April 5, 2008



Ain't Never Been Plugged ...

If you've been around the folk scene, you couldn't miss seeing Mike. He's that tall guy with the red beard and funny hat with the light in it always around where the music is. He's been on the scene for many many years, listening to the fine details of what makes this genre of music so special to the soul, so able to make us laugh and cry and think. And lucky for us all, he got serious about having fun at it.

qually at home in the contemporary and traditional camps of the folk world, he is a fine musician and storyteller. His prime instrument is the guitar, upon which he shines with intricate fingerstyle arrangements of anything from Tin Pan Alley tunes of the '20s to fiddle tunes to his own music. He also plays concertina, piano, banjo, or sings a capella. He can be uproariously funny, contemplative, and powerfully emotional in the space of a few minutes. The man will capture your attention, and then your heart.

MIKE AGRANOFF ike plays a superb fingerstyle guitar in idioms ranging from ancient harp tunes to obscure Tin-Pan-Alley compositions. His concertina arrangements of music by anyone from Bach to Berryman may be haunting, complex, exciting, but are, above all, musical. A performance might include a song of heart-stopping emotional impact, a Scott Joplin piano rag, an a capella Irish patter song sung to the melody of a mile-a-minute fiddle tune, a riveting recitation in the style of Robert Service, and some of the most horrible parodies in the English speaking world. Whatever else he does, Mike puts a lie to the notion that folk music is boring.

ike is not only a collector of songs and a master at arranging them, but is also a writer of songs and recitations. Mike is a refreshing alternative to the endless stream of singer songwriters ... he makes us laugh, cry and think, all the while entertaining us long into any evening of music.

his was an absolutely delightful show. Mike is a whirlwind and puts on a very live show; — he bounced us from traditional ballads to recitations to parodies to Joplin to a Bach violin concerto played on a concertina. Mike hasn't been with us for almost 20 years, and this was a too long delayed return to our stage for this one-of-a-kind folk impresario. This will be an evening we won't soon forget.

Praises by others for his performances:

  • "... one of my favorites. "
            Ron Olesco, WFDU-FM

  • " ... a witty and astute folksinger ... known for his often hilarious songs that poke fun at his own profession, as well as doing things like condensing Shakespeare's Hamlet into a three-minute song."
            Homegrown Music

  • "I first heard Mike Agranoff sing 'Oor Hamlet' at the Philadelphia Folk Festival one year. I said to myself, 'I gotta get that song.' "
            Michael Cooney

  • "Mike Agranoff is the guy who walks into a song circle at a folk festival at three in the morning and introduces some great British ballad which fits in perfectly with every other song and which he sings with a strong voice and a great sense of drama. His folk music knowledge and commitment to promoting artists and the music in general have made him a great resource. ... He is a word-smith and raconteur and that makes for a terrific live performance. The last time he played, he was competing with a concert upstairs and a flood downstairs and he still wowed us."
            Postcrypt Coffeehouse


  Link to Mike's web site:

  or listen to songs at his MySpace page:

  Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:

  • Ira Perlman IRA PERLMAN

  • Mark Hawdon Mark Hawdon

  • Gary Schoenberger Gary Schoenberger

  • Ken Bongort Ken Bongort

  • Bill Lauter Bill Lauter

  • Teri Dobra & Butch Zito Teri Dobra & Butch Zito

  • Claude Margouleff Claude Margouleff

  • Larry Moser Larry Moser

  • Ron Renninger Ron Renninger

  • Josh Joffen Josh Joffen

  •   ... and Gathering Time Gathering Time

  •   Our host tonight was Ira Perlman.

    If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...

    Link to additional photos taken by Robert Berkowitz at the concert