"Helluva songwriter," says bluesman Jimmy D. Lane of Hallal.
"The right elements of blues and funky sensibilities keep it real" with his "gutbucket" band, says The Noise of Boston.
Their sound is "tight... smoldering... electrifying," writes Blues Bytes.
And their new live-in-studio album, Hatchet Blues, is one of the Top 100 CDs of the year, judges Real Blues magazine, in the company of releases from Elvin Bishop, Roomful of Blues and other notables.
"Lyrically and sonically... a fine piece of work," says the UK's Blues Matters!.
Have a taste.
Jim Antonellis (drums): Brother-in-arms with Hallal for some 15 years. His shuffle grooves and 4-to-the-floor stomps recall Chicago blues drummers Ted Harvey and Fred Below. Influences include Gene Krupa and Charlie Watts.
Robert DeCorte (bass, vocals): Longtime jam partner and vinyl-hunting bud of guitarist Schluntz. Wrote and sings the evocative "Last of the Great Train Robbers" on new album. Also plays with Rhode Island jam band institution, Loose Change.
Mike Hallal (guitar, vocals): Some "superb" songs, says Blues Matters! of Hallal's latest material on the new album. Early influences include Beatles, Stones and Robert Johnson. Hatchet Blues is the 10th full-length release featuring his songs and performance.
Chris Schluntz (lead guitar): His burning axe work shines thruout the new hour-long album, helping ignite riff-heavy cuts like "Crying at the Sun" and the title track. Also authored the funk for "World's a Place." Vinyl collection includes Buddy Guy and The Black Keys.
RADIO PLAY FOR HATCHET BLUES
WMRA 90.7, Blues Valley (Harrisonburg, VA)
WUCF 89.9, Smokestack Lightnin' (Orlando, FL)
KDHX 88.1, Stumble in the Dark (St. Louis, MO)
WMBR 88.1, Pipeline (MIT, Cambridge, MA)
WHUS 91.7, Bluesline (Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT)
WRUW 91.1, Diversified Inc. (Case Western, Cleveland, OH)
LT38 104.3, Desde La Torre (Entre Rios, Argentina & Atlanta, GA)
CFBX 92.5, At the Crossroads (Kamloops, BC, Canada)
UKW 104.5, Bluescorner (Schopfheim, Germany)
RTV Raalte 105.1, Bluestown (Kwadendamme, Netherlands)
VFM 91.6, Boom Boom (Vinkovci, Croatia)
Radio 2: 94.1, Mojo Blues (Skopje, Macedonia)
mvyradio.com, Local MusiCafe (Vineyard Haven, MA)
jango.com (New York, NY)
loudcaster.com, Charlietown Blues (Columbia, SC)
radioukinternational.com (Basingstoke, UK)
live365.com, Midnight Special Blues Radio (Paris, France)
Drums: Jim Antonellis
Bass, vocals: Robert DeCorte
Guitar, vocals: Mike Hallal
Guitar: Chris Schluntz
ALBUMS ON iTUNES*
Live at Lizard Lounge
Chains of Being
*Distributed by TuneCore to
iTunes, Amazon, eMusic et al
Label: Pi Records
"Hatchet Blues: Top 100 Current CDs"
[+ Show ]
... 33. Elvin Bishop: Raisin’ Hell Revue (Delta Groove)... 35. Mike Hallal Band: Hatchet Blues (Pi R...... 33. Elvin Bishop: Raisin’ Hell Revue (Delta Groove)... 35. Mike Hallal Band: Hatchet Blues (Pi Records)... 48. Roomful of Blues: Hook, Line & Sinker (Alligator)...
"Hatchet Blues... poignant, haunting"
"lyrically and sonically... a fine piece of work"
[+ Show ]
... both lyrically and sonically this is a fine piece of work. At the third play one even begins to ...... both lyrically and sonically this is a fine piece of work. At the third play one even begins to appreciate the gruff and slightly menacing vocals, never more than in the title track... Hallal wrote most of the songs, and some of them are superb, like 'World's a Place' whose lyrics were inspired by an extract from Barack Obama's work "Dreams from My Father" - the music written by fellow band member and guitarist Chris Schluntz. Their covers, for example in the manner of Eric Clapton's 'Outside Woman Blues' and Charlie Patton's 'Poor Me' are sensitively executed, and suggest that this band are both musicologists and musicians.
"powerful, unvarnished blues/rock"
[+ Show ]
The Mike Hallal Band’s latest release, Hatchet Blues (Pi Records), picks up where their previous rel...The Mike Hallal Band’s latest release, Hatchet Blues (Pi Records), picks up where their previous release, the well-received Live At Lizard Lounge, left off. Although recorded in the studio this time around, the new album still has that live-in-the-studio feel, and their powerful, unvarnished blues/rock approach is still in place.
"4 carrots ... Tasty!"
[+ Show ]
Modern electric blues can get a bad rep at times. And it’s no wonder, when high falutin’ studios att...Modern electric blues can get a bad rep at times. And it’s no wonder, when high falutin’ studios attempt to polish the guts and soul out of the raw recording or when some loser takes the notion that he’s the second coming of Clapton. So having considered the above and more, it was nice to hear “Hatchet Blues”, the latest release from the Massachusetts-based Mike Hallal Band... The title track takes on an almost tribal sincerity, a slow-burning rumination on revenge by way of the blues. Around the halfway mark, we hear a little of Hamlet, further proving that this band are not short on influences... The Mike Hallal band require no tutoring on what it means to play the blues... You need the CD!
"Top 5 ... There isn't a dog on this disc"
[+ Show ]
Mike Hallal and company serve up a collection of funky blues rock numbers that make you shake your m...Mike Hallal and company serve up a collection of funky blues rock numbers that make you shake your money maker while rattling the earth from underneath your feet... There isn't a dog on this disc... Good stuff!
"Live at Lizard Lounge: Top 100 CDs ['09]"
[+ Show ]
1. Dennis Jones: Pleasure & Pain (Blue Rock )... 4. Delaney Bramlett: A New Kind Of Blues (Magnolia ...1. Dennis Jones: Pleasure & Pain (Blue Rock )... 4. Delaney Bramlett: A New Kind Of Blues (Magnolia Gold)... 54. Mike Hallal Band: Live At Lizard Lounge (Pi Records)...
A stew of original roots rock, jams and obscure blues. Can cook for 1-3 hours. Here's the list from a recent 1-hour set:
Just the Thing
Get Up & Go
Outside Woman Blues
A Minor Jam
Crying at the Sun
There are no upcoming dates at this time.