Folk music is not something that I normally consider to be my jam. This artist however, originates from a town about 30 minutes from where I live and I never miss a chance to support local music, whatever genre it may be. The folk singer goes by the name Mikey Chuck Rivers, which is the stage name for Clinton local Ivan Raczycki. Ivan had started really pushing his music career and creating his alter ego at a time in which he was feeling the lowest, and from the sounds of his EP “This Garage”, he has really bared his soul in his work.
The EP is folk at it’s most pure, even having some country influence (possibly a result of living in a farm community like Huron County) and you can really feel the emotion and even some of the pain being transferred through the music. Mikey Chuck Rivers writes and plays music like an old soul, weathered by the circumstances of the world he lives in, but its not all pain and angst, lets take a look at the songs.
The first song on the album “This Garage” is a song of reminiscing, a song of simple pleasures and better days. Mikey sings about an uncertain future, but knows that he will treasure the nights he had with his family. It’s fun to sing along to, it’s heartwarming and it’s a little heartbreaking all at once, but its definitely a good start to the album. The harmony during the chorus is very good, and is a common occurrence throughout the album. The next song “Winter Nights” is another song about reminiscing, but has a cooler tone and the addition of violins that the previous song did not have. It seems to be more about traveling then family. Mikey really knows how to create an atmosphere that is palpable in his songs, he has no trouble communicating through music and words.
The next song is one of the most lighthearted and one that most cynics need to listen to. “Break That Bone That Shits On Everything” is a song about getting rid of the pessimism in your life and that one person we all know who has to complain about everything. It’s a fun song and great to sing along to, and help breaks up the more serious tone of the other songs on the EP. The fourth song “Innocence Lost By My Hand” is about a man feeling guilty about taking control and possibly changing the people they are in a relationship with for the worst. It is more quick and upbeat musically, really something to snap your fingers to. The final song on the EP “I Swear I’m Done” is a song about letting go of the pain and hate that you have, even though that may be easier said than done. It is a great way to wrap up this EP and is probably my favourite on the album. I really like a good conclusion, it resonates with me the most of any part of the album.
Overall, “This Garage” is a well balanced, written, and finely tuned EP for anyone interested in folk music. A good find from the depths of the Huron County Music scene, Mikey Chuck Rivers himself being a huge supporter of such a scene. You can check out more great music from Ivan/Mikey’s Eternal Bummer Records, a company founded by Ivan to help get local music out to the masses.Don’t forget to check out his EP though, its absolutely free and I’m telling you you will kick yourself if you don’t give it a listen.