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Michael Merenda - JPop.com
Artist info
Michael Merenda

Michael Merenda

Michael Merenda


Michael Merenda grew up in the small University town of Durham, NH. He spent his youth playing drums and guitar in several Northeastern rock/punk/reggae outfits before heading to NYC after graduating with a creative writing degree from Bowdoin College in Maine. In New York Mike found himself at home at the Lower East Side’s Sidewalk Cafe, home of the burgeoning “anti-folk” scene. It was while living in New York that Mike met fiddler/singer Ruth Ungar who instantly began harmonizing to Merenda’s unique Read more on Last.fm
Michael Merenda grew up in the small University town of Durham, NH. He spent his youth playing drums and guitar in several Northeastern rock/punk/reggae outfits before heading to NYC after graduating with a creative writing degree from Bowdoin College in Maine. In New York Mike found himself at home at the Lower East Side’s Sidewalk Cafe, home of the burgeoning “anti-folk” scene. It was while living in New York that Mike met fiddler/singer Ruth Ungar who instantly began harmonizing to Merenda’s unique, poetic, outspoken songs and introduced the young songwriter to traditional folk music. After a year spent performing together in New York the two left the high rents of the city for Western Massachusetts where Mike recorded his first album, TRAPPED IN THE VALLEY. Produced by Jose Ayerve (Spouse), “Trapped” unmistakably documents Merenda’s free-form style of writing and propensity towards sonic experimentation interlocking with the more traditional sounds and rhythms he had recently began exploring. Under Ungar’s influence, Mike picked up old-time banjo and began working at the Fretted Instrument Workshop in Amherst, MA.

At Fretted Mike was introduced to Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (Grandson of banjo-virtuoso, Pete Seeger) and, before he knew it, Mike was touring the US and Canada with Rodriguez-Seeger and Ungar under the name The Mammals. Traditional music, which started out as a fascinating dichotomy to the modern, folk-ish songs Merenda had been intuitively writing, became a main focus. Soon The Mammals were headlining major American folk festivals and were being hired to teach banjo, fiddle and songwriting techniques at music camps and schools. It was within The Mammals that Merenda evolved into a topical songwriter in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Not one to leave his original vision behind, however, Mike continued to produce solo records of his darker, "vaguely apocalyptic" material. In 2004, with the help of The Mammals producer Max Feldman, Merenda released ELECTION DAY a “remarkable. .

. musically experimental. . .

political album”; a wild amalgamation of political folk, freak folk, anti-folk, rock, pop, country, alternative, underground and emo. Merenda contributed songs to two more Mammals albums (Rock that Babe, Departure) before hitting the studio in January 2006, again with producer Jose Ayerve, to record QUIVER, a collection of twelve stunning, mysterious folk songs which unfold like a series of skilled poems sung to glimmering musical backdrops. In 2007 Mike will be touring the US in support of QUIVER in between Mammals tours which will bring the band all over America as well as Australia and Europe. In November 2006 Mike will be supporting one of his favorite new-folk songwriters, Dan Bern, for a string of shows in Oregon and Washington state. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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