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Mike Delledera Band: Our Story

Brooklyn, NY 2017

Singer, songwriter, and ace guitarist Mike Delledera’s debut full-length album, WakeUpSideDowntown (Ivy Productions, Inc.), brims with epiphanic genre-bending, virtuoso musicianship, expansive expressiveness, and topnotch songwriting. On it, the Brooklyn-based artist is backed with longtime friends, bandmates and a roster of New York City’s finest young session cats. It’s a masterful debut from an artist on the verge.

“I’m really excited for everyone to hear this record; the songs were burning a hole in my heart and mind,” says Delledera. And after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Delledera was able to create the album he artistically envisioned.

The nine-song record showcases an imaginative musical mind capable of fusing bluegrass, swampy funk, stained-glass gospel, and brawny rock with clever song structures, thought-provoking lyrics, pop-rock hooks, and exploratory musicianship. It’s an album enhanced by dynamic background vocals, live horns, cello, violin, and fortified by a powerhouse rhythm section and fearlessly adventurous guitar. Kindred spirits are the Grateful Dead, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Steely Dan, Jason Mraz, and Jack Johnson. Delledera is a song-focused musician with chops to improvise into the stratosphere and the restraint to keep things earthbound and funky. Relix Magazine has described Delledera’s artistry as a “wild adventure of song, dance and musical imagination.”

Standouts on the album include the country-tinged “Silver Ruby Diamond Blues,” the Crescent City funk of “Sugar Face,” and the profoundly political “Main Street USA.” Reflecting the album’s diverse stylistic palette is a refreshingly eclectic approach to lyrical content. The uplifting “Silver Ruby Diamond Blues” is a paean for the less fortunate. Here Delledera sings: We’re On The Rise/Shine From The Mountainside/All Your Hopes And Love And Dreams/From The Ground Up To The Sky. “That song is about people who don’t have much, but can still find a way to live richly,” Delledera says. “Main Street USA” is an emphatic rock track about the ninety-nine percent bolstered by an insightful and impactful rap section by Brooklyn hip-hop artist CX. “Sugar Face” is sweetly romantic in sentiment. And the lilting reggae of “Bounce” is irresistible as it beckons you to “let go” and dance and sing to the music.

Delledera’s prodigious musical chops date back to studying classical piano since the age of 3. At 13, he picked up the guitar inspired by heavy metal, but soon found what he was looking for as a musician in classic rock, jazz, and jam band artists. He formalized his musical explorations through studying jazz, classical guitar, and jazz arranging at Ithaca College. He holds a BA in Music Industry from SUNY Oneonta. Upon moving to NYC from Syracuse, Delledera studied rock guitar and composition with iconic guitarist Carlos Alomar (John Lennon, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop). Mike has shared the stage with platinum selling artists Rusted Root, as well as fellow jammers Tea Leaf Green, Ra Ra Riot, and DJ Logic, among many other esteemed artists. Previously, Delledera released the critically acclaimed Gold Honey EP.

Much of WakeUpSideDowntown was recorded live in the studio and tracked by Grammy-winning producer Steve Addabbo who truly captured that lightening-in-a-bottle spontaneity of the jam genre at its most focused, relaxed, and inspired. The core band features Matt Feick, drums; Brad Whiteley, piano, organ; Joe Wallace, bass; Michael Kammers, tenor sax; Amy Regan, Rosie Lazroe, and Regi Ransdell, background vocals.

It is a special album in that it mixes seasoned musicianship with boundless creative idealism. It’s no doubt an artistic feat, especially for an artist on the rise. Humbly, Delledera says: “To have a vision, make it come to life, and exceed what I imagined is really gratifying. It’s something that I’ve been writing and working on for nearly two years. I’m proud of this achievement and eager to share these songs with the world.”
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