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Mikey's Twangville Gazette: Reviews

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»Subscribe to the Mike Golay Podcast Series subscribe to mike golay's podcast series.
»All About Across the Bridge, the latest solo record
»All About Half Pint, my first solo record
»The Bumby Tapes: 10 Questions and Answers
»Q&A with the Portland Press Herald

What people are saying about Mike Golay's Across the Bridge, Solo Acoustic Guitar:

In a Word
An awesome album [Across the Bridge], an awesome composer and an awesome player.

-Al Petteway
Grammy-winning guitar god

Golay's instrumentals don't need words to get their emotions across... His playing is lush, complex and mesmerizing.
-Aimsel L. Ponti
The Portland Press Herald

Mike Golay lets [his] guitar do the talking, and it's quite eloquent indeed.

-Ray Routhier
The Portland Press Herald
Read the complete story

Dude, Seriously...
...a virtuoso-level fingerstyle guitarist, and his Across the Bridge is a robust 18 songs’ worth of some serious playing.

-Sam Pfeifle
The Portland Phoenix
Read the complete review

[Mike Golay is] one of the princes of DADGAD.

-Don Ross
Doctor of Funk

A Logical Step Forward
Mike Golay's debut album Half Pint received critical acclaim by the press and his fans. Now Across The Bridge is a logical step forward in his composing skills and techniques he uses, such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, slapping and tapping. This said, Mike Golay is an extremely well-balanced composer. Mike uses a lyrical approach, with an intimate stylistic approach towards music. All the pieces are written in open tunings and also some with a capo to avoid any resemblance to the typical DADGAD sound. The guitars used are a Berkowitz J6CW custom jumbo cutaway and a Gold Tone Weissenborn Style 3 copy on one tune. Special guest on this album is Al Petteway, who is assisting on 4 tracks: "Somewhere I Have Never Travelled," "Peggy Gordon," "Resolucíon" and "Welcome To Funkstown." The chemistry between both players works extremely well and a good balance and structure is found in all pieces with rich percussion on "Welcome To Funkstown." Mike's gentle and warm touch of the strings creates a wonderful intimate ambiance, which is excellent treat for any heart. "A&P," "Anam Cara," "Pukana la Kalalea" are representing for instance these passionate feelings. "Between The Rains," on the Weissenborn lap slide, has a moody and melancholic interpretation. The title track "Across The Bridge" is effective yet challenging, as is "The Handsome Young Maidens," an arrangement of this cheerful Irish traditional song. "Second Chance" is one of my personal favourites, played with well-skilled techniques and has a fantastic melody line and a remarkable balance. Mike Golay succeeded in making an album which absorbs one from the beginning to the end with rich melodies, appealing and noteworthy writing skills, and which will find its way to any guitar enthusiast and music lover who likes a guitarist with a unique and alluring creative signature.

-Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews

An Instant Classic
Across the Bridge is a coming of a age CD. I first heard Mike Golay's fine debut CD Half Pint just a short while back and knew then on that he would be here to stay. The funny thing is that on listening to Across the Bridge it feels like he has always been with us the whole time and it's his ability to be an artist and share it with us that sets him apart! I would prefer not to go in to individual tracks as that is not what this CD demands. It's a collection of stories that are all tied in with one another like characters and the lyrical writing and grace that Mike delivers these stories and characters with is what makes this CD so special, making it a very focused offering. I connected on every level of his compositions and the hint of Celtic flair that he employs here is just magical, the warm and friendly tone of his guitars brings a visual element into play here for you can dream while his guitar sings to you and he's not afraid to share his dreams either. This is Mike Golay on his most honest journey. These are stories you will want to hear again and again making it a CD that will be talked about as a classic of our time.

No "throw in weaker tracks to make up a CD" approach here either. Each of these tracks has been well thought out, well written, superbly performed and all importantly: none of them outlive their welcome. In short, they are all inspired and you cant help but fall in love with each them. What's that old saying? We'll cross our bridges when we get to them? Well, why wait? Let Mike Golay take you 'Across the Bridge.' You're in safe, friendly hands and I'm honoured to be hearing his stories!

-Amrit Sond
Grammy-winning guitarist, UK

A wicked decent guitah playah, I'd say. Quite good.
[This is a compliment in Maine.]

-Chris Darling
"US Folk"
WMPG 90.9/104.1 Portland, ME

Highly Recommended
Virtuosic but not flashy... Golay's pieces express the soul of the often taken-for-granted instrument.

-Jon Sobel
Read the complete review

An Acoustic Adventure
Across the Bridge is full of solid compositions and excellent musicianship. Golay may not have any hellhounds on his trail, but this is his sophomore release and he does travel a lot. Could be they just haven't caught up.

-Chris Busby
The Bollard
Read the complete review

Ear Candy
Mike Golay plays beautiful fingerstyle guitar, very melodic and peaceful. Ear candy for fingerstyle guitar aficionados as well as casual listeners. ...In my humble opinion, Mike's exquisite fingerstyle guitar skill is extraordinary. Maybe a good analogy would be to imagine Mike's new CD is a buffet table full of the finest gourmet foods that you have ever had the chance to eat.

-Rich LaPenna
"aerial boundaries"
WSLR 96.5 Sarasota

A Musical Oasis
I'm not usually a fan of steel-string guitar music in the nature of tone poems, like Mike Golay's new CD [Across the Bridge]. I am more of a sucker for the compelling melody. That having been said, however, I admire unhurried playing where notes are sustained, where the guitar sounds beautiful, due to the player's skill and to expert recording, and where the player exhibits fine left-hand control, with good tone and texture, a nice vibrato, and slides that linger. In addition, there is a peaceful quality suffusing Mike's recording - a musical oasis away from stress and tension. I congratulate Mike on his effort, and wish him the best in his musical journey.

-El McMeen
Renowned acoustic guitarist and educator

What people are saying about Mike Golay's Half Pint, Solo Acoustic Guitar:

Timeless, Emotion, A Certain Peace
There are a lot of different styles at work here, from Folky-type fingerpickin' stuff to some really lyrical work and even a classical influenced piece to wrap up the CD ('Morning Prayer') plus the whole CD resonates with a very nice Celtic feel. A very musical body of work indeed, and my personal standout track has got to be 'Jack of Hearts' because of the emotional feel of it and the arrangement is just simply BEAUTIFUL...this one really sings and tugs at the heart - timeless writing simply put!

I've listened to the CD a lot and the guitar tone is lovely, with a very warm sound and presence and the playing is right there, melody is up front and the communication of the pieces comes across as Mike intends. There is a lot of emotion at work here, this stuff I just LOVE... My overall view is that "Half Pint" is a FINE self-produced CD...with a certain Peace in it that I really like and appreciate, that intimate quality where you really get to know the artist over the course of the 45 minutes.

Congratulations on a wonderful debut release. We are now in a time where people really want to hear MUSIC and this is a superb offering - it settles the spirit with its soul.
-Amrit Sond
Grammy-winning guitarist, UK

Intimate Reflections, Meditative Visions
Happily surprised I was with the debut album "Half Pint" from Mike Golay. This acoustic guitarist hails from Washington, D.C., in the USA. Mike Golay has a very reflecting way of composing and his compositions are all played in open tunings. His way of playing reminds one of Don Ross, in the percussive "Beverly Jane" opening track. "Waltz for Brooklyn" is very intimate and has some Celtic nuances which is perhaps inherent to the DADGAD tuning. Mike uses a six string blue Taylor 612CE guitar. "Chincoteague Drive -In Saturday Night" has a nice Celtic feeling, on which Mike slaps and does some string pulling, which give this composition a dancing character. "Tune for Ruthie" has a very intimate melody line in a DADGBE tuning with a capo. On "Jerry Said" Mike uses a Dobro guitar and he has a real capturing, moving way to play slide guitar. On "Baby With A Hammer" Mike uses many hammering and pull offs which make this piece fluent and very intimate. The tuning is CGCFGC [capoed at II], which has this nice deep bass. "Morning Prayer" has a classical approach with a repeating pattern. "St Martin's" is played in open Bb tuning, the composition has a meditative character on which you feel involvement and expression of Mike's visions. Mike Golay is certainly a great talent, not only as an acoustic guitarist but also as a composer. His style is unique and I guess this album will attract any acoustic guitar player.
-Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Reviews, The Netherlands

An Uncommon Concoction
Mike Golay is an impressive new talent. His debut CD, Half Pint, showcases his unique combination of feel and flair. One minute you'll be carried along by a Hedges-inspired groove, and the next, Mike will tempt you with sweet melodies reminiscent of Bensusan. Very few players are able to achieve this blend of technique and taste so successfully.
-Jim Tozier
Progressive Celtic Fingerstyle Guitarist

Full-Time Flail
I work with Mike; sat across the hall from him for a while. I got to listen to him practice, and then I found out he made this CD. It's hard to believe that someone playing part-time and working full time created such an astounding debut. Stylistically, I am strongly reminded of Adrian Legg. This is a great album and I look forward to more.
-David Wexelblat
Part-time picker and Really Smart Guy

A Solid Acoustic Debut!
Let me say up front that Mike is a friend. Second, let me also assure you that I'm a jerk, and my friend-ness will not influence my review. With that out of the way, this album is great. All the songs are good and worth the price of admission. About half of them, though, are works of art, destined for enshrinement in some temple for music. Waltz for Brooklyn, Tune For Ruthie, Jerry Said and 111 Archer are my personal favorites from the album. They all convey raw emotion, skillfully presented by Mike with a light touch and no pretense. There's no obvious engineering or remixing. The sound is honest and forthright, without a lot of trickery or inside jokes. It's very well done, and is a welcome addition to my library. If you like Leo Kottke, Bela Fleck or Bill Frisell's work, pick up this album. You won't regret it.
-Kevin Lawver

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Last updated, fixified, or otherwise jiggered: 03/27/07.