Michelle Titian

Michelle Titian (rhymes with magician) is a name that’s been familiar to music lovers for some time now, a musical family and an early start saw to that. Exactly what form her music would take is her junk drawer next to the stove, with the memories and turns-of-phrase mixed in a jumble with the riffs and melody lines. Some of these things are used immediately while others are bundled and stored for that time that’s sure to come when she needs them.

Blending the stylings of the 60’s singer-songwriter era with the 90’s resurgence in acoustic full band sensibilities and a very solid Steeltown vibe (read: fearless, varied) the people and places all added another layer, another texture to the picture – another meaning to the line. Diving in and going hard when able and kicking back to cement friendships and woodshed invariably leads to a new crop of songs for the fire – and like a fire they tend to draw people close and provide a feeling of community.

We got to welcome her and the whole band on a special pre-taped episode from Sunday March 6 to air on Wednesday March 23 – the week our producer Ryan is on his honeymoon drinking and eating and debauching his heart and belly full. 

Bringing her world-class drummer of a hubby Tone Valcic along with bassist Colin Lapsley and guitar god Andrew Aldridge, Michelle Titian is in fine form, soaring thru some live magic and a few cuts from her self-titled CD. We talk about the old days, the new days, some truths and legends of The Hammer, never losing sight of where we are, never losing touch with where we came from.

Another winner – on Barber Shop Podcast  



Bassist Show #1

Low down and dirty is the only way to go if you ask any bass player. With great tone comes great responsibility and the bass players who have the job thrust upon them never last and impress the way honest-to-goodness bass players come to their instrument. Big, deep and heavy, the rumble and groove of the bass makes any kind of music better when it’s got a nice, round bottom. It’s no big surprise that those who handle the bottom end are responsible for far more than counting beats, they are the ones who make the girls dance. The bass is a sexy instrument not because of the way it looks, but because of the way it makes you feel. Bass masters Tiny Basstank, Joe Varga and Gerry Gregg tune up and plug in and drop the groove.

I don’t think I had a better time than I did tonight. Chances are neither have you. 



Martin Verrall and Raven’s Request

Martin Verrall is an interesting dude, and what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. Vested and feted as an artist and writer, the poetry he creates has been made into music here for the better part of three decades.

Think equal parts Cohen, Dillon, Strummer and Aqualung – Verrall has worked with some of the best in the music business and some who have no business being musicians. His gravely raspy vocal slur and layered lyrical landscapes are at once sweet and brutal. The niceties of music completely lost on his singular fractured vision. Dark, haunting imagery interspersed with beautiful truths via the fractured mirror we view our experience mark the signature features of Martin Verrall’s music regardless of who he is playing with and what stage of his career you might be listening too.

Raven’s Request is an ensemble of sound makers and shape shifters who’s names might change here and there but whose mission is always loud and clear, a tour de’ force of both rapiers and artillery.

Comprising Mike Williams in bass, Christopher Wilson on guitar and his fine wife Monica Wilson on drums this visit, Raven’s Request make hay on some of Martin’s music and pour the coal on hand over fist.

Loud and swilly, pensive and petulant, sharp and slightly dulled the whole crew does a great job this fine spring night answering the riddle that is Martin Verrall.



Rocket & the Invaders

Music serves many purposes and has many forms in life, but for those in the fight it’s a history book, a pirate map, and a rubber room to live and re-live life’s best moments. Robin Magder Pierce was around in the exclusive days of vinyl and cassette, during the time Hamilton was souping up their bluesy roots with rock and roll and punk music, staking a claim to the sounds of the day with some truly memorable acts that still resonate today. Teenage Head kicked the door in and when The Shakers ran in after them, a guitar slinger named Gibbons was part of that faction that eventually spawned a few great offspring such as The Trouble Boys and Atomic Tim and the Sinz. These bands in turn drew in the players and the producers that made more than just music. Robin was a young, pretty little thing with talent and desire. The raw ability drawn out over the years, singing and writing with increasing confidence.

Over time, life has a funny way of working out the kinks, holding onto the pawn tickets that are long overdue. Such was the case with Robin, for after what can only be described as an extended down period, she found herself with the ambition and desire to write and perform her own brand of power pop punk again. Lucky for her that old rock stars never die – they just move slower – and she was able to grab some very key players to open this latest, greatest doors in her musical life.

Stopping by on a February night, Rocket Robin and the Invaders (Claude DesRoches – drums, Mike Williams – bass, David Evans – guitar) talk about the good old days and bring a few tapes (yes…TAPES) of the roots that support this new growth. 

So sit back and relax, let the barber do his thing as we roll with Rocket and the Invaders on Barber Shop Podcast.