Four Million Silhouettes
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Four Million Silhouettes

New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States | SELF

New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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"MICHAEL KOVACS/Firewalker"

Working with a base of acoustic guitar, conga and cello the uncommonly deep, uncommonly observant Michael Kovacs colors his clever words with a husky, sardonic, Dylan-esque rasp interspersed with gorgeous solo guitar instrumentals and the damn-near commercial "Diamonds and Promises" and "Falling" and the hilarious "A Different Cowboy song." (Brimstone and Blue Productions, PO Box 200, Old Bridge, NJ) - Al Muzer - The Aquarian Arts Weekly


"Michael Kovacs"


A total acoustic player with a new approach to things has arrived! What really makes Michael's stuff neat, outside of the playing itself, is his liner notes which gives inspirations and ideas of where the songs came from. This gives you an image to project in your mind as your ears are treated to a beautiful orientation of "Acoustic Stories". Influences of Keaggy poke their head in on occasion. Some of Michael's darker material is enough to scare most death metalheads by its eerie atmosphere. As he puts it, "disturbing." Lots of tapping and arpeggiated chords move this material. Michael has a nice control of dynamics, which adds to the visual pictures that he tries to convey. I'm looking forward to more story telling acoustic style! MD - The Guitarist's Network


"Review of The Growing Stone"

(Review of CD The Growing Stone)
Always excellent. Michael Kovacs outdoes himself with this direct from the heart pop-friendly folk rock."
-Al Muzer - Aquarian Art Weekly


""Musician reflects on life of notable challenges""

It took some growing pains to finish "The Growing Stone."

For musician and composer Michael Kovacs of Old Bridge, naming his third CD after the short story by Albert camus seemed the natural thing to do.

"The thing kept getting heavier and longer the more I tried to finish it," said Kovacs, who will play the new material in concert May 20 at Playhouse 22 in East Brunswick.

"It was shelved for five months because I couldn't find a steady drummer. I just couldn't get a band together. There was also a flood in the basement where the studio is, and a friend of mine died," said Kovacs, whose CD title also honors one of his favorite writers. "I'm a big Camus fan," he said.

Although Kovacs had guest musicians on his first two CDs - "Sacred" (1996) and "Firewalker" (1998) - he assembled a full band - the Post-Modern Tribe - for "The Growing Stone."

I decided that this CD should be all-band," Kovacs said, noting that it helps to have backup musicians when trying to book gigs. The market is shrinking for solo acoustic performers, he said, adding that he doesn't fit into the folk genre.

"I don't sit in any one camp," he said. "I just do music. I don't have an agenda. I just tell a story. But having the band is kinda fun."

The band members are Dave Dusenbery of North Brunswick on bass and backup vocals; Adam Sadowsky of East Brunswick on drums; Christine Zadravec of Highland Park on cello and blues vocals; Tishana Kabok of New Brunswick on lead and backup vocals; Steve Hadju-Nemeth of South Brunswick on backup vocals; and assistant producer Pete Vajtay of South Brunswick, who does a guitar solo on the second track, "Bring Me Down." Mary Ann Wilson of Monmouth Junction also provides backup vocals.

Kovacs does all the guitar work on the CD. When he's not busy making CDs (on his independent label, Brimstone and Blue Productions), he gives private guitar lessons.

"I took guitar as a freshman in high school (St. Joseph's in Metuchen) because I couldn't draw," said Kovacs, a New Brunswick native who lived in South River before moving to Old Bridge five years ago.

He started out in a heavy metal band before moving to a more acoustic style after high school. His influences have included Paul Simon, the Indigo Girls and the late guitarist Michael Hedges.

He majored in economics at Rutgers University, where he also studied classical composition. Kovacs went on to do graduate work in classical composition at Music Tech in Minneapolis.

The 30-year-old, who also is a collage and multimedia artist, has had a variety of jobs over the years. But songwriting is among the more difficult, he said. "I was a landscaper for 12 years and even that's not as much work."

Kovacs said his songs, inspired by personal experiences, "are like my little children."

When the songwriting process is going right, he said, "you're kinda like the middle man for something that comes to you. Sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere. Getting the original idea down is very easy, but taking it to the end goal is about as much fun as kneeling on sandpaper."

Sometimes the chorus is easy but the verses don't come, he said. "Or I've got two verses and a chorus but no bridge. I just keep doing it till it's right. It's a labor of love, but it's definitely labor. Love is the secondary word in that sentence."
-Jane Locastro - The Newark Star Ledger


Discography

Acoustic Stories
Rituals and Comedies
sacred
Firewalker
The Growing Stone
Writing on Water (part I)
Writing on Water (part II)
Reaching for the Brass Ring
After the Valentines (2 CD rock opera)
released July 31, 2009

Butterfly on the Wheel (released May 2012)

Photos

Bio

As he has done for the past whenever, Mike Kovacs produces music, art, poetry, and film that has both defied category yet not been exclusionary. Combining elements of indigo girls, Michael Hedges, Husker Du/Bob Mould, Elvis Costello, Bela Bartok, and a host of others, Mike Kovacs blends all of the elements into a unique pop mix that is both approachable and utterly unique.

He has played everything from sold-out theaters in New Jersey to festivals in San Francisco to a transsexual open mic night in Minneapolis (he's not, though). On July 31, he and the band will be debuting a multi-media rock opera piece called "After the Valentines".

Band Members