Fresh Press for the Forage & Glean anthology:

“Gorgeously arranged folk-rock… Likely to get stuck in your head after the first spin.” – review and track preview at TrebleZine

“Spine balances punk energy… and bursts of guitar shredding with catchy harmonies, making for a sound that brings to mind the likes of Joe Strummer and Ted Leo but with a slightly gritty edge.” – review and track preview at Glide Magazine

“Personal, political, and variations thereof emerge on this fascinating new collection of Mike Spine’s best music.” – review and full album stream at Pop Matters

“Forage & Glean Volumes I & II is for now the best folk and punk rock collection of 2018.” Translated from Dutch at Real Roots Cafe

Italian Press (in Italian): (video debut in Italy)

German Press (in German):

Netherlands and Belgium Press:

Album of the Week, Country Stew in the Netherlands:
“Mike Spine’s Don’t Let it Bring You Down is in week 50 week cd bij Country Stew/Radio Compagnie. De titel van het album en de song leent Mike van Neil Young. Het lied staat op het 1970 album van Young met als titel After the Goldrush. Het lied heeft de volgende versregel ‘Old man lying by the side of the street, with the lorries rolling by’. In deze regels ligt misschien wel de sleutel voor de eigen teksten van Mike op zijn album DLIBYD. In zijn songs verhaalt hij m.n. over de gewone man/the working class uit de steden waar hij werk-zaam is geweest als muzikant, leraar en activist. Spine is ook enige tijd in Mexico geweest en dat leverde naast het openingslied Sinaloa ook mijn favoriete song La Frontera op. Het lied heeft mij geraakt vanwege de sfeer die het lied bij mij oproept. Het geeft mij een feel good moment en ik zie de beelden voor mij.” (Radio Compagnie 105.2 FM, Netherlands)
De in Seattle geboren Mike Spine brengt met Don’t Let It Bring You Down al zijn negende album uit, een album dat in eerste instantie een kaal akoestisch soloalbum zou worden met als geluidstechnicus en producer zijn goede vriend Rob Bartleson (Wilco, Pink Martini, Pond). Uiteindelijk werd toch gekozen voor een meer complexer bandconcept en deed hij een beroep op een drietal muzikanten uit Portland. Spine toont zich op zijn nieuwe album wederom een begenadigd songwriter van gave rocksongs. Zijn songteksten zijn gelukkig opgenomen in het kartonnen digifile, waarin het schijfje is verpakt.  Boeiend album!

Real Roots Cafe
“Forage & Glean Volumes I & II is voorlopig de beste folk- en punkrock verzameling van 2018.”

Polish Press (in English):

United States and United Kingdom press:

“A performance to banish all jadedness.” (The Stranger, Seattle, WA)

“Their shows are legendary, blending their wandering-heart folk and rock jams into a sweaty live performance.” (Portland Mercury, Portland, OR)

“Propulsive drums and epic guitar. If Zorro was in a band it could sound like this.” (Americana UK, London, UK)

“Spine soon gained a reputation in the Seattle area for his powerful lyrics, which alternated between socio-political commentary and musings on everyday life.” (All Music Guide, Santa Clara, CA)

“Blissfully impervious to whatever fad his peers are currently into. Even after a few listens the album keeps on revealing quirky new hooks, new layers.” (Time Out NY, New York City, NY)

“Mike Spine is restless and relentless. There’s really no overlooking this fact in the face of Coalminers & Moonshiners. Its very existence is owed to that fact. Spine simply had too much great material on his plate that didn’t fit in with his excellent main project, punk band At the Spine. That he decided to go ahead and release the down-trodden low-key folk songs as a separate entity is a very welcome surprise, especially considering how adept he is in that songwriting mode. Everything on Coalminers & Moonshiners works spectacularly. It even inexplicably manages to never overstay its welcome, even at 14 tracks in length. The level of songwriting and arrangement skill on display throughout its entirety is not only admirable but enviable.” (Pop Matters, Chicago, IL)

“The sound of perfectly serrated pop.” (Portland Mercury, Portland, OR)

“The creative mind is limitless in the beauty it can create. The creative mind behind these two bands is the mind of Mike Spine. What you can appreciate the most is the amount of musical possibilities reaching its capacity in his brain and instead of making one album under At the Spine, that would have been a cluster of contrasting sounds, he decided to take the softer unplugged Americana side of At the Spine’s hard hitting stomp-your-feet and dance-around rock; and forged a new project called The Beautiful Sunsets. No better song to display these two respective genres and in two different versions than the track “Meteorite” found on both albums. Stand out track is an unrefined acoustic “French Girl” on Coalminers that haunting melody goes into your body and doesn’t want to leave.” (The Big Takeover, New York City, NY)

“The earnest traditions of Guthrie and Seeger meet the gritty swagger of Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams in the form of The Beautiful Sunsets and Coalminers & Moonshiners. From the Pacific Northwest, The Beautiful Sunsets deliver tales of America. Dreamlike and angsty, Utopic and rational, Coalminers & Moonshiners showcases The Beautiful Sunsets’ noteworthy, often familiar folk melodies, propelled by rich harmonies and intelligent lyrics that transform and transcend each time you listen.” (Innocent Words Magazine, Oakwood, IL)

“Beautifully harmonic and brimming with a haunting feeling of despair, this album makes for a profoundly moving listening experience. The delicately dulcet vocals project a quiet, yet still strong feeling of angst, sadness, and regret. The equally fragile and pretty folksy melodies likewise further capture and convey the overall melancholy mood with bracing clarity and conviction. Moreover, the sharp lyrics vividly present the bitter hard-scrabble lives of impoverished folks who have to struggle in order to barely scrape by. A very fine and touching little jewel.” (Jersey Beat, Weehawken, NJ)

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