Since arriving on the New York city music scene in June 2007, Michael Wagner has established himself as one of the city's most unique live acts.
Solo, Wagner can silence an entire room with ukulele songs like "Spooky Uke", confounding new listeners with his tabla-like drumming. His playing style is so unique that it has garnered him international attention, with an appearance at the Paris Ukulele Festival in May 2008 and a follow-up France tour in November 2008.
With his band, Chappy, Wagner surprises audiences with both uncommon instrumental lineups (guitar/sax/tuba trios to sextets including violin, drums and accordion), and a surprisingly loud and animated set. Channeling a much angrier version of Django Reinhardt, Wagner writes songs of "joyful discontent", drawing inspiration from mindless employment, the joys and pitfalls of dating strippers, and his love-hate relationship with the City of New Orleans, his former home.
The energy of Wagner's performances draws listeners in, reminding them that while life may be miserable, it's no excuse not to have fun.
Michael Wagner - vocals,guitar, ukulele
Also perform with:
Robert Wagner - sax
Brian Wolff, Tuba Joe - Tuba
Andy Mac, Eric John Eigner - drums
assorted other instruments including violin, accordion and drums.
Solo: Michael Wagner - ukulele, guitar, vocals
Love Songs & Miscellany - Fall 2007
Shallow Seas EP - Fall 2006
Chappy LP - Fall 2005
Streaming: Spooky Uke, Streets
Radio Play: Shallow Seas
Rock Bottom (ukulele)
Spooky Uke (ukulele)
Kissing Tiny Flowers: Michael Wagner
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The ukulele is usually an instrument that renders songs stripped of their frills, arrangements slipp...The ukulele is usually an instrument that renders songs stripped of their frills, arrangements slipped off to reveal the structure underneath. But there's always someone willing to think outside the box with the instrument. Michael Wagner manages to find a lot of room for maneuvering within the limited framework of his chosen instrument. With a mixture of taps, slaps, and traditional strumming, he comes across like the Les Claypool of the uke. On second thought, that title is a bit misleading, since his songwriting and earnestness recall the sweetest moments of Led Zeppelin III and old Uncle Tupelo records. But between the lovely tunes and the wow factor, you're bound to find something to love.
3 hours of original guitar and ukulele music.
Ukulele: 6-8 songs for a 30-45 minute set
Guitar: 15-30 songs for a 90-180 minute set
There are no upcoming dates at this time.