Shelly Short

Plus Extra Saturday Goodies

  • 7 p.m. |
  • Free |
  • 21 and over

About Musikanto


While calling to mind the vast and oftentimes desolate American landscape, the folk tales of MUSIKANTO hold their own within the rich tradition of American music. The Chicago-based songwriter grew up listening to his father's obscure Roots Rock and Folk records and the music of Fraser & Debolt and Jerry Hahn. His backwood sound is a fervent mix of old and new approaches, from broken-down orchestral and experimental folk to simply arranged indie-blues. While a poetic propensity for classic country heartbreak and melodic melodramas are grounds for the music's steadfast warmth, Musikanto's open narratives capture the depths of the human spirit with gripping power; his soulful voice always balanced on the verge of collapse.

On Sky of Dresses (Grape Juice Records), the follow up to 2009's self-released Ghost Pain, Musikanto builds his songwriting repertoire with stripped-down arrangements and simple sincere lyrics. Making countless late-night drives from Chicago to Milwaukee to record the new songs at a friend's home studio, he listened to the demos and slowly developed their personalities as he drove back and forth, reworking lyrics and adding instrumentation where he heard fit. The record stands as a collection of Musikanto's most evocative folk stories to date, delivered in his signature vocal ache. Recent highlights include a performance at NPR's Mountain Stage, an upcoming Daytrotter session, a tour with Truth & Salvage, a feature on the Patagonia Music site, critical acclaim from Paste Magazine, Country Music Television, AOL/Spinner, American Songwriter, Verbicide, My Old Kentucky Blog and more.

"There's an influx of bands struggling to imprint themselves on the modern folk movement. Chicago's Mike Musikanto has figured out the key-sincerity. When a song sounds authentic, it doesn't matter what label you tack on it, people will take notice." Paste Magazine

"Stylistically, the Chicago neo-folkie straddles the fence between Ryan Adams and Mr. Dylan (perhaps John Wesley Harding-era)" My Old Kentucky Blog

"Chicago artist Musikanto's sophomore effort Sky of Dresses is a strong, subtle foray into a complex mix of harmonious folk, soft rock, and solid songwriting that combine to produce a memorable and unique album with a tinge of country soul at its core." Verbicide Magazine


About Plus Extra Saturday Goodies

Every Saturday night at Al's Den, we'll have generous samples of a McMenamins beer, wine, and spirits plus a live interview with the band.

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