someone recorded it.” I had that thought immediately after Ryan Dunham, John Rice, and I played the last notes on my song “Comanche Moon,” a few weeks back at Caffe Lena for the Amanda’s Journey Foundation Benefit Concert. Lost Radio Rounder, benefit organizer, and all around generous guy, Tom Lindsay was there recording the afternoon’s show, and I’m grateful. This is one of my favorite performances of this song to date.

Be sure to check out Amanda’s Journey Foundation, and their work in supporting those with and the families of those with Mitochondrial Disease, a disease which compromises the body’s ability to create the energy needed for growth and support. Learn up, and give or lend what you can…

watch more video here… / subscribe to the Low Down Review to learn more about Comanche Moon and the story behind it. Just look to the top right of the page, and enter your email…

Friday at Historic Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY

15 Jan

I wish I knew who to credit for this photo…

Hey there, folks.

This here is mostly a note for all of you in the Northeast. I’ve been thinking over the next LDR, and have it mapped out, for the most part, in my head. But I owe it to you to give the writing the time it deserves before I hit send. I want to tell you a story that draws together a beautifully written song by a friend, a small record shop in Schenectady, and a photograph. Stay tuned. I try to.

But here we are. I want to let you know that I’m playing a room this Friday in which brick walls absorb and share the secrets of spirits aplenty. The worn wooden floors press back decades of inspiration. If sincerity were a scent to be bottled, the perfumers would head to the stage, and kneel down to guage how it should reach the nose. And when the lights go low, currents of music course through the room. Some close their eyes. Others stare with a fixed gaze. Everyone leaves with a story. It’s no lie to say that some rooms stir the soul, churn the imagination, comfort the body, and humbly command reverence with a wink and quick smile. It’s rare to find one. Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY is such a room, and simply put, I am lucky and so very pleased that I have the opportunity to play and sing for you on that stage.

Friend, and talented songwriter Caitlin Canty will join John Rice (slide guitar), Ryan Dunham (harmonica) and I. A fitting return. And you’ll hear a full set of Caitlin’s songs, a true treat, and you’ll also hear a bit from all of us together. Conjuction junction… Quick interjection: Caitlin’s next album is being produced by one of my favorite literate and contemporary songwriters, Jeffrey Foucault. I’m betting she’ll share a few tunes from that baby. The boys and I? Well, we’ve got a few cards to pull out from our sleeves as well. Firm bets on a good night, and the Jack of Diamonds.

We’re going to keep it loose, fun and heartfelt. We’ve been looking forward to sharing the night with you for a while.

Here are the details:

Update: September Shows and Summer Sampler

6 Sep

Summer Ain’t Over Yet

Hey there, folks. Just a few quick notes here…

It’s a busy September, and I wanted to share the show dates with you folks. The dates are spread out across the local map, with a couple of jaunts beyond the median perimeter. Tomorrow, I’ll head to Freeport, ME to meet up with buddies Andrew Olsen, and Laurence Scudder for tunes, brews, and BBQs. Nice… Remember Andrew from The Low Down Review – No. 22? He’s hosting the first (annual?) OlsenFest at his guitar shop… If you’re in the Freeport, ME area, send me an email for details. It’s a low-key affair.

Next week, Friday, September 13, I’ll team up with a couple of lads from the Emerald Isle for a night of songs and stories (I’m sure…) at the Linda Norris Auditorium in Albany, NY. The lads call themselves “The Guggenheim Grotto,” and have been making the rounds on this side of the Atlantic to critical acclaim. I’m playing a meat and potatoes opening set, and will push hard for a facial hair competition. Details:

    Friday, September 13 at 8:00 p.m.
    The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio
    339 Central Avenue
    Albany, NY 12206
    518-465-5233 ext. 4

    purchase tickets here…

Hope to see you folks there, and/or at some of the other shows listed to the right…

Like I Said, Summer Ain’t Over Yet

Earlier this summer, songwriter friend o’mine Caitlin Canty reached out to me to ask if I’d like to contribute a song to her Summer 2013 Mix Tape. Easy questions get quick and easy answers. Mine was “yes.” It’s a joyful honor to be placed among some power-house and top-tier songwriters. And… All proceeds from the download go to the Miles of Music Camp, which fosters us lovable fools dedicating ourselves to the songwriting craft. Take a listen, and don’t wait on the download; Caitlin’s pulling the mix tape down next week. Fall is closer than I care to believe.

Be in touch guys, and as always, thanks for everything…

– Mike

Saturday, April 27 with the Stray Birds

25 Apr

LtR – Maya, Oliver, and Charlie – Photo by Jake Jacobson

Now, for those of you who have been on this email list for a while, you’ll likely recall the name The Stray Birds. I first mentioned them in LDR 13, then again in LDR 15, again in others, and also posted a photo of Maya bearing down on her banjo in LDR 20. I’m a fan, you get the idea… Even if you’re new on this list, you might know the name already. If The Stray Birds are brand new to you, I strongly suggest that you give them a listen; they are a trio of young musicians with a masterful grasp on both musicianship and songwriting. They are hardworking, traversing the country for packed show after packed show, and their dedication to each other and their music is both amazing and admirable. Great folks, those Stray Birds.

That hard work is paying off too, at least with rich experiences. They’ve been featured on the renouned World Cafe Live, selling out the house, and recently recorded a spot on the revered Mountain Stage radio show, which also featured banjo luminaries Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn. They have been interviewed on more than one occasion for No Depression, the, as they put it, roots music authority, and their recent, eponymous album, The Stray Birds was listed in NPR’s top 10 Americana Albums for 2012. Quite a resume here, folks, for a band just a few years old.

The Stray Birds – 2012 release

And we’re bringing them to Albany, NY’s backyard, folks. On Saturday, April 27th, I’ll perform as Rebel Darling (more on that later) with John Rice and Ryan Dunham from the Red Haired Strangers for an opening set for The Stray Birds. Here are the show details:

A few of us are making a day out of it up in Rensselaerville, and plan to hike about the Huyck Preserve. There will be food and drink at the show, but if you’re looking for a bite or a beverage before you head up to the Center, grab it at The Palmer House Cafe. You’ll definitely enjoy the food, the atmosphere, and the beer. I’ll probably head down there after the show for a drink or two. You’re welcome to join. In fact, I dare ya.

Huyck Preserve – Photo by

Thanks so much, folks. Let’s get ourselves out and enjoy the Spring. Don’t forget to take a peek at the schedule, and get yourself a copy of “Harvest the Heart”. Much love your way…

– Mike

Click here for “Harvest the Heart”

Harvest the Heart – Now Available

3 Apr

Click here to listen / purchase “Harvest the Heart”

Well… I have the next LDR mostly written, but the content is already a month old. I likely scratch some of it, and start over. The “Harvest the Heart” CD Release Show has come and gone, and I’m disappointed with myself for not reaching out to you folks directly before the release. With the time crunch, I think I fell into the convenient trap of facebook and twitter promotion. I also had the great help of an advertisement on Nippertown, the Capital District’s (NY) premier arts blog, courtesy of my parents. Love you guys… I will say that the show itself was an incredible and overwhelming experience; we sold out Caffe Lena, an honor, and had to turn folks away at the door. That part was bittersweet. Some of you traveled more than three hours. I couldn’t shake the disappointment of watching faces I know being turned around. That tempered the excitement of filling each chair.

But, to turn it back around to the positive, the boys nailed the set and riveted those in attendance. Opener and friend Caitlin Canty played a lovely and captivating set, and it felt great to join her on stage for her tune, “Still Here“. All said and done, it was a memorable night that I seriously doubt I’ll forget. Many, many thanks to all of you for showing up.

It’ll be a while before “Harvest the Heart” is available on iTunes, or any of the other major players in digital downloading, but it is currently available on my Bandcamp page. You can purchase either digital downloads, or physical copies. You can also purchase physical copies directly from my website, For easy reference, here are the album details:


    M.R. Poulopoulos – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
    John Rice – Bass, Slide Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Harmony
    Tommy Krebs – Drums, Harmony, Percussion
    Roger Noyes – Pedal Steel, Lap Steel
    Laurence Scudder – Viola
    Ryan Dunham – Harmonica


    Engineer – John Rice
    Assistant Engineers – Tommy Krebs, John Rice
    Producers – John Rice, M.R. Poulopoulos
    Mixed by – John Rice, M.R. Poulopoulos
    Mastered by – John Rice
    “Reflection” Engineered and Mixed by Mitch Masterson, Swordpaw Studio

    Recorded at Hilltown Studio, Clarksville, NY
    “Reflection” Recorded live at Swordpaw Studio, Troy, NY –

    Album Artwork by Nick Reinert –
    Album Design by Matt Shortell –

    All Songs Written by M.R. Poulopoulos (BMI)

Click here to listen / purchase “Harvest the Heart”

Everyone involved in this project amazed me with their generous contributions of art and talent, their time and their support. I was reminded of just how much community it takes to compile a “solo” project. John, Tommy, Roger, Laurence, Ryan, Nick, Matt, Ian, Dylan and Mitch, thank you. I hope to someday be a part of the team that helps get you through to a goal.

Thanks so much, folks. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without your support and I hope to see you out there. Take a peek at the schedule below. Much love your way…

– Mike

Fresh outta the box

Friday Night Mellow Cinder

31 Jan

We’ve just about left January behind, and February 1 is on the mind. I’ll be celebrating the first day of the shortest month in fine fashion, folks, and I’m hoping that you’ll head out to join me. You’ll find me at More Bread and Jam, Cohoes’ finest coffee and sandwich shop, and a staple that now holds Troy and Albany, NY’s finest musicians and songwriters together.

Tomorrow night, I’m reaching beyond New York’s Capital District, though, to welcome Brookyln-based songwriter, Caitlin Canty for her debut performance ’round these here parts. Caitlin’s been stirring up excitement around the Northeast with her sparse and beautiful songs that both cut and caress (Check out this article in the Rutland Reader). This is pure, folks, and we’ll be sharing the stage for some song swapping. We’re also working on some prep and practice for the big “Harvest the Heart” CD Release Show in March.

I’ll also introduce you to the lastest member of my musical family, a Gibson ES-335 1959 Reissue. I ain’t gonna say much here. I’ll let the guitar do the talking, and it’ll be a mellow conversation.

Gibson ES-335 1959 Reissue

The Show Info:

    Friday, February 1st at 7:00 p.m.
    More Bread and Jam Cafe
    130 Remsen Street
    Cohoes, NY 12047
    (518) 874-4272
    Support traveling songwriters.
    Gas ain’t cheap and rent ain’t free.

Keep your eyes and ears close to my schedule over the next few months. In addition to Caitlin, I’ve scheduled a number of shows with fine songwriters and musicians from all over the Northeast. It’s mighty hard to get out there and find it all, so when I do find it, I make sure I’m working at bringing it to the neighborhood. Join us tomorrow, and you’ll hear what I’m writing about. And for all y’all out near the Northeast’s Atlantic Coast, I’m headed your way next week, joined by my buddies Laurence Scudder and Ryan Fitzsimmons. Been looking forward to this short tour for a while now.

Thanks so much, folks. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without your support and I hope to see you out there. Much love your way…

– Mike

Two Videos, and Weekend Shows

30 Nov

Folks! Check out these two videos on YouTube. This first one was a serendipitous arrival. While in New London, CT, and sharing a bill with The Womack Family Band, Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent, and The Weird Beards, I intended to ask the Womack’s photographer (Cody!), to record my tune “Sweepin'” when The Womacks joined me for some harmony. Well… I forgot, but some lovely folks in the audience found the initiative floating low in the room and captured the moment without a word passing between us. Nice… Check it out (the embed code is funky, so it’s an image with a link):

Sweepin’ – with The Womack Family Band

The second video caught me by surprise in a different manner. I knew that this show with the Lost Radio Rounders was recorded, but when I saw this video for the first time last night, I was reminded of how I completely oblivious I was to that fact while we were playing. This is the Carter Family’s tune, “No Depression” which I arranged specifically for this show. If you like this one, you can purchase the entire recording at one of my shows, or at this link… where you can sample and purchase individual tunes as well.

No Depression – with Lost Radio Rounders and Friends

Before I sign off, I want to share the info on this weekend’s shows. Tonight, I’ll be in Beckett, MA for my debut performance at The Dream Away Lodge, a place with great food, a steamy past, and legend all its own. Saturday, I’ll hit up WIOX Radio in the Catskills for a live studio performance with Terry Doyle. Later that night, I’ll be at the Crossroads Brewing Company in Athens, NY. They brew one of my favorite IPAs, “Outrage.” And on Sunday, I’ll be part of a benefit show for those affected by Hurricane Sandy at Red Square in Albany, NY. Folks… This is a solid line-up of Albany’s musicians, and you don’t want to miss it. More at the event link and poster image below.

Show Info:

    Friday, November 30th at 8:00 p.m.
    The Dream Away Lodge
    1342 County Road
    Beckett, MA 01223
    (413) 623-8725
    Reservations Strongly Suggested

    Saturday, December 1st at 5:00 p.m.
    Crackle Radio Show @ WIOX
    Roxbury, NY 12474

    Saturday, December 1st at 9:00 p.m.
    Crossroads Brewing Company
    21 Second Street
    Athens, NY 12015
    (518) 945-2338
    Eat, Drink and Enjoy

    Sunday, December 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
    Red Square
    Hurricane Sandy Benefit Show
    388 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12207
    (518) 465-0444
    $10 at Door, $7 w/ non-perishable food item or clothing donation
    Facebook event page and line-up

Thanks so much, folks. I wouldn’t be able to do any of the above without your support and I hope to see you out there. Much love your way…

– Mike

The Low Down Review – No. 20

15 Nov

The Evidence – Photo by Greg Klyma

Stairwell Inspiration: Sometimes songs are found after days of playing with a melody, or weeks of scrawling out the particulars of a life event. Other times songs are found in a stairwell.

Rust-belt vagabond, buddy, and Boston-based troubador Greg Klyma and I left a late-night showcase room while at NERFA and headed towards the stairwell. While trudging up the stairs, guitars in tow, I muttered the phrase, “she can make a man change his mind.” We went silent. Our footsteps, and the muffled chatter a few flights up, were the only sounds. I could feel our concentration bearing down on that phrase. After about five seconds, I said, “I’m holding onto that one.” We burst into a sly laugh, and our focus sharpened.

We headed right for Greg’s room, broke out a guitar and mandolin, passed a flask of whiskey between us, and flipped open the notebook. 40 minutes later (at 3:30 a.m.), with the instruments and an empty flask, we headed back out into the NERFA fray to shop the song around. By all accounts, we’ve a keeper.

It’s happened a few times before, and I’m still amazed by how a seemingly random phrase becomes the seed from which a song bears fruit. Greg and I knew, maybe instinctively, that the phrase was a chorus to an unwritten song. We also knew, without really discussing the objective, that it was our job to find out who said that phrase and capture that character in a few verses, choruses and a revelatory bridge. We just sat down and started plugging away with a disposable pen, some scribbles, our share of duds, and a few flourishes.

We walked out of Greg’s room with a solid country tune, and some ideas on how to bring it to y’all’s ears – more on that in the coming months. And, if you request “Make a Man Change His Mind,” I’ll play it at a show (I’m working on the bridge vocals; it’s a little higher than my normal range, but I’m getting there). For now, I’m sending gratitude across the Berkshires and over the Pioneer Valley – I’m glad we decided to take the stairs, Greg.

LtR – Bob Ristau, Mike Eck, Ryan Dunham, myself, Mat Kane
Photo by Josh DuJack

Turn Your iPod On: This just in, folks: you can purchase the Lost Radio Rounders’ latest CD, Heaven’s Radio on CD Baby as both a physical CD and as a digital download. That’s right, you can get that old-timey, spirit-lifting live sound right on your computer, or in your mailbox. Just look at them photos, folks. You know you want to hear how it sounds. Purchase individual songs, or the album as a whole. It’s wholesome music originally recorded by the Carter Family, and it’ll do your soul some good to listen in. Step right up…

Not a bad pitch, ehy? In all seriousness, you should check out this recording. It was recorded in a similar fashion to how the Carter Family would have done it years ago: straight live. The CD release party was a great time, and I thank Mike Eck and Tom Lindsay for asking me to be a part of the project – I hope we get to play again. It was also a pleasure to be part of such a stellar cast, including Kim Kilby, Ryan Dunham, Bob Ristau, and Mat Kane.

Click here to sample and/or purchase Heaven’s Radio

LtR – Ryan Dunham, Tom Lindsay, myself
Photo by Josh DuJack

From the Low Down: You might notice that my show schedule is shorter than usual. The reason is we’ve started recording and I have to set as much time as possible aside to make sure we finish on schedule. That’s right, there’s a schedule, and there’s already a deadline. Why is there already a deadline? Well, the guys (John Rice, Roger Noyes and Tommy Krebs) and I will release the next album on Saturday, March 30th at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. I’m already excited, and we have a lot of work to do in order to make it happen.

Photo by John Rice

Joining us for the night will be Caitlin Canty, a wonderfully talented singer and songwriter, based out of NYC, but originally from Vermont. I happened upon Caitlin’s latest album, Golden Hour online and by chance. After a few songs, I clicked “Purchase” and wrote her a note informing her that I’d be stealing from her album. After meeting her this past weekend, and hearing each other perform, we sat down to share a few tunes. Turns out we have some similar musical interests and approaches, and I’m looking forward to introducing her sincere and thoughtful songs to y’all. Many thanks to the clairvoyant Sarah Craig at Lena’s for making it happen. Put this show in your calendars now. Advance tickets are recommended.

In the immediate future, I’m also excited for this Friday’s show (Nov. 16) at Desolation Road Studios in Altamont, NY. You might remember that I mentioned Jim and his work in LDR No. 19. On Friday, Jim hosts Rosary Beard (Hunter Sagehorn & Matthew Loiacono) and I for a warm night of tunes to chill to. Here are the details:

Head on out and join us, request a song or two. It’s a comfortable room, and I plan to play a comfortable, relaxed set. And… Rosary Beard writes beautiful music, suitable for just about every situation. Their album, Halfmoon Fever is an outstanding addition to any catalogue. Hope to see you there.

As always, folks thanks for everything. Spread the word and share the song… I truly wouldn’t be able to do this without you.

– Mike

Maya de Vitry (The Stray Birds)
Bears Down on the Banjo at NERFA

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Rochester and Cohoes, NY this Weekend

1 Nov

Left to Right: Roger Noyes, myself, Tommy Krebs, John Rice
Photo by Courtney Blackwell

Folks! Thanks very much to all of y’all that came out to the More Bread and Jam show a couple of Saturdays ago! Me and the boys, we had a great time, and we’ve begun recording… More on that in the next Low Down Review. Courtney Blackwell captured the above mid-song moment while at the MB&J show. Here’s a number from that night, it’s called “Mad in the Morning” – click on the title, or here. It’ll be on the next album… Careful, it’s catchy.

Coming up this weekend, I have a string of three shows and then it’s off to NERFA next week, with a jaunt out to New London, CT for a power-house show. I’m making my way back out to Rochester, home of the garbage plate and Park Ave Fest, for the first two shows this weekend. Rochester’s become a bit of a second home over the past couple of years. Here’s the details on those two:

    Friday, November 2 at 8:00 p.m.
    With buddy and songwriter Matt Sauer
    Starry Nites Cafe
    696 University Avenue
    Rochester, NY 14607
    (585) 271-2630
    Passing the hat ’round

    Saturday, November 3 at 6:00 p.m.
    Lovin’ Cup
    300 Park Point Drive
    Suite #101
    Rochester, NY 14623
    (585) 292-9940
    Tickets $5 public / $3 student

The Starry Nites show will be particularly intimate, and early attendance for seating is recommended.

After the Saturday show, I have enough time to head over to a favorite Rochester watering hole, Abilene (enjoy a Texas breakfast at any hour), to catch my friends in The Womack Family Band. These folks are sharp musicians, fine and soulful songwriters, stunning singers, and great people. This past summer, they opened for Crosby, Stills and Nash back in their home state of Ohio. Give their cozy cover of Paul McCartney’s “Every Night” a listen at the link…

On Sunday, The Womacks and I will caravan over to More Bread and Jam for a dinner-hour set. I’ll open, and trusted side and slide-man John Rice will join me. We’ll waste no time getting the main course up, however, and your participation is encouraged. Help us welcome the Womacks. To the details:

Thanks again, folks. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your support. Much love your way…

– Mike

Live at Dirt Floor Studio, Chester, CT