Michael Todd & the Midnite Circus takes American roots music and gives it a contemporary feel that is both soulful and gritty. They don't just recycle old forms; they add to them with a playfulness backed up by a genuine dedication to songwriting and serious musicianship which is evident on their debut release HIGH NOON.
Formed in 1997, Michael Todd & the Midnight Circus is co-lead by Michael Todd on vocals and hand percussion and Chris Gili on rhythm and lead guitar. Todd, a preacher's son from Detroit raised on gospel, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Odetta, Richie Havens - and Gili, a soft-spoken guy from Brooklyn with a deep appreciation for Appalachian and Celtic finger picking, met the same way most important musical alliances are formed - by accident. An ad in the Village Voice led to an informal jam session which resulted in their first song, "Peggy," in under fifteen minutes. "It just poured right out of us," says Todd, commenting on the experience. "I knew right then and there that Chris and I had something special." With Todd's gospel ties and Gill's deep appreciation for Appalachian & Celtic finger picking, they are on track to set a new standard in music.
Michael Todd & Midnite Circus is rounded out with a rotating band of the scene's most versatile and in-demand musicians, most of whom have been playing with Michael Todd and Chris Gili for a number of years. In recent live performances, as well as on the CD, the lineup includes guitarist Rod Kohn, a Stevie Wonder alum who regularly tours with Buddy Miles; and bassist Jonathan Sanborn, son of jazz saxophonist Dave Sanborn...to name just a few.
Among the disc's sultry, more romantic offerings, there's the plaintive "Ruby," the insistent "Break These Chains," and, of course, "Peggy," a full-bodied ballad based on Janis Joplin's love affair with her best friend during her turbulent Haight-Ashberry days. "Janis is someone I can really relate to having come from similar strict backgrounds," said Todd. "Her words gave me hope and her spirit motivated me to find myself."
Three years in the making, and honed over countless gigs blazing the NY music scene, Michael Todd & Midnite Circus' debut album, HIGH NOON, is assured to inspire true music lovers. Its twelve tracks take the listener on a musical journey unlike anything else being produced today.
With vocals that grab you, lyrics that channel through your soul, and superb musicianship that won't quit, HIGH NOON will inspire even the most jaded music souls to "wake-up." Michael Todd & Midnite Circus is exactly what the music industry needs, a sound that has no boundaries...no limits.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Jealous Man
2. Night Train
3. Who Doo Man`
4. Lillte Bit of Your Love
5. Funny Sunny Day
6. No Not Yet
8. The Levee Moans
10. Break These Chains
11. Broadway Marquee
12. Sooner or Later