Bring What You Need, Use What You Have

I had the great pleasure recently of subbing for my friend Chris in the band Sulek. Sulek frontman Patrick Hoctor and I play together in MMTU and when Chris was unavailable he called me first. (I love those kinds of calls.)

The Details:
I only had a few weeks to get ready for the show
It was a 45 minute set (7-8 songs to learn)
It was basically a duo onstage (Patrick singing and playing guitar, Ruthie on vocals for a some songs)
It was at a venue at which I’ve never played

So, I listened to Sulek non-stop for 14 days, worked through the arrangements and really zeroed in a on a few things that I wasn’t comfortable playing at first. We had two rehearsals – Patrick and I had a 2 hour practice, and then we did a run through with Ruthie the day of the show for a little over an hour – and then boom we played the show.

Gear wise I kept it super simple since it was just two instruments on stage – kick, snare, floor tom and cymbals.


There is video of the show which I hope to post shortly but in the meantime, this pic will tell the story:



(ooh and Patrick loved the smoke machine! haha)

Well, Hello 2013!

Breaks are nice, aren’t they?

We ended 2012 with some great shows, including a nice arctic adventure with our pals in Field Report up in dreamy Minnesota, we rode out (part of) the winter and now we’re headed to balmy Toronto for the Folk Alliance International conference/festival.

I’ll be packing lots of warm socks and long undies and getting ready for that trek to the Great White North. And, I’ll possibly be rolling out some new gear this year. Canada get’s to see it first but I promise that you’ll see it all over America as well if it works out the way I hope it will. (if not, I’m sure embarrassing Youtube videos will have to be destroyed haha)

So, here’s some upcoming dates with MMTU:

Feb 21 2013 Folk Alliance International – The Monarchs Pub Toronto, ON (Canada) 11:45PM
Feb 21 2013 Folk Alliance International – Access Films Showcase – Room #1059 Toronto, ON (Canada) 1:10AM (technically Feb 22)
Feb 21 2013 Folk Alliance International- Philadelphia Love Showcase – Room #1066 Toronto, ON (Canada) 1:30AM (technically Feb 22)
Feb 22 2013 Folk Alliance International- OFFICIAL SHOWCASE – Rossetti Room Toronto, ON (Canada) 8:15PM
Feb 22 2013 Folk Alliance International – LilFest Showcase – Room #1275 Toronto, ON (Canada) 1:45AM (technically Feb 23)
Feb 23 2013 Folk Alliance International- Arrival Records, Poltz & Pressman Presents – Room #1260 Toronto, ON (Canada) 11:00PM
Feb 23 2013 Folk Alliance International – Access Films Showcase – Room #1059 Toronto, ON (Canada) 1:10 AM (technically Feb 24)
Mar 1 2013 Fitzgeralds Berwyn, IL 8pm
Mar 8 2013 Café Paradiso Fairfield, IA 8pm
Mar 9 2013 CSPS Cedar Rapids, IA
Mar 28 2013 Nines at the River Club of Mequon Mequon, WI
Mar 29 2013 House Concert – email for details Madison, WI 8pm
Apr 6 2013 The Tonic Room Chicago, IL 8
Apr 11 2013 Canal Street Tavern Dayton, OH
Apr 12 2013 Velvet Lounge Washington DC
Apr 13 2013 The Thought Lot Shippensburg PA
Apr 14 2013 @ TBA New York City, NY
May 4 2013 Cup O Joy Green Bay, WI
May 10 2013 Trinity House Theatre Benefit Show Livonia, MI


I lent out my drums to my pal Patrick Hoctor, did a little engineering and also tracked some one handed kick drum for his new Sulek CD “Unbound At Last”.

Sulek is Patrick Hoctor, Ruthie Hoctor and Chris Winberg.

Check it out here:


justin heron epAfter much tracking and re-tracking and mixing and more mixing the Justin Heron ep is done and out as well. I played drums on this and I think it sounds pretty good. Justin records and mixes it old school and it shows (in the best of ways.)
Check it out here:
The Justin Heron ep




OK 2013 – let’s get it on!

New Year, new gear, new music, new shows – YES!

2012 is here and I’m already behind but I wanted to jot down a quick note about what’s coming up this year –

New gear – as usual I’ve acquired a few new cymbals over the past year thanks to my pal Bob Rupp  at Sabian and I’ll be working those into the live rotation this year.  Some HHX, AAX, OMNI and prototypes that are all pretty cool.

Music! The new Mike Mangione release rounded out nicely in mixing at the end of last year and went off to be mastered in December. We haven’t decided on a release date yet but new songs are creeping into the live set and people seem to really like them.  Also, working on both the new Sulek and Justin  Heron releases (even playing some bass!) and those should come out some time this year.

Shows – lots of upcoming shows with Mike Mangione and The Union as well as some shows here and there with my pals in Sulek and Justin Heron.

MMTU dates can be found here: and I’ll try to keep updates on the others as they arise.

Speaking of new and live – here’s Mike Mangione & The Union live on WGN America (and local Chicago channel 9) previewing a song called Burn in My Belly.  Enjoy!

Mike Mangione and The Union in the WGN TV Midday Music Lounge