Mike the Prophet
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Mike the Prophet

Durham, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Durham, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Rock Folk




"Album Review- Mimes In Traffic By Mic the Prophet"

Mimes in Traffic by Mic the Prophet

(Check out the album here: https://play.spotify.com/artist/3swhl7QT4gizG9b4vk0MFO?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open)

It is a good thing that Florida only gets roughly—and I’m estimating here—one day of cold weather per year. If there were more cold days, Mimes in Traffic wouldn’t survive. There is little about this album that does not call to mind the both the porches and beaches of the South and, more specifically, Mike Furlong’s—the force behind Mic the Prophet—home of Florida. This album on the whole is composed of equal parts moonshine and margaritas, which, for a state that experiences perpetual summer, is a good thing.

From the outset of Mimes in Traffic, “The Upside Down Song” showcases Furlongs bluesy almost-growl, which sets up a good majority of the record. Occasionally his singing speeds up, not rapping necessarily, but singing faster, which mixes things up a bit, but for the most part listeners can expect two voices, singing and almost growling, to predominate the album.

One of the strongest songs on the album, “Old Florida” showcases Furlong getting back to his roots. For residents of Florida, it is easy to associate with the song, with having it be “85 on Christmas” and all the other telltale signs of a sunshine state life. Arguably the most sing-along on the album despite only being just over two minutes long, this song begs for highways and rolled down windows, flat expanses with swamps on one side and sand dunes on the other. The evocation of driving though could be in due to the radio station-switching intro that precedes the actual music.

One of the major drawbacks on this album is the amount of talking and/or non-musical intros that occur on a majority of the songs. It works best to introduce the album on the first track, but to have it happen later in that track and then again later on the album (“Perennials,” “The Truth in these Lies,” “Land of Rest,” etc) takes away from the music itself. I’d prefer my messages to be inserted into the music and not have them spoken over the music. Furlong is not untalented enough to need to hide behind this move. He has the vocal ability to accomplish what he would need to in the music itself.

For those looking for a message, it is easy to hear Furlong’s ties to Christianity and belief, lending a layer of depth that is a pleasant derivation from the formula that Furlong creates for the album when only listening on a cursory level. In the middle of “Land of Rest” the song blends into the classic hymnal “Jerusalem, My Happy Home.” And on “When I’m Dead,”—my favorite song on the album—Furlong explores faith and street preachers, who populate the corners of his hometown.

There isn’t much variation on the album—we get blues with a little bit of soul and acoustic rock with a relaxed reggae beat—but I’m fine with that for the most part. The weather here doesn’t change, so why should the mood? It is a solid album to listen to with drinks and friends in a place where the world can be put on hold for a little while. - Sam Slaughter

"Sun Drenched Grooves and Campfire Tunes"

Mike Furlong, the one man in the one-man-band Mic the Prophet, is slated to release his debut self-titled album on April 7, which was produced by Grammy-nominated engineer Chris Short.

After Furlong raised $8,000 last November through Kickstarter, the DeLand native and recent Stetson alumnus was joined by a new backing band called The Bear Necessities, featuring Chad Grenier and Brandon Loos. His bandmates joined him in January to help record the album.

Before Furlong received support from The Bear Necessities, he typically pulled a Marcus Mumford for his solo shows—often singing, strumming, and drumming simultaneously.

Traveling throughout Florida since 2012, with his homemade kick drum made from a thrifted suitcase, the artist focused on overlapping themes of life and death, and truth.

With this album, it seems as though Furlong has found his sea legs. His rawness and grit is preserved, but everything seems sharper and more precise this time around. Featuring stomping sun-drenched grooves, Mic the Prophet wears its Avett Brothers/Bon Iver/Neutral Milk Hotel influences transparently and sweetly.

“We made a real piece of art,” Furlong said. “From the outside, the limitations looked huge—small budget, short timeframe, few musicians, switching studios. But those limits and the way we adapted to them defined the product. The album is unique and unconventional because the experience of making it was unique and unconventional.”

The limitations certainly haven’t harmed the product. Exploring tensions between restrained and rushed tempos, Mic the Prophet builds songs with head and heart; he places complex, thought provoking lyrics on top of modest melodies and a range of folk, rock, and Latin rhythms.

If you’re interested in hearing a preview of the album before its release, live performances of “Perennials” and “Dry Bones”[sic] can be found online at Off The Avenue, and “Perennials” is currently available for purchase.

Mic the Prophet’s album release show will take place Saturday, April 18 at the West End Trading Company in Sanford, FL (202 Sanford Ave). Mic the Prophet and The Bear Necessities will be joined by Deltona indie rockers Good Morning Love at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and there is a five dollar cover charge. - The Stetson Reporter

"DeLand Songwriter Mic the Prophet on Off the Avenue"

In 2012, DeLand native and Stetson University alumnus Mike Furlong got tired of waiting for the right pieces to fall in place to form an active, touring, recording band. He decided to go solo as Mic the Prophet, trusting his crap van to take his one-man act on Florida's roads from Tallahassee to Key West. Trained as a drummer, he taught himself to play guitar and found he could more easily drum, strum and sing thanks to that initial percussion core. "It was a lot of fun," Furlong says. "But scraping by and getting by on just hustle wasn’t working. I was lucky enough to have friends and fans that really believed in what I was doing, and thanks to them, I raised a bunch of money on Kickstarter, recorded a studio album, and held open auditions for the band as it is now."

His new backing band is called the Bear Necessities, and they joined Furlong in January to record his upcoming debut album, Mic the Prophet, due out April 7. They also joined him at North Avenue Studios to perform two new songs for this month's Off the Avenue session, "Dry Bones" (above) and "Perennials" (below) and will add bounce to his album release party on Saturday, April 18, at West End Trading Company in Sanford. Check out the videos and read on to learn more about Mic the Prophet and his earnest, folk-pop sound.

Do you have any gear that helps you achieve your sound?
The center of my sound is my guitar: a Martin D-1E Dreadnought. For you laypeople, that basically means a big-ass, loud, full and bass-heavy acoustic guitar. I touch that just a little bit with some digital and analog reverb from lots of different places (amps, preamps, mixers, whatever is around), but I try to keep it sounding pretty natural. The way I voice chords is more important to my sound than any instrument, and as long as there is plenty of bass, most of my tunes sound pretty good! My only other preference is singing into an SM57 instead of an SM58.

What’s the best story you’ve got about a piece of gear you play with?
I play live as a one-man-show with a homemade kick drum. People have complimented me on it and said it’s really cool, but I built it because I didn’t have the money for a real kick drum. It's made from a crappy thrift store suitcase and some cheap brackets from the hardware store. Luckily, I had my old kick drum pedal from my first drum kit laying around in a closet, so it worked out. Later on, I sawed a hole out of the front and put a KickPort in there, and it honestly sounds really good now!

Who do you love most in music right now?
The Avett Brothers: They somehow fit a real rock and roll band inside of an old-time southern family band. “Unique” is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but these guys really are. Damien Rice: I have a lot of respect for Damien Rice’s ability to take very simple songs with simple lyrics and impart incredible amounts of emotion into them. The Decemberists: Nobody tells a story like the Decemberists do. In a world where lyrics and words must fight to survive against dance tracks with seven words in them, the Decemberists are heroes. Andrew Bird: Andrew Bird is prolific. It seems like he puts out an album every year. His band makes all the records live in a room together, and they just knock it out of the park every time. Jason Mraz: I should probably catch a lot of shit for this one among my more snobby musical friends, but the lyrics and music don’t lie. The man is a hell of a songwriter and arranger, if you get past the few really radio-designed songs that pay the bills for him.

Who is the best band you’ve ever seen live?
Elton John. He’s a legend for a reason.

What do you think is important in a live performance?
The connection and conversation aspect. Your fans need to realize you’re a person, beyond being a performer. Anyone who has seen a live show of mine, solo or with a band, knows that I talk to audiences, even sometimes individuals, between songs. Sometimes a crowd just needs some waking up because you’re the first one on the bill and none of them have ever heard of you, but whether they have heard of you or not, it turns the show into a two-way street. You talk and sing, they talk and sing back.

What’s your favorite city to play in?
Can’t really pick one city, but I really like the Florida Keys. I’ve had really good experiences traveling and playing down there, and it’s low stress. Plus I love to fish, and I always get a chance to while I’m down there.

What’s your favorite Orlando venue to perform in?
There are a lot of fantastic venues in Orlando, but I have a soft spot for the places I’ve played for a while. Orlando Brewing has been really good to me for a long time, and I love playing shows there. They have a commitment to only original music that is really cool.

What the fuck is wrong with the music industry?
The same thing that is wrong with the rest of the economy. Big players get big and then try to close the roads they took to the top behind them. But all that is changing, and although it’s really hard to survive now, I think things will continue getting better. Sometimes people can get negative about the state of the industry, which is understandable, but I try my best to stay positive.

What album have you listened to more than any other album? What keeps you coming back?
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John (1973). Legendary artist, fantastic album. It’s hard to beat that kind of songwriting.

Which comes first: the lyrics or the music?
I think things come at different times, but lyrics are definitely the last layer of a tune. I find that music comes quickly, and lyrics come slowly. I always finish by tinkering with lyrics, and it takes a long time. There’s a lot more there than people think, and a big part of growing up as a songwriter is realizing that. A lot of people get pissed when their favorite bands or artists change the way they write songs, but why would you want them to make the same album over and over?

Explain the meaning behind one of your songs.
“When I’m Dead,” from my upcoming album: This song tells a story I experienced while in college. I went to Stetson in DeLand, and DeLand has a lot of street preachers, especially for its size. A lot of people were always angry at them for yelling at people in cars, or passing out tracts about going to hell, but my old roommate and I were always just more curious about what motivates people to do that. We decided to just go try and talk to them. The song is a reflection on the experience. It’s really about death and uncertainty; the tag line of the chorus is “I don’t know what’ll happen when I’m dead.” I’ve had multiple people curse at me or leave bars where I was playing because of this song, but I don’t see what’s so offensive about telling the truth. I believe in God, and I count myself as a religious and spiritual person, but I think that music is about telling it like it is. And I don’t know what will happen when I’m dead; I feel that, so I sing it. - Orlando Weekly


Mimes in Traffic Demo (2013)
Released: 5 May 2013

Songs from the Seafloor EP (2014)
Released: 1 May 2014

Mic the Prophet (2015)
Released; 9 April 2015



Be simple. Be honest. Be Natural.

three commands guide Mike the Prophet's music and life. Hailing from
the famously strange heart of Central Florida, he came of age in a stew
of Southern and Caribbean influences, and after winning awards there for
his locally popular demo, Mimes In Traffic (2013), was described in the press as "equal parts margarita and moonshine."

Releasing an EP, Songs from the Seafloor (2014),
traveling and gaining college and internet radio play in Canada, the
U.S., U.K., and France, Mike the Prophet concluded 2014 with a
successful $8,000 Kickstarter campaign funding his first full-length
album, Mic the Prophet (2015). Receiving considerable college radio attention and licensing placement on PBS's Roadtrip Nation, the full-length release allowed for three Southeast Tours through 2015 and 2016, and his seasonal release, The Christmas EP (2016), to similar success

Now in Spring 2017, Mike the Prophet prepares to release the new single and music video Parasite
(2017), and books a tour to support it with his raucous one-man-band
act, drumming with his feet, singing, and playing guitar in bars across
Eastern North America in the U.S. and Canada.

Band Members