Mike Bethel | Fenêtrapocrypha

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UK - England - West Midlands

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Political Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Mike Bethel

The third album by legendary uk musician mike bethel is a devestation of existential confusion. absolutely brilliant.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Compromised
3:07 $0.99
2. Kalashnikov
4:48 $0.99
3. I Have Your Outline
4:45 $0.99
4. This Is Not America
5:08 $0.99
5. Daybreak
3:55 $0.99
6. Weatherman
3:39 $0.99
7. Camouflage
4:04 $0.99
8. Not Even Dust
3:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Here follows a sample of some of the things that have been published about Mike Bethel's work:

* About the second album, "Opaque":

Opaque is Birmingham based singer songwriter Mike Bethel's second album that was completed in the Spring of this year.

The opening track "Wait In The Fire" is such a fragile vulnerable song that immediately draws you in with its superb guitar work and that sensitive passionate voice that wrings emotion from the soul. The second track "Little Bee" adds a haunting wailing harmonica alongside a string section to create such a gorgeous track that pulls at the heartstrings.

The musicianship throughout this album is breathtaking, the string arrangements alongside the delicate guitar work is simply a marvel to be heard.

On "Come To Terms" you have more of an upbeat sounding guitar complemented by violin intricacies that is then helped along with some tasty harmonica giving an almost orchestral sound in places.

The lyrics are intelligent, well-written and intriguing - tales of disillusionment that are sung with such a belief that you become entrapped in their words. On occasion, such as "If I Knew The Way", the vocals are so refrained that they become almost like a half whisper that leaves you utterly speechless.

I've recently been going to a number of acoustic gigs at The Marrs Bar in Worcester, seeing such performers as Jont and Eddie Morton of The Bushbury's fame and even though they've been impressive, they don't have the same effect as this album.

Mike Bethel has written a beautifully crafted album full of emotional engaging songs that'll take your breath away.
[review by Will Munn for Rhythm & Booze magazine]

* About Mike Bethel's live performances:

Radio One Live @ The Old Railway (26th October 2001)

Walking into the venue, it immediately felt inviting and had a great vibe, with nice low candle and UV lighting. The room was full from the beginning and everyone stayed for the duration.

The third act was Mike Bethel, with his unique songs and stage presence. Mike's arrangements and musicianship are totally wonderful, as is his vocal delivery. Songs like 'You Can't See Yourself In Mirrors Anymore' really prove the depth of his talent as a performer. If you want passion and great guitar picking, this is your man. Check out his new album 'Opaque'.
[review by George Bates for www.solarcreations.net]

2nd Solar Showcase @ The Old Railway - 26th February 2002

First off, it was nice to see a crowd in the Old Railway. The place is fabulous for grass roots music and deserves to be full every night of the week with the talent that is always available there. I wasn't aware that Mike Bethel would be on the bill and when he took his place on the stage I was immediately in a good mood.

Mike is such a fine guitarist and lyricist I reckon he should be up there with the greatest. His talent humbles us all. As usual he sat up there, sung and played his melancholic mix brilliantly and apart from one loud mouthed fool (there is always one) managed to keep the audience quiet enough for me to listen and enjoy from start to finish.

If you get the opportunity, make the effort to witness Mike do his stuff before you have to pay £25 for the privilege. He has a CD out too called Opaque, which should be in your collection...
[review by Neil A. Bromley for the siren]

* Random Quotes:

"A wondrous performer that seduces the audience with song" - Rhythm & Booze, May 2002

"[Opaque] is a moving and challenging new collection of songs" - Siren Online, October 2001

"An accomplished guitarist/singer with a warm and passionate voice" - ArtsFest brochure, September 2001

"[With the first album, 'Tree',] he's managed to avoid the usual self-indulgence of the solo singer/songwriter - no mean feat in itself, and has produced a sparse, atmospheric collection of songs. God I hate these talented people!" - Ryan's Gig Guide, April 1999

"A remarkable voice that has passionate warmth... some truly brilliant acoustic guitar work." - Rhythm & Booze, September 2000

"Beautiful songs" - Birmingham Evening Mail, 1st September 2000

"My usual feeling when a guy gets up by himself with a guitar is to turn to the side and have a chat to ensure that I stay awake (Mike Bethel excluded)." - Rhythm & Booze, August 2002

"Mike Bethel - A majestic offering with beautifull Strings and breathtaking vocals. This is the real thing, the vocals draw you in and you feel as if the band are in your front room performing for you alone." - Vibe 9, 2003

"Mike Bethel cannot ever do anything wrong as far as I am concerned. [His] own CD, Opaque, is brilliant!" - Neil's Gig Guide, 28th March 2003



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