Michael Tolcher has quite the resume, having had his songs featured in hit TV shows like Scrubs and licensed for use by awareness campaigns and olympic athletes. He is also an incredibly laid back and down-to-earth guy with a good head on his shoulders. Upon shaking his hand, I recalled meeting Michael on a Dave Matthews cruise in 2006. We were both on the same barge to the island where Dave Matthews was scheduled to play. Michael actually remembered that.. although, I think it was probably more because G. Love was on that same barge and involved in the discussion, or possibly it was because the DMB show was cancelled thanks to a monsoon! :)
I spoke to Michael a bit about his current tour. Tired of labels and the bar scene, Michael has gone out on his own. He reached out to his fan club about playing “100 living rooms across the country”. (“Living rooms” is the common phrase, but in this case we were on the deck of a beautiful 3-story bayside home.) He sells his CDs and swag using the same “pay what you feel like” business model that he uses to sell his latest single online. Other artists could learn a lot from Michael. I venture to guess that he probably makes more with this pricing model than he otherwise would. I know I went to his website after this gig and bought the single + Tolcher Culture membership deal. His whole attitude makes people want to support his efforts that much more. He gave me a free t-shirt, since I was “on staff” that night. [Insert Shit Eating Grin and scratch one off the bucket list!]
Tolcher was totally down with me broadcasting his gig out over CodeBass Radio. In fact, he said I could have started promoting the show a bit sooner than I did. Alas, I didn’t really know it would be cool until the last minute. (Next time, Michael. Next time!)
Michael jacked his PA into my broadcasting laptop, and away we went.. except that this overloaded the adapter I brought with me. Never fear! I set out my Yeti Pro to capture the event. As it turns out, my broadcasting software wasn’t picking up the Yeti. I had broadcasted the entire first set with my on-board mic! Feedback from the listeners was very positive, though, so I let it be until the first break.
Before the second set, I chained my mixer which successfully allowed me broadcast the output from Michael’s PA. I later realized I was running a resident DSP on my system, so unfortunately the recordings aren’t without a preponderance of bass. In spite that the recordings could have been better, CodeBass Radio had a lot of ecstatic listeners that night. I always monitor the broadcast and tweak the audio according to what feedback I can get. There wasn’t a negative word, and I consider the whole thing a success. It was definitely a learning experience, and it was the experience of a lifetime for me.
Between sets, Michael likes to pump his own iPod playlist through his PA system. Given that I was broadcasting all the output, he was more or less DJing for CodeBass Radio listeners when he wasn’t playing for them live. He was not shy about dancing with Lisa, Craig, and their friends. A party at the home of the Valentines is always guaranteed to be an awesome affair. He was so freaking cool, that if not for his incredible talent and the familiarity of his tunes.. I’d have forgotten to appreciate the immensity of the experience.
Following this gig, I asked Michael if I could rebroadcast the recordings on my Friday noon show. He was all for it.Another smart move. I can’t count on both hands the number of people I have converted into Michael Tolcher fans via these recordings. They’re in the CodeBass Radio 24/7 rotation now, along with every track from every CD he’s ever made.
Don’t get me wrong.. when it comes to produced CDs into which the artists have invested a lot of time and money, I have all the respect in the world. I operate with due diligence, and I am properly licensed to broadcast. It boggles me why more artists don’t give permission for people to post the recordings grabbed at shows and things. As long as we’re not trying to profit, why not enjoy the free viral promotion? I have no idea. We’ve all paid to get in, and they’re never going to beat the CD release in terms of quality.
I digress. Allow me to convert a few more of you with the awesome music I captured that night. If you dig what you hear, hop over to Michael Tolcher’s website and buy his new single. The more we support this sort of independent awesomeness, the better! “Kiss And Tell” is my favorite Michael Tolcher tune, and listen carefully for a spontaneous and incredible rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” in the middle of “Kings In Castles”!
Here are a couple videos taken by fans that night, so that you can hear what he sounds like without my amateur mistakes getting in the way..