Here's a pretty cool review of Cumulo from Kai Horsthemke of South African Bass Player Collective. Thanks to Kai and Martin Simpson for the review. You can hear Cumulo at http://darrenmichaels.bandcamp.com/
"Darren Michaels – Cumulo
Sporting the bassist’s own delightful artwork – loads of cloudy fluff, in keeping with the album’s title –, this CD’s wallet is made of recycled paper and printed with vegetable based inks. Well done, Darren! The content, too, is testimony to thoughtful sophistication. The first album to feature not only his inspired bass work but also his voice, the ‘Cumulo’ contains 14 tracks – some solo bass (5 pieces), some bass ‘n voice (4 tracks), others what sounds like ensemble work (but with Michaels and Chris Moore, or Julian Scott Bryan, responsible for the backing instrumental loops). The second track is probably my least favourite here, a rather murky piece that has a kicking bass line, but little else to capture the imagination. The rest of the tracks assembled here, however, are truly enjoyable – the bass artistry never anything less than captivating, richly chordal and laced with cascades of harmonics. Michaels goes for a sound that is almost without noticeable mids. The high end is crisp and in your face, while the low end is punchy and present. His voice, too, grows on you – and if you like bass-driven folk sounds à la Michael Hedges, this set of recordings will be right up your coastal highway."
Kai Horsthemke February 2010
After a summer full of travel and solo bass shows, I took a few months off to catch up on my personal life. I was able to hang out with Cindy and help her with a few of her awesome photography shows. Did a ton of work on the Blue Dream. Traveled to see some friends tie the knot. Read a lot of animal behavior books and watched some fun films. I learned even more luthiery skills. Best of all, I painted our bathroom.
Well, I'm getting geared back up to get back out and play. This Friday, I'll be doing an instrumental set at Studioplex's Fourth Friday Artwalk (http://studioplexlofts.com/art_walk.php). My sets will be sans singing since I'll mainly be the backdrop for some awesome sculpture, painting, and photography. Older tunes will be resurrected and newer tunes will be auditioned. I'm certain I'll have moments of musical splendor countered by huge sonic belly flops (dude, that'd be a great band name!). If you feel you've been lacking in the cultural side of life lately, this Friday is your chance to connect with the visual arts and music. Don't miss it!
Also this January, I'll be trekking out west again, so my feelers are unspooled to find gigs in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. I'm open for listening rooms, coffee houses, happenin' bars, and house concerts. Shared shows are also welcome as I'm always willing to do the gig swap thing for folks trying to get into Atlanta. Please drop me a line even if it's only to suggest a place to play!
Thanks for reading and see you out there!