There is something about Mike Poulopoulos that is secretive for some reason. Maybe because you can’t read if he is smiling or not behind that beard of his, but you can always tell when he is elated and excited because that smile travels right up to his eyes. I can tell you that for the duration of his session covering his pal Laurence Scudder’s tune “Bumps in the Road” he was absolutely gleaming with brilliance and happiness.
I first met Poulopoulos as I meet most of my musical compadres, on a stage playing songs alongside one another for the very first time. With Mike it just felt natural, like we had been playing together for a long while. His songs have that wonderfully “simple to play but easy to expand” quality. There’s room to explore and inject your own style in a live setting with his songs, and it just feels right. He writes fantastic story songs, about nights on the town, barroom laments, and exploring the world, your own demons and an individuals triumphs. He is just one of those people that once you meet them you feel as though you should have known them for a long time, and now that you do you are damn glad that it happened.
Not only did he cover one of Scudder’s tunes, he also had him along to play viola on the track with his other guitar toting pal Andrew Olson for the ride. The result is a jazzy, roots influenced take on a great song and man oh man, do I dig t.