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Check Out: MyNameIsJohnMichael – “Orphan” (CoS Premiere)

on April 27, 2011, 5:25pm

When a band or artist names their act after themselves, it’s to tell the world that all the attention belongs to them. Alice Cooper started as the band name, but everyone knows the man formerly known as Vincent Furnier as the real king of shock rock. And while everyone may love Wings, they’d be grounded without Paul McCartney’s name and pop lineage. But when New Orleans-based musician John Michael Rouchell calls his band MyNameIsJohnMichael, it’s less about the globs of attention to be earned and more about the music itself: simple, to-the-point acoustic balladry that gets a kick thanks to some Big Easy brass.

To understand that sound, check out the track “Orphan”, off of the groups’ upcoming sophomore LP. There’s a light, strummy vibe that acts as a base throughout. Spicing up the simplistic nature, though, is a healthy dose of horns and organ work that add a classical and clearly Southern influence to a decidedly Northern-born variety of simple rock and roll. With such a vibrant, yet minimal sound, it’s easy to get lost and forget who this John Michael character even is.

Check out the track below. The album is produced by Raymond Richards (Local Natives) and is scheduled to be released this year. Along with the track below, make sure to take a look at the group’s upcoming tour schedule, which includes stints at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and French Quarter Fest.

Download:

MyNameIsJohnMichael 2011 Tour Dates:
04/28 – New Orleans LA @ One Eyed Jacks (New Orleanz Jazz Fest) *
05/02 – New Orleans, LA @ Tiptina’s (New Orleanz Jazz Fest))
05/06 – New Orleans, LA @ Blue Nile #
05/07 – New Orleans, LA @ Gentilly Square (New Orleanz Jazz Fest))
05/08 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic (New Orleanz Jazz Fest))
05/10 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement
05/13 – Lousiville, KY @ Phoenix Hill Tavern
05/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
05/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
05/18 – New York, NY @ The Mercury Lounge
05/19 – Washington, DC @ Sixth & Historic Synagogue
05/25 – Asheville, NC @ USA Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall
05/26 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
05/28 – Mobile, AL @ Music Box

* = w/ Okkervil River
# =w/ Gene Ween

8 comments

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KateGrace
April 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

It’s so nice to hear and see New Orleans musicians recognized for their hard work and authenticity. This song seems to embrace the modernity of the changing musical landscape while also paying homage to the indubitable sounds of old New Orleans.

Classic and upbeat, it’s a song I want to dance to!
Thanks COS.

Musical Sensibility
April 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm

mnijm is garbage. They were almost gone with that offbeat cover, but somehow found a way to slime themselves back into the scene with father’s check’s. The pretentious “indie-rock” sensation is equal in talent to the bieber-fever trend and smooth jazzers. I was hoping on this song I wouldn’t hear the same used up material from 90′s heart throb kids, but history is doomed to repeat itself once again. Look deeper in the New Orleans scene and you’ll actually see some really good talent. This is far from it.

Festival Crashers
April 28, 2011 at 1:27 am

Sigh. haters gonna hate. Bieber and smooth jazz? Where do you come up with this?

terrysanders
April 28, 2011 at 1:38 am

You must have missed their show at Lollapalooza. Or Tips. Or One Eyed Jacks. Or any of the past few years of shows. You know, the ones where everyone was having a good time listening to great music.

52 songs in 52 weeks isn’t pretentious. Its musicians who take their craft, and themselves, seriously.

Nick_critic
April 28, 2011 at 6:16 am

Musical Sensibility, really? Check your facts, because it sounds like you hate these guys simply for being fortunate. Knowing them personally, these guys tour under funds either raised by themselves or from shows they’ve already played. They work their asses off within this band, and outside of it at regular jobs. They’re the only band doing the style they do, and many of this love them for it. It’s not just stupid to write what you just did on a piece promoting something that they have put their heart and soul into, but it’s also stupid to assume that anyone would want to “look deeper into New Orleans” if you and the type of pretentiousness you yourself are promoting is what we’re going to find. Bitch to your friends about it, if you have any, don’t shit on MNIJM’s press. I hope this clears some things up without me coming off as rude as you do.
Or if you’d rather do this your style, come to one of the shows, my name is Nick, I’ll be front and center of the crowd, say things like you just said above to my face and I’ll kick your Musical teeth down your Sensible fucking throat.
Kisses.

Dumptrain
May 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I do, in fact, agree with the sentiment of ‘Musical Sensibility’ but I will try to give my reasons in a more reasonable, respectful manner. I’ve have known John Michael for several years, and yes I don’t like him as a person. He is overtly pretentious, but tries to hide it by always being annoyingly humbling.

I agree that John Michael is a very talented guitarist (note: guitarist, not songwriter/band leader) but that doesn’t mean you can write great song, or even a decent one. And surrounding yourself by some of ‘the best’ musicians in New Orleans doesn’t mean it will work. Admittedly I haven’t listened to every single one of his songs, but all the ones I have heard are barely passable as generic ‘indie rock’ songs that rely heavily on horns and predictable build ups to keep peoples attention.

It’s also funny that most of his band quit a few months ago. I think only one person stayed on board. Yeah, he must be a real great guy.

Like, I said, aside from not liking him personally, watching his live show, and listening to his music makes me hate most music and musicians. Relying on gimmicks like hitting a trashcan with a chain to distract from the fact your actual songs suck, etc. Also, watching him ‘perform’ makes me ill. Its as if he read a book entitled ‘how to act like a rockstar while performing’. Everything seems so calculated, and it is the opposite of ‘the soul’ of New Orleans music.

Jake
April 28, 2011 at 1:26 am

I saw mynameisjohnmichael a couple years ago. it was an acoustic performance and very nice. I had never heard of mnijm before and was thouroughly surprised! can’t wait to hear the new stuff.

NINE
April 28, 2011 at 11:02 am

had a chance to see these guys last year at a bowling alley in new orleans. a gem. then i saw them gain recognition at ACL fest. they’re really nice guys. looking forward to the new album and their rise to the rightful respect they deserve.