hot damn, ethel. looks like it werks. and yes, mike golay lives here.
Mikey's Twangville Gazette: News
»Get the very latest scoop.
»The second record is out!
»My first record would also like to have a word with you.
»You could, like, buy stuff.
»You may listen to sound clips.
»Ya oughta subscribe to the podcast.
»There are reviews.
»If it's photos you want...
»If you want to see me play live...
»Or catch my tunes on the radio...
»Download the press kit.
»Read the tech file.
As always, Very Cool Things are in the werks. Check back often and thanks for your support! -01/19/09
The new album:
Mike Golay: Across the Bridge
Solo Acoustic Guitar
Across the Bridge has been officially released and is now available! Thanks for waiting and I hope you enjoy. If you would like technical (or otherwise) information on the record, rig an anchor at the lip and rap down inside the vast, geekish conspiracy.
Other Music News:
Despite a shoulder injury in the fall of 2006 and a long recovery, I've begun work on a third CD, again with the assistance of Al Petteway. Thanks so much for your support of the music and for coming to all of the shows. I hope to see you again in 2008 and beyond!
I'd like to say thanks also to Bull Moose Music for their support of local and independent artists. My music is stocked in the retailer's stores in the Northeast.
And thanks to my local Borders, my CDs are available in the South Portland, ME store.
Special thanks to everyone who purchased copies of Half Pint through CDBaby to aid Hurricane victims. It felt good to be able to do something, anything, to help. Thank you.
In August of 2005 I traipsed out to the left coast to hang at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival and play along with friends at an Acoustic Guitar Forum House Concert. I have some pictures up, as well as a video of Jim Tozier and I playing a duet version of "Peggy Gordon," so go on, get to it.
The Mikegolay.com Podcast Series
On the airwaves and beyond:
Jabbering all the way...
In the fall of 2006 I began to record a series of podcasts documenting the recording of my CDs, discussing various nerdy topics, telling tall tales and, well... blathering away endlessly. I hope to continue publishing these episodes as I surf my own personal tsunamis of self-importance. Do enjoy. Best taken with a stout syrah. You can use any number of podcatchers to listen, and the podcast series is a free subscription from the iTunes store.
Play the podcast.
on iTunes |
Huh? Wazza? Help!
On the Radio
Support local and public radio! Without these kinds of stations and the dedicated people who spin folk and acoustic music, the fact is that these genres wouldn't get airplay. Let's be clear. When your local station asks for your support they mean exactly this: Send us money. Please. Fast. No one is getting rich in radio. Except maybe Howard Stern. Please do what you can, where you can, and help keep independent music on the air. Thank you.
I did a one-hour live interview and performance on 7/28/06 on Jan Wilkinson's Local Motives radio show, WMPG 90.9/104.1FM. Between discussion topics ranging from relative humidity to dentistry, I played a bunch of tunes and yammered on, yes, still more. The show's site is a bit on the fritz, so I've archived the broadcast for now. You can do me an immense favor by downloading the .mp3s to your machine locally rather than streaming, if you'd be so kind. Pix are here. Thanks Jan!
WMPG 90.9/104.1 - Local Motives - Jan Wilkinson w/ guest Mike Golay, 7/28/06
Download (right-click, etc., save locally, for the love of God):
Part One |
Part Two |
or Stream (yer killin' me)
I was fortunate to do a live radio interview and performance on Maine radio icon Chris Darling's US Folk show on WPMG 90.0/104.1FM, Portland, ME, on 3/10/06. I played a number of tunes off of Across the Bridge and Half Pint, jabbered endlessly about superb players and friends like Ed Gerhard, Don Ross, Al Petteway and Amy White, and David at Berkowitz Guitars, and generally came off like the freak that I am. Chris graciously asked me to guest-spin several tunes from a few of my favorite artists, and my playlist included friends Adrian Legg, Jim Tozier, Al Petteway (again), Steve Baughman, as well as [not as yet friends] Jerry Douglas and Jules Shear. The show was a ton of fun. I particularly got a kick out of Chris pronouncing me a "wicked decent guitah playah," which, for those of you who don't speak Downeastern, I can assure you is a compliment. I'll mention that Chris is a gifted photographer whose photos you simply must see. You can see shots from my guest appearance here. If you missed the show you may listen to a stream and/or download the show in three parts below, and a kind thanks to Chris for permission. I'm going to leave the files (which are huge, you have been warned) up until I hit critical mass with bandwidth. You can do me an immense favor by downloading the .mp3s to your machine locally rather than streaming, if you'd be so kind. Thanks Chris!
WMPG 90.9/104.1 - US Folk - Chris Darling w/ guest Mike Golay, 3/10/06
Download (right-click, etc., save locally, for the love of God):
Part One |
Part Two |
Part Three |
or Stream (yer killin' me)
If you're not near enough to Portland to hear Chris' show, you can still check the WMPG live stream on the WMPG site.
I did a live radio interview and performance on WSCA 106.1FM, Portsmouth, NH on 2/24, 2pm-3pm, with host Shawn Henderson. A few pix from the date are here. Check their stream here. On March 20th I taped a one-hour TV interview and performance with Shawn on his Stay Tuned music television show, out of the Kennebunk Coffeehouse in Maine. The show will be broadcast at a later date. We'll let ya know. Thanks to Shawn, Ryan and Mark for care, feeding, and, um, humour, and stuff.
Charlie Gaylord, host of Greetings from Area Code 207 on WCLZ 98.9FM has been playing tunes from Across the Bridge. Thanks Charlie!
Tom Flynn at Portland's WMPG 90.9/104.1FM led off his Saltwater Farm show on 19 January 2006 with "Lost on the Way to Fingal" from Across the Bridge. Tom rocks so very much.
Dave Witzany of Champaign-Urbana's WEFT 90.1FM is spinning my tunes on his "We're Only In It for the Music" show. Thanks Dave!
BBC Radio's Steve Becker has begun playing my music in the New Year on his "Great Guitars" show. Cheers, Steve!
Good Man Rich LaPenna at WSLR 96.5 is spinning tunes from "Half Pint" and "Across the Bridge," which he featured on his 8 February 2006 "aerial boundaries" show, down Florida way. Thanks Rich!
"Half Pint" was featured on fantastic guitarist and all-around good guy Bob Evans' Six Strings and a Million Possibilities radio show on 25 January 2004. Show #116 if you're keeping count. The tune was "Chincoteague Drive-In Saturday Night." I'm incredibly pleased to have been included in such great company, especially my good friend Al Petteway. On 5 February 2006 on Show #222 Bob played "Somewhere I Have Never Travelled" from "Across the Bridge." Bob is so freakin' cool I can hardly stand it.
Stay tuned for more radio information.
My main guitars are made by the most righteously talented luthier David Berkowitz of Berkowitz Guitars in Washington D.C.
The guitar used on Across the Bridge is a custom 6-string in cedar/old-growth sapele that we named "The Bumby." More information on that guitar, which was delivered at the 2004 Newport Guitar Festival, is here and a bunch of photos and trivia is here. It was great seeing David at the festival, as well as all of the other builders, players and friends. In August 2006 I picked up another guitar made by David at the 2006 Newport Guitar Festival - this time a 28"-scale baritone in spruce/padauk. We're calling that one "The Bambata." It's so fierce.
In January of 2007 I added a nylon-string alto-sized classical guitar handmade in Spain by Aria. I'd been hearing a number of pieces on which I'd been at work on a nylon-string guitar, but I wanted to explore the upper register. The alto, with a 550mm-scale, is tuned a fourth or fifth higher than concert, B to B or A to A. It's been a tremendous amount of fun to play, and I plan to record with the instrument.
Most recently I've been working with Illinois-based builder Bill Roberts on a [very] custom, deep-bodied, 26.1"-scale JOMC 13-fret guitar (the 13 MG) in spruce/rosewood. While admittedly I have many guitars, I don't have anything quite like what we've spec'd. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing what Bill does.
In the spring of 2006 I received a custom Avalon A101C, a lovely cedar/mahogany guitar handmade in Northern Ireland. I'm pleased to be one of Avalon's Endorsing Artists. I use the guitar both in the studio and on road. Around the same time I also picked up a 2002 Lowden O25c in cedar/rosewood from my friend Jim Tozier. I've long been a Lowden fan. It's a fantastic guitar.
Far more geekery awaits below, for those of you into such things. You can also check out the Gear section for more detailed descriptions of the equipment I use and the instruments I play.
December 2005 - David at Berkowitz Guitars is gonna build me a baritone. It's true. We spec'd it out just before XMas and the current delivery estimate is August 2006. The instrument will be one of his JB28CWs with my custom cutaway, a wedge body taper and 28" scale, in spruce/padauk. It's gonna rock. We're calling it The Bambata. As in Afrika. Submit.
June 2005 - On a recent trip to Kaua'i I got the itch to play something - anything - and became intrigued by... wait for it... the ukulele. After playing a few I decided to snap up a Lanikai baritone 'uke in koa. I had no idea how to play the thing, but that didn't stop me. I wrote two tunes in a morning.
December 2004 - I've always wanted a Weissenborn, and one finally made its way to me. I found out that a company called Gold Tone is making affordable copies of Herman Weissenborn's classic, so I found one, locally as fate would have it, and snapped it up. I've been a fan of the sound for years, and I'm looking forward to writing and recording with this guitar. I recently caught one of Ed Gerhard's live shows where he was absolutely killing on lap steel (and everything else, for that matter). Definitely an inspiration. Thanks, Ed.
October 2004 - I've added some nice magic boxes, big and small, to the live rig and so far I'm quite pleased. I recently picked up D-Tar's Solstice Two-Channel Mixing/Blending System, as well as their Equinox Three-Band Parametric Equalizer. A special thanks to Rick Turner for his help and advice with the signal chain. I run my stereo McIntyre pickups in to the Solstice, out to the Equinox and finally in to an Ultrasound Pro 100 amp, which sounds phenomenal. Thanks to Paul at Dream Guitars for the great service.
July 2004 - Thanks to my friends at Mercenary Audio in Boston and Sweetwater Music in Fort Wayne, IN, the new recording rig has taken shape and is on its way. Special thanks to Jay and Fletch at Mercenary for the demo equipment. I've decided to go with the following:
The guitar(s) and other assorted twang:
I'm also considering upgrading the live rig and am talking with the folks at D-Tar about their Solstice blender/preamp and Equinox parametric EQ. These are really interesting, high-end boxes that from the specs sound like they would be great additions for those of us who blend multiple pickup and mic signals - however medievally. More info to come.
June 2004 - I'm back to the drawing board with the recording rig. The chain I used for "Half Pint" was pretty low-end, all things considered, though I'd like to think I did the best I could with what I had at the time. I'm testing some different mics, a new mic-preamp and a new analog-to-digital device this month and should have things upgraded in time for my recording sessions, tentatively scheduled for July-August.
February 2004 - I've added a Technical File to the site, where I have Big Designs and promise to randomly blather on about insignificant matters to the nth.
Fall 2003 - I've picked up a Larrivée L-01 spruce/mahogany. It's sort of a slope-shouldered... I'd call it "nearly a dreadnought," but not quite. I have been doing quite a lot of travel lately and, due to some issues with the airlines I'd prefer not to detail any further at the moment, I had essentially decided to buy the most playable beater guitar I could find, specifically to fly with. I played many brands and models at various pricepoints, but I kept coming back to the Larrivée. I eventually ordered the L-01 from a shop in Troy, NY called Cathedral Music, which is run by a guy called Klem, who is, yes, a gem. I have to say that the guitar, particularly for the money, vastly exceeded all of my expectations. If you are in the market for an affordable, highly playable instrument, I strongly recommend that you take a look at Larrivée. I'm extremely happy. I can't say enough good about the guitar. I had the chance to play the guitar alongside a number of higher-priced Larrivées (the L-01 is basically a bindingless L-03) and several Lowden guitars (I'm a Lowden fan) at a shop in Maine recently, and I personally thought my L-01 outplayed them all.
Spring 2003 - I am very pleased to announce that I am now an official endorser of Dean Markley Alchemy guitar strings. I've tried a bunch of brands, and nothing comes close. I use both the GoldPhos and GoldBronze on my guitars in custom gauges, and I've never been happier with a set of strings, coated or uncoated. These strings are the things! If you're looking for a new set of strings I recommend you give them a try. The sound is better than anything I've heard and they last forever.
In other news, well, I did it. I got suckered and I did it. I put my 612ce in David Berkowitz' shop to have some work done (new nut and saddle, setup, etc.) and in the course of doing this I realized that, despite my ever-growing collection of guitars, I don't really have a suitable fingerstyle backup. Soon after I was at the music shop and I was forcibly shown a used Taylor 512. Not really being in the market for another small-body, I didn't invest much time or show much interest. But, back at home, having nothing to play other than the classical and a very badly set up Harmony, I started rethinking things. I went back and played the 512. And then I bought it. I got a good deal. It's a 1988 in spruce and mahogany with a 1 7/8" nut. It's a great guitar. I've since had a new bone nut and saddle cut, courtesy of David, along with a superb setup. I also had a dual-source pickup installed, a McIntyre Feather on the bridge (used for mids [cut slightly] and trebles), and a McIntyre SBT04 transducer slightly above and slighty behind the bridge (used for lows only), which I run via stereo cable into two independent Baggs PADIs. I'm very happy with the sound and I plan to install the same system in my 612ce eventually, as well as the guitar detailed below.
The meeting with David, above, was fortuitous. We started talking about guitars, as we would, and I've asked him to build me a custom model in cedar and mahogany (based on his J-6 model, with a few one-of-a-kind touches - which means we can name it something cool, like The Bumby). David builds guitars that are well suited to the way I like to play and am going with my music. I'm incredibly happy about it, and he's been very accomodating with design options and ideas. I wrote a bit more about it here. This past July I approved the custom body shape, which is an almagam of David's typical grand auditorium body, with a special custom cutaway he's agreed to do... just for me. The guitar should be done sometime between October and November 2003. And then... I may ask him to build me a baritone. I should stop now.
Winter 2002 - The next latest twanger in the stable is a Regal RD-45 squareneck dobro with a Quarterman cone, bone nut and ebony bridge. The guitar recently got a tuneup and Fishman pickup installed by Paul Beard's shop. It's slide-o-rific. I used it on "Jerry Said" from my record and plan to use it again for a tune or two on my next album.
Most of my attention in the way of gear lately has been on the recording front. For the last year or so I had been lining out directly from my guitar electronics to a Roland UA-30 USB interface to my laptop. This setup has allowed me to do some rudimentary recording and arranging, which has been a good thing. Unfortunately, the quality of sound leaves something to be desired. To that end, in the last six months I rounded up a couple of AKG condenser mics. To run these, I needed XLR inputs, which were nowhere to be found on the UA-30. So... I bought a Tascam US-428 USB mixer/control interface thingy. Which didn't have phantom power. So I couldn't run at least one of the mics, because it needed phantom power. So I got a Presonus BlueTube mic preamp, which is a nice little unit. Then the hell began. Suffice it to say that due to either limitations of a) software, b) systems, c) quality assurance, d) customer service, e) my patience, I couldn't get the Tascam to play nice with the rest of the rig. So... after a lot of help from my buds Mike Aaron and Al Petteway, I boxed the Tascam up and traded it in for an old-school analog Mackie VLZ1202 mixer, mic pres built in and all, which I line out to the UA-30, and everything is hap, hap, happy. Unfortunately I lost some momentum on the actual recording of music thing, which is, after all, the point. But, things are good now.
Fall 2002 - I have added a Blue Guitar Gallery with shots of my humble little collection of guitars, as well as a gear section detailing various diddlybits in my possession.
I eventually, after a very kind and fruitful two-month loan, had to return Al's Larry Sifel "Petteway Cutaway." The instrument was truly inspiring and prompted much exploration. It has also had expensive side effects. I quickly decided that I must have a guitar made to my exacting specifications. To that end, I've had a Taylor 612ce built, in blue, of course. The guitar sports a maple back and sides, a sitka spruce top, maple neck, 1 7/8" nut, abalone purfling, Schaller tuners with ebony buttons, no fret inlay on an ebony fingerboard, and a custom nut with precisely calibrated string spacing (duplicated from Al's Sifel, the truth be told). The pickup is a Fishman Blender. I'm very happy with the instrument. It is exceedingly playable, sounds gorgeous acoustically and plugged in, and is aesthetically quite beautiful. In particular I've been very impressed with its response in the lower register, which suits the lower tunings in which I often find myself playing, which, I'll add, the standard scale neck seems to take just fine, oddly enough. For a small-bodied guitar it carries a big, rich voice with bright, shimmering overtones in the mids and trebles. I'm happy. Taylor did a great job. I'm looking forward to recording with this instrument. Now, to have a baritone built...
I also broke down and added a Yamaha nylon-string to the fleet a little while ago. The CGX-171CCA (rolls right off the tongue) sports a cedar top, rosewood back and sides, nato neck, 1 7/8" nut, standard scale, and a bridge pickup and condenser mic. It sounds nice and is fun to play. It is not, in fact, blue. I've annihilated several easy classical studies and have been confronting my fear of standard tuning with the instrument. This has been most enlightening. I figured it had to happen sooner or later.
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Last updated, fixified, or otherwise jiggered: 01/19/09.