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Photo By Bob Minkin
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Falzarano has been a working musician for over 45 years, most notably in Hot Tuna, the famed offspring of The Jefferson Airplane; The New Riders of the Purple Sage; The Memphis Pilgrims, a Memphis-style rock ‘n’ roll band he founded in NYC; and his current projects The Extended Family and The Englishtown Project.
Falzarano is also a longtime member of The New Riders of the Purple Sage, a spin-off of the Grateful Dead, which features original members David Nelson and Buddy Cage. This seminal cosmic outlaw country band tours extensively and has recorded two CDs of new material (“Where I Come From” and “17 Pine Avenue”), some of which was co-written with Robert Hunter, famed lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Original Falzarano compositions appear on those releases as well as “Wanted: Live At Turkey Trot” (Fa-Ka-Wee).
Upon signing with Woodstock Records, Falzarano released his third solo CD entitled “We Are All One.” Joining him on the dozen original and two cover songs is a collection of musicians he refers to as The Extended Family -- Vassar Clements, Melvin Seals, Buddy Cage, Jorma Kaukonen and Garth Hudson, to name a few. Falzarano’s current release with The Extended Family, “I Got Blues For Ya,” (Hypnotation Records/Woodstock Records) is receiving widespread critical acclaim.
“The King James Session,” Falzarano’s previous offering on Hypnotation Records, includes the song "Last Train Out" which he wrote in memory of The Allman Brothers’ and Gov’t Mule’s late, well-known bass player Allen Woody. “Mecca” is a CD that Falzarano and The Memphis Pilgrims released on Relix Records with guests Jorma Kaukonen, Pete Sears and Harvey Sorgen of Hot Tuna and Danny Lewis of Gov’t Mule. Both have garnered rave reviews.
Falzarano has both performed on and contributed many original songs to Hot Tuna CDs such as “Pair A Dice Found” (Epic), “Live at Sweetwater I and II” (Relix), “…And Furthurmore” (Grateful Dead Records) and “Hot Tuna—Live In Japan” (Relix), as well as the Jorma Kaukonen releases “Land of Heroes” (American Heritage), “Too Many Years” (American Heritage) and “The Jorma Kaukonen Trio Live” (Relix). One of Falzarano’s self-penned compositions is featured on Kaukonen's current release “I Ain't In No Hurry” (Red House). Falzarano’s partial discography includes Professor Louie & the Crowmatix’s “Live” and “Flyin’ High” (both on Woodstock Records), Kerry Kearney’s “Trippin’ on the Psychedelta” (Relix) and Alexis P. Suter's “Shuga Fix” (Hipbone).
A live show veteran of more than four decades, Falzarano has toured throughout the United States, Europe, Scandanavia and Japan with Hot Tuna, The New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Jorma Kaukonen Trio (Kaukonen, Falzarano and Pete Sears), among others. Some of the headlining and shared billings have included The Allman Brothers, Black Crowes, Albert King, Jimmy Smith, Slash, Rusted Root, The Other Ones, Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box, Bruce Hornsby, Los Lobos, Dave Mason, Poco, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band, moe and The Commander Cody Band.
Additionally Falzarano has appeared live or recorded with such musical greats as Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Robert Hunter, Donna Jean Godchaux and Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead); John Lee Hooker; Johnny Copeland; Hubert Sumlin and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (Howlin’ Wolf); Pinetop Perkins, Bob Stroger and Jimmy Mays (Pinetop Perkins Band); Jonnie Johnson (Chuck Berry); Maria Muldaur; Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers); Guy Davis; Vassar Clements; Paul Simon; Dr. John; Merl Saunders; Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson (The Band); Graham Parker; Steve Kimok; Bill Keith; Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, The Dead); Warren Zevon; Greg Allman (Allman Brothers); Oteil Burbrige (Dead & Company, Allman Brothers); David Crosby; Eric Anderson; Reid Genauer (Assembly of Dust); Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band; Tony Trischka; Arlo Guthrie; John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful); Kenny Kosek (Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band); Geoff Atchison; Bruce Hornsby; Eric Weisberg; Pete Sears; David Nelson, John “Marmaduke” Dawson and Buddy Cage (New Riders of the Purple Sage); David Gans; Peter Rowan; Paul Kanter (The Jefferson Starship); Trey Anastasio (Phish); Peter Mulvey; Melvin Seals (The Jerry Garcia Band); Jeff Chimenti and Mark Karan (Rat Dog); John Popper (Blues Traveler); Commander Cody; Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic); GE Smith; Jeff Healy, Tex Logan; Amy Helm; Alexis P. Sutter Band; and Jesse McReynolds (Jim & Jesse).
When not touring, Falzarano produces other artists and teaches guitar workshops at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. He recently performed an original song “When There’s Two There’s Trouble” in the hit feature film “Blue Caprice” which was directed by Alexandre Moors and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Falzarano charts his own musical course and reaches a worthwhile destination. The King James Sessions is an album filled with real music, played lovingly - and enjoyed easily, from the first note till the last.” - Hittin' The Note
“Kick off your shoes and get ready to dance! Mecca, the debut CD by Michael Falzarano, is chock full of good time, high energy performances and inspiring, infectious grooves.” - Beat Magazine
I Got Blues For Ya Seemingly without effort, Falzarano finds the heart of the song, the center, and with his warm, welcoming, no frills voice,
gets right to the point, a true, timeless artist. - The Daily Freeman
We Are All One "His songs are well written and he arranges them on the disc so that the listener doesn’t fall into a rut nor get jarred by the bump moving to the next song. The music goes from blues to Rock to Country to… however as stated the transitions are smooth and easy without being dull" Relix Magazine
Within six months of its debut on the club circuit, Michael Falzarano & The Memphis Pilgrims were hailed by the press as one of New York’s “best new bands” who were “simply and wonderfully a real rock ‘n’ roll band.” - East Coast Rocker