I'm Talkin' New York, Vol.1 - Wakey!Wakey!

A few weeks back I mentioned Wakey!Wakey! in a post about the Sidewalk Anti-folk Winter Fest at the Sidewalk Café in New York. Turns out Mike Grubbs, the man behind the name (and the incredible voice), has some exciting news to share. He has recently signed with Family Records, home of The Undisputed Heavyweights and Casey Shea. The New York based label will release a Wakey!Wakey! live album, to be recorded at Pianos on April 24th, with a May release. The show and recording will feature Mike’s new band, complete with a full string quartet, bass, drums, and synth, as well as Mike on piano.

I first heard Wakey!Wakey! last summer at an open-mic at Park Slope’s Bar 4 and, I imagine like everyone else that night, was awestruck. His voice is like a smoke alarm in the dead of night: huge, dominant, unable to be ignored, maybe even life-saving. His singing commanded the room, but his songs resonated for more reasons than just the one. They are instantly memorable, alive with a 70’s piano-pop flair and melodies that slap you in the face. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s capable of backed by a band. Let’s get to know Mike a little, shall we? According to his bio:

Mike Grubbs was raised underneath the burgundy baby grand his mother gave lessons on for extra money. His father was a singer with a day job. They would never bring him to New York on vacation, so when he was old enough, he moved there and started what is now WAKEY!WAKEY!

Mike is most often seen alone on stage, behind his piano or guitar. His most common comparison is Ben Folds, but always with the immediate addition of, "with more edge". With inspiration drawn from Soul, Punk Rock, and his classical background, his main influence is the integrity of the artists with which he has surrounded himself.

His songs are extremely intimate portraits of naked emotion, sang, whispered and screamed into the consciousness of the growing crowds that currently enjoy his live shows all along the East coast.”

Check out this MP3 he sent along:

MP3 :: You Could Do Better

And watch this performance of “War Sweater”:

Hear more Wakey!Wakey! Music on his myspace.


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