His name is John Michael. And he’ll be playing the Grey Eagle.

His name is John Michael. And he’ll be playing the Grey Eagle.-attachment0

Yes, the band name MyNameIsJohnMichael is pretty obvious for a band fronted by a guy named John Michael Rouchell. (Then again, Xpress used the Band Name Maker and came up pretty much empty. Severe Cocoa? Shampoo Burnout? Sunrise Sandwich?) But this six-piece indie rock band from New Orleans may have taken a shortcut on its name because it was busy writing great songs and instrumentation. Check out the band’s latest single, “Orphan,” on its website (listen to it at the bottom of this post). It’s kind of Paul Simon-meets-the Meters, with really interesting lyrics and a great party feel.

A few years ago, Rouchell took the challenge to write and record a song per week for a year (the result is the collection 52 — listen here). Tracks range from tender (“6 OClock”) and intense (“Down Near The Lost And Found”) to rocking (“Two Minutes”) and hooky (“Misery Runs”).

  Misery Runs- MyNameIsJohnMichael by kaleidoscope_art

Like a thread through Rouchell’s songs runs an array of rhythms that raise the tracks from singer/songwriter fare to something exotic, substantial and celebratory. (Horns, trashcans and chains are listed among the instruments on stage at a MyNameIsJohnMichael performance.)

With a new lineup in tow, MyNameIsJohnMichael heads north (well, north of New Orleans) for a string of shows. The Grey Eagle is on that list. On Wednesday, May 25, MyNameIsJohnMichael shares a bill with Kopecky Family Band. 8:30 p.m., $8 advance/$10 day of show.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts writer and editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs.

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