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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

With a Little Help from Us, Friends

17 Sep

Hey there, folks.

As I’m sure many of you know, the recording music industry is realigning itself under a new model, and record companies are no longer the pillar that stabilizes the industry floor. Within this new model (which is still shaping itself and operating in shifting and amorphous parameters) the individual artist assumes the responsibilities of not only the artist, but now the business agent, and the record company as well. The artist is the new pillar, and it’s a hefty load. Where record companies could invest existing capital into a recording project, the artist is now left holding the money bag. Most musicians I know can pull their existing capital out of their pockets, spread it on the counter, and then spend it all on gas, coffee, rent, and in support of other musicians. Some like cigarettes. I’m often found in bookstores. Mostly, it’s a hard, working-class life spent on the road, with little financial reward, and virtually no financial gain. So with that kind of capital, how can today’s working musician fund albums without the financial power and backing of the record companies?

Well, a few digital fundraising platforms arose to satisfy the need, and they place the financial power directly in the listener’s hands. In a sense, these platforms (collectively) are a short-cut around the record company, and place the musician and listener in direct contact. Frame the concept in terms of an investment in addition to a purchase, a “two-for” that’s good for the musician, and good for the listener. But what am I getting at? Simply put, I want to share three outstanding recording projects which I backed, with you. I hope that you’ll consider the investment too. With a little help from us, we can help launch projects that are valuable beyond the limited language of Finance, and become the recording music industry. Ladies first…

Caitlin Canty, “Reckless Skyline”

Zak Trojano, “Yesterday’s Sun”

Danny Schmidt, “Owls”

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…

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

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

Playing DJ

2 Apr

Earlier today, I traveled over to the WEXT studio in Troy, NY to record a quick spot for their My EXIT program. Here’s the deal on the spot: The folks at WEXT allow an hour for a guest DJ to spin whatever their pleasure may be. This is not only a great way for the listener-supported station to directly involve their listeners, it’s also a way for listeners to connect with one another, and perhaps influence some of the programming…

DJ KTG set me up behind the mic, asked me to record a few promo lines for the show, and then I was free to fill in the talking points. DJ Dave Michaels stopped in to say hello, and seemed a little surprised that I didn’t pimp out Greenhorn in the set. As you see from the below list, I was strictly spinning tunes that have influenced and currently do influence my approach/es to songwriting (Click here for a pdf of the set list…).

I’m hoping I did these wonderfully talented people justice during the hour. I kept the chat to a minimum so I could fill the time with songs. I’m also hoping you folks tune in to hear the program, or generally tune in to WEXT to enjoy what the good folks over there spin. Check the Calendar for an update on when the spot cruises the radio waves…

Here’s the set list with artist links (NOTE: Artist – Song / Album):

1.) The Stray Birds – Birds of the Borderland / Borderland
2.) Jeffrey Foucault – Train to Jackson / Ghost Repeater
3.) Danny Schmidt – Grandpa Built Bridges / Instead the Forest Rose to Sing
4.) Danielle Miraglia – Home / Box of Troubles
5.) Kelly Joe Phelps – Plumb Line / Tunesmith Retrofit
6.) Chris Smither – Time Stands Still / Time Stands Still
7.) Mark Erelli – Everything in Ruin / Little Vigils
8.) Jill Andrews – These Words / Jill Andrews – EP
9.) Danny Schmidt – Boils Down to Blood / Make Right the Time
10.) Chris Castle – All Kinds of Time / Last Bird Home
11.) River Wheel – Hell Waiting / The Sound We Made
12.) Jeffrey Foucault – Heart to the Husk / Horse Latitudes
13.) Red Haired Strangers – Pumpkin Hollow / Hilltown Sessions
14.) Mark Erelli & Jeffrey Foucault – Wyoming Wind / Seven Curses

Let me know what you think of the set, y’all…

Greenhorn on Spotify

5 Oct

In addition to Pandora’s internet radio and music genome music project, you can now find Greenhorn on Spotify. All the kids have been buzzing about it, and after a deluge in music submitted to the service and a subsequent delay in sorting, Greenhorn made the cut.

According to Wikipedia, Spotify “users can register either for free accounts supported by visual and radio-style advertising or for paid subscriptions without ads and with a range of extra features such as higher bitrate streams and offline access to music. A paid ‘Premium’ subscription is required to use Spotify on mobile devices.”

So go ahead folks, jump in and start splashing Greenhorn’s electric currents, and be sure to tip off your friends…

Inquiring Mind Bookstore

16 Feb

Here’s the latest live set recording… I wrote up a little description of the night on the BandCamp page, which I’ll paste below. Visit the my Sounds Live page, or hop on over to the BandCamp page I set up to listen to this and other live set recordings.

Here’s the description I promised:

Recorded live at Inquiring Mind Bookstore on 02/05/11 – I used a cardioid condenser microphone with a direct input to GarageBand.

The blurry photograph wraps up the sound quality. There’s a mid-high frequency fuzz that sits in the heart of the sound. To diminish the fuzz is to kill the song, so I went with it and attempted to crisp the fuzz through an equalizer. The photo quality also sums up how I went about my initial edits of the tracks – I accidentally deleted half of them…

My cousin Kelly, her son Aiden and husband Joe traveled up through the sleet and rain to hang out at the store. Also joining us was a young couple, who I teased off and on during the set. They seemed to enjoy the tunes and sat around for the duration.

The room was warm and quiet with an expansive wood floor. You can hear my feet tapping in the tracks.

I’m unsure of the barista’s thoughts on the set, though. I think she caught us slipping bourbon into our London Fog coffees and changed her attitude accordingly. Maybe she just wanted to get home. Either way, she kicked us out at 9:00 p.m. sharp.

The night itself wasn’t blurry until we sat down for some post-playing drinks at the Pig, a bar down the street. I met and chatted with some kind and funny folks. Tasty, sharp food and delicious coffee at Love Bites cleared us up the next morning. The sun helped the cause and melted much of the treacherous ice coating the sidewalks.