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Michael Hurley with Lisa/Liza [SOLD OUT]

Thursday, April 25 2024
doors at 7:00pm
$20 advance
$25 day of show
$2 off for SPACE members

The octogenarian songwriting legend, cartoonist and painter, classic car mechanic, antique radio maven, Greenwich Village ’60s folk scene alum, traveling showman, and the fiercely independent one-of-a-kind artist they call “Bad Mr. Mike” returns to SPACE on the 60th (!) anniversary year of his first album for Folkways Records.

Michael Hurley grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a teenager in the 1950s he fell in love hearing the music of Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley blast from the radio, and was enthralled by the records of Blind Willie McTell, Hank Williams and Uncle Dave Macon that he sought for his own. This love for music, true and unvarnished, supplied him with a finely tuned musical compass he has not wavered from for 50 years and counting. Hurley’s music sounds old, like it has always existed, and simultaneously singular, like something you’ve never heard anyone else play quite like that before. This timeless quality ensures that Hurley’s audience constantly renews itself. From the the beatniks in the NYC Village where he started in the early 60s, to the hippies in Vermont, to the Americana fans, indie rockers and freak folkers from the last two decades, Michael’s music never fails to find fresh new ears. Pressed for a description, Hurley has called it “jazz-hyped blues and country and western music.”

Hurley’s early records were released on Folkways, Warner Brothers/Raccoon, and Rounder, while in recent years stalwart independent labels like Gnomonsong and Mississippi have been carrying the torch. The great news is that there is no stopping Michael Hurley. An album with brand new recordings, Bad Mr. Mike, was released on the Mississippi label last year and another new one with archival 1990s live material recorded in Lublijana is due on Feeding Tube Records this summer. Besides being a truly unique musician, Hurley is also a cartoonist and watercolor artist of note — the instantly recognizable results of which grace his album covers.

Hurley now resides on the West Coast, so East Coast appearances have been scarce the last decade. Old and new fans should not pass up the rare opportunity to catch Michael in action on various New England and New York state stages on this tour.

Lisa/Liza beside a white truck in a black shirt and sweater looking with a slight side-eye expressionlessly into the camera.

Lisa/Liza is the recording project of Liza (pronounced Lisa) Victoria. A Maine based songwriter and guitarist. She has released three full length LPs to date, through Chicago based Orindal Records, those are Deserts of YouthMomentary Glance, and 2020’s Shelter of A Song

Liza’s dreamlike lyrics often return to thematic imagery of seasonal change, animals, nature as a source of reflection, and inspiration.   Liza’s lyrics conjure vivid images of everyday beauty: a dog rolling in the grass on a nice day; walking down a darkened street to meet the sunrise; robins filling up a field. 

🕯️ This weekend only! The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️