Mike Criscione

Mike Criscione

 Orchard Park, New York, USA
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

Award-winning singer/songwriter Mike Criscione juggles vocals, guitars, percussion and live loops in a commanding mix of adult alternative.

Biography

Two-time winner of "Best Original Guitarist" at the Buffalo Music Awards, Mike Criscione's path as a musician has taken him through a number of angular phases. Beginning in the western New York music scene as a rock guitarist for the critically acclaimed progressive band Riley, Criscione established himself as an accomplished guitarist and vocalist. Riley found success in the Buffalo area. Their technique-intensive live shows, regional radio airplay, and high profile performances (a 1999 season opening slot at Buffalo's "Thursday at the Square" concert series) propelled them to be voted Best Original Rock band at the 1999 Buffalo Music Awards.

After disbanding with Riley, Criscione established himself as a singer/songwriter on the region's coffeehouse circuit, drawing positive reviews from clubs and fans alike. Initially performing with only voice and acoustic guitar, Criscione quickly found that setup too limiting. Over time, his performances have evolved to additionally incorporate electric guitars, mandolin, keyboards, bass pedals, percussion and live recorded loops. "It's kind of like juggling," he says of his current style. "You get in the rhythm of doing a number of things at once and it just turns into one big motion." For Criscione, this motion entails balancing singing, playing one of the many instruments in his arsenal, stomping on bass pedals and controlling live digital loopsall at the same time. The use of looping enables Criscione to add multiple layers to his songs without resorting to using pre-recorded parts. This also allows him to switch instruments mid-song, adding greatly to the visual aspect of his live shows.

Criscione's debut release, BALANCE, features him performing on over ten different instruments. Self-recorded, mixed, and mastered, this work covers an impressive array of styles interwoven with an acoustic/rock foundation. During the process of this recording, many of the songs evolved from arrangements that Criscione could pull off solo to ones that required a full band. The Buffalo News describes Criscione as having, a diverse palette of musical inspiration and a definite knack for storytelling.

Also a sought after guitarist in the Western New York Music Scene, Criscione performs regularly as part the modern rock cover band UltraViolet. He has also lent his electric skills to other performing/recording artists artists in the region most notably Rob Falgiano and NSS.

For more info visit: http://www.mikecriscione.com

Lyrics

REGULAR DAY

Written By: Mike Criscione

You and I by a waterfall in our youth
Simple Times, this picture’s my proof
On a regular day
We forget all the things we’ve been through
What I’d need to say
“I can’t wait, for the hand of fate”
to get back to you

You and I in a picture by a pool
I’ll pick you up, spin you round, and act like a fool
On a regular day
With phone bills, laundry, and all things serious too
What I need to say
“Stop to smile, look around awhile”
And get back to you

You and I and we’re walking hand in hand
You face in the sun, my feet in the sand
On a regular day
With sky grey, and spirits blue
What I need to say
“You make me strong, I can’t wait too long”
to get back to you.

WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM

Written By: Mike Criscione

On a stretch of highway just southeast of Bangor,
Drivin’ through the picture of a crisp Acadia morning,
At some local diner we stopped in to get some breakfast,
The kind of place where bad country songs are born.

Well the coffee was at the table before we were,
And ol’ Bruce just smiled and slowly nodded his head,
And it seemed like the whole world was on the menu that day,
In caffeine muse, this is what he said:

If I ever end up in the Witness Protection Program,
Cause I'm sick of life paralysed with fear,
If I ever end up in the Witness Protection Program,
I'll meet you, every year at this time - right here.

He said, "This is the kind of place I could used to."
This is the kind of place where I could rest.
Spend my days haulin' in lobster traps and singin' bad country songs,
and mendin' fishing nets.

I ain't never been too married to my face.
And I ain't never been too married to my name.
I ain't never been too married to this life of endless circumstance.
I'll take my days a bit more plain.

If I ever end up in the Witness Protection Program,
Cause I'm sick of life paralysed with fear,
If I ever end up in the Witness Protection Program,
I'll meet you, every year at this time - right here.

There’s places in my past I’ll leave behind.
There’s faces I’d just a soon never see.
But now and then , here and there I’m sure I’ll take to rememberin’,
All the things I used to be .

When my at last my coffee cup is empty,
and that lonesome road has come to an end,
raise a glass & feast or, write me a bad country song,
but don't pity me my foul weathered friend.

Just think of me in the Witness Protection Program,
Like I took the stand against Corleone,
And I didn't want to end up with a horsehead in my bed,
This is the place, that I’ll call home.

RIDING A BUS

Written By: Mike Criscione

Out of the dismay
Into the melee
In spite of the hearsay
Twenty more today

For God or for country
To heaven they promised thee
It’s a suicide bomb spree
And this is day three

Ohh, they were only heading home
No rational can suffice
For the meager value you put on life
It’s such an ultimate price
For riding a bus

It’s not so far away
It’s down in the subway
A mailroom ashtray
Timothy McVey

Ohh, they were only heading home
Your rational can't suffice
For the meager value you put on life
It’s such an ultimate price
For riding a bus

INTO THE SUN

Written By: Mike Criscione

Into the Sun
I see my breath, breathe in deep, I feel it’s warmth,
Cutting, through this biting cold

Into the Sun
I strech my gaze, squint through haze that burns away,
A clearing of the soul

But I long to see,
And feel the certainty of you, in the morning air
But it’s true, what they say is true (I’m in you)
You’ll rise and then you’ll fall
And I’ll grow cold again

Into the Sun,
A day in bloom yet I’m consumed
With all the things, that I’ll forget today

Into the Sun,
I pause to stare only time that’s spare
Is what’s reserved, for looking into the sun

But I long to see,
And feel the certainty of you, in the morning air
But it’s true, what they say is true (I’m in you)
You’ll rise and then you’ll fall
And I’ll grow cold again

The view from above, down into the sun
Under microscope, that clouds every ray
When it’s all…said and done
With blinding hope, I start my day

Discography

BALANCE (2007)

Set List

FOR A SOLO PERFORMANCE:

1 x 50 minute set of comprised mostly of
songs from BALANCE garnished with a cover or
two

or

3 x 50 minute sets of mixed originals and
singer/songwriter type covers (Sting, Marc Cohn,
John Mayer)

* set times can be adjusted to fit venue's needs