Live the life you’re meant to live. That’s the overarching sentiment of Mike Grutka’s newest album "Painting the Silence Vol. 1"
"Painting the Silence Vol. 1" ('Consistently great' Chris Wienk Program Director 97.7 WEXT) finds the Guilderland, N.Y.-based performer broadcasting an inspirational message over a sound he calls “acoustic based funky modern roots rock-n-roll.” Well-established in his home region and having already scored airplay at more than 400 radio stations across the U.S. and Canada, Mike Grutka is sure to reach his widest audience yet
Grutka's most diverse album yet ranging from intense rock of opener "Find it Out' to the country sing-a-long of "I Know You Know" the overall vibe is loose and live—something not easily accomplished by one guy in a home studio. If a performance was good Grutka stuck with it, rather than obsess over every note; the few vocal parts he attempted to re-record were scratched in favor of original takes. A mulit-instrumentalist Mike handles the majority of the performing with his long time drummer Will Railton and guitarist Brian Kaplan helping out.
"This is the first album I've made that has a through line" Grutka says. "We all go through this life. Experience loss, loneliness, happiness and hopefully find our peace. These songs take you on that journey." At the album’s emotional center are closers "Painting the Silence” and "See the Light" two songs that find Grutka finding the hope we all search for in life. This reflective tone serves as counterpoint to the rest of the disc: The themes of betrayal and broken trust "Fallen" to the huge chorus hook of “Hey Hey" much of "Painting the Silence Vol.1" maintains an easygoing, acoustic-flavored feel.
Narrowed down from roughly 80, the 12 songs that made the cut find playful blasts of electronica swirling together with Grutka’s melodious, acoustic-based pop-rock. Many of the album’s songs are constructed around expansive, layered vocal arrangements, particularly the lush “Winter Song,” the British Invasion head-bopper “Eyes to the Sky,” and the single “Running Away.” The latter’s chiming electric guitars and breezy flow recall vintage R.E.M., as does Grutka’s disarming tenor, oftentimes a dead ringer for Michael Stipe.
Find your hope. As he sings in album closer "See the Light", "All the worries in your life/Let them go" Mike Grutka will sing his life for you if you care to listen. And when you hear his music, you’ll sing too.