J. Michael Graham

Pawtucket-based singer-songwriter J. Michael Graham is hosting a CD release party later this month at Foolproof Brewing to celebrate his new album. Best known for producing the annual River Bend East Songwriters Festival, Graham’s album Live From Little Rhody features tracks recorded in the studio and live at a recent concert.

So how did it all come together?

“The genesis of Live From Little Rhody dates back to the 2021 River Bend East Songwriters Festival at Slater Mill,” explained Graham. Brad Thibodeaux, River Bend East sound engineer, offered to record my set with the idea that if it came out well, we would offer it up at the following year’s festival. Unfortunately, due to a technical snafu, none of the live tracks were usable.”

But Graham and his bandmates didn’t give up.

“Aaron Carvalho, my bassist for that festival, and I did not think too much of it, it was just one of those things,” he explained. “However, Brad insisted that we try again. At that time, we were coming out of the pandemic and venues were still hesitant to book, so Brad suggested that we record live at the Copacetics rehearsal space in Providence (Brad also plays bass in that band),” continued Graham.

J. Michael Graham and Aaron Carvalho

“So Brad had us over and we recorded on a Sunday in between musical interludes offered from an upstairs Baptist church that happened to share space in the building; we had a great time recording our folk-rock numbers in between the upstairs gospel offerings.”

As things got back to normal and Graham was busy with live gigs, the project was put on hold. But earlier this year, “Randy Hunicke reached out to me about recording a live show that I put together when I was filling in for Steve Allain and his Foolproof Friday Songwriter Series,” said Graham. “That show was killer and standing room only, so I added ‘Breakthrough”’from my set which worked out really well, bookending that recording with the existing opening track which is a cover of the Rolling Stones ‘Street Fighting Man.'”

Graham decided to do the release show at the brewery. “John Windle at Foolproof Brewing has been great to work with, and the upcoming show furthers his goal of offering more musical events,” he added. Christian Caldarone and Annie Jaehnig of High Planes open April 21 at 6:30PM. Click here for more details.

To hear the album on Bandcamp, click here.

To preview ‘Street Fighting Man,” click here.

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