Summer’s Not Over Yet

I’ve been rambling around the South all of August, soaking up the sights and sounds of Viriginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Arkansas.  I witnessed the tradition and history of Virginia music at the 79th Galax, VA Fiddler’s Convention, worked on a flower farm in northern VA for a week, did a bit of hitch hiking, and taught a stringband workshop in Mountain View Arkansas, to name just a few things.

A 14 hour drive from Dayton, OH brought me back home to Boston where I met my dear friend and badass fiddler Lucia Thomas.  We’ll be playing some shows in the Northeast including North Branch Bluegrass Festival, Campfire. at Passim, and the Cotuit Americana Hootenany on the Cape.   Check out the shows page for more info and my full schedule!

*There may be some technical difficulties with the website in coming weeks, as I’ll be doing some updates.  Sorry for any hangups listening to tracks or watching videos, the website will be beautifully revamped at the end of it all though!

North Branch              Cotuit

Pickin’ Singin’ Walkin’ Ramblin’

The 5th Annual Massachusetts Walking Tour was a hoot!  Walking the Bay Circuit Trail with some of my best buddies, and playing shows every night could be nothing less.  From June 17th to July 3rd we carried our clothes, food, tents, sleeping bags, instruments, and everything else for a 100+ mile trek from Newbury to Kingston, MA.  The folks involved in the Bay Circuit Trail helped us every step away, guiding us along the trail, and gathering each town’s community for our performances.  This is a low-elevation, woods-urban trail, where you can go from the middle of the forest to the middle of a city in a couple hours or less, thus we got to experience the chaotic beauty of nature, and orderly bustle of civilization in a repeated cycle.

Spanky

 

I’ve got some regional gigs in July with Hoot and Holler, and The Moonlight Ramblers, most notably at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival on July 24th.  Then I’ll be heading down south to some festivals in WV and VA, teaching a Bluegrass camp in Mountain View Arkansas, and some general rambling before heading back up to New England to play the North Branch Bluegrass Festival, Cotuit Americana Hootenany, and some other shows with my great friend, fiddle phenom Lucia Thomas.  Stay tuned for the Hoot and Holler EP due this October with a coinciding tour!

 

 

Recent Rambles

Hello Folks!

After a whirlwind of playing and traveling, I’ve finally got some time to sit down and write an update.  The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival back in February kicked off a slew of gigs for the Moonlight Ramblers, and marked our first appearance at a major bluegrass festival.  March started off at the Mountain View Bluegrass Festival in Arkansas, where our old buddy Nick DeSebastian lent his bass skills to Lukas, Bronwyn, and me.  The hardcore bluegrass fans appreciated our dedication to the music’s roots, as well as our original material, and the sunny southern hospitality was ever so palpable.

As we bid ado to Nick, the trio headed back east to play a ton of St. Paddy’s Day gigs in my home state of NJ.  A special house concert in Nutley, an intimate performance at The Birdhouse in beautiful Lambertville, and my dad singing, shouting, and dancing along with the pub patrons all weekend were among the highlights.

Nate Sabat joined us once again, and the full foursome of the Moonlight Ramblers headed up to Maine to open for the Tricky Britches at the beautiful City Theatre in Biddeford.  The next day, we entered The Studio in Portland, where we worked with the extremely talented engineer Steve Drown, and tracked 5 songs for an EP that will be released later this year!

Now with, plenty of time at home, it’s time to focus on the projects to come: finishing the Hoot and Holler EP, preparing for Lukas Pool’s solo album, and getting ready for a summer of touring and festivals.  Keep your eyes peeled for updates on all that, a Moonlight Ramblers website, and facebook page, the Red Line Roots “Locals Covering Locals” album, and much more.  Until then, enjoy this video of the Moonlight Ramblers (featuring John Mailander on Mandolin) playing Forty Years of Trouble, a bluegrass classic!

Happy New Year Folks!

2013 was a big one for me.  I released my first solo album, took part in the maiden voyage of the For The Sake of the Song Roadshow, and the 2013 Massachusetts Walking Tour, won the Ossipee Valley Music Festival band competition, and played lots of shows and tours with my new projects, The Moonshine Ramblers, and Hoot and Holler.  As the year came to a close, I was honored to receive the distinction of Boston’s Favorite Guitar Picker, in a tie with Andy Cambria (a fantastic picker himself) in local music blog Red Line Roots’s Beg Red Recognitions!  I want to thank each and every one of you for the love and support that helped make last year a success.

The holidays brought lots of family time, good food, and rest.  At the dawn of the new year, it’s already shaping up to be a big one!  It kicks off with Boston Celtic Music Fest, where I will be playing the kickoff concert with Bronwyn Keith-Hynes and BB Bowness this Friday, January 10th at 7pm at Club Passim.

March will bring a Moonshine Ramblers tour from Maine to Arkansas, with a big ol’ St. Paddy’s day stint in NJ, and a recording session that will yield a full band version of The Gardener of Babylon.  Hoot and Holler will be releasing an EP, and joining Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards once again for the 2014 Walking Tour in June.  Of course, solo and band shows will be happening frequently all over the northeast.  Most notably the Ramblers will be performing a main stage set at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival at the end of July!

Feel free to give me a shout if you would like to host a house concert, or have a favorite venue you’d like to see me play at.  Much much more is sure to come.  Keep your eyes on the tour schedule to see what’s coming up in your area, many more shows will be added as the weeks and months roll on.  The future is rich in music, friendship, and rambling, so let’s let the good times roll!

A Summer of Winning, an Autumn of Rambling

Man, in the business of the summer I have not had any news updates!  I’m sorry to have kept you in the dark folks.  My band won the Ossipee Valley Music Festival Band Competition, reaping recording time at The Studio in Portland, ME and a spot on the main stage at next year’s festival.  The Moonshine Ramblers played their first festival in VT at the North Branch Bluegrass Festival, to a warm crowd of bluegrass lovers.

Looking ahead, we will be heading out on tour this weekend as a trio, playing in NJ, MA, and VA.  Check out the shows page for all the info!  For now, enjoy this video of Bronwyn, Lukas, and I playing a badass celtic tune.

Adventures on Every Side

Hot damn!  The Walking Tour was a hot, sweaty, gorgeous blast.  It was an amazing experience to walk with and get to know Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, see the beauty of Western Mass on the New England Scenic Trail, and meet all kinds of strange and beautiful people on the way.  Below is a picture of the ragtag foursome with pastor Dan Dibble, an extremely kind man who opened his house to us, and let us experience the luxury of showers and beds for one sweet night.  I’m the one who looks like a big orange pack mule.

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After a couple of weeks regrouping myself in JP, I’ll be back on the road to Greyfox (NY), Ossipee (ME), and Clifftop (WV) festivals for a whole lotta pickin’ and singin’!  I’ll be competing in Ossipee’s band competition and songwriting competition as well, so come out and cheer if you’re at the festival.  Other highlights for the rest of the summer are shows at the Lizard Lounge (Thursday August 8th) with Hoot and Holler opening up for my best buddy band Chasing Blue, and a big Moonshine Ramblers show at The Burren (Sunday August 25th) before heading up to the North Branch Bluegrass Festival (August 30th and 31st) in Vermont.

Looking ahead, I am booking an East Coast tour in late October for the Moonshine Ramblers to spread the word on the release of I Will Find My Lover By and By.  Dates are booked at the Village Tavern (Thursday October 17th) in Salem, MA, The Firebox (Sunday October 27th) in Hartford, CT and the Cantab Lounge (Tuesday October 29th) in Cambride, MA, so get in touch if you’d like to see us in your town.

And to round things up, I have a new video on Youtube!  I was recently hired to play a wedding, and the couple had the delightfully unusual request:  that I play Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” as a solo Ukelele piece.  What an exciting challenge!  I played this song as a solo guitar piece for my Berklee audition, so translating in to the Uke was a breeze.  I present to you a new take on the original silksheet-candlelight-sexy-time jam.

I’m Goin’ Away

With the release of I Will Find My Lover By and By it’s time to go out on tour.  From June 14th to 29th, I’ll be hiking the New England Scenic Trail with Mark Mandeville, Raihanne Richards, and Amy Alvey on the 2013 Massachusetts Walking Tour.  I’ve been exercising vigorously and getting my hiking gear together, and I’m totally pumped to walk from town to town, playing in Churches, Town Halls, and Libraries in an old-school, environmentally conscious take on being a touring musician.

In other news, my Bluegrass band, Mark Kilianski and the Moonshine Ramblers has just been selected to participate in the Ossipee Valley Music Festival Band Contest on Friday, July 26th.  The winner gets a payed performing slot at next year’s festival and recording time, wish us luck!

I Will Find My Lover By And By – Available Virtually Everywhere

Today is a glorious day!  My first ever totally solo album (but certainly not the last) is available on CD Baby, Bandcamp (best audio quality/artist payment), iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Rdio, and Bloom FM (for my masses of tech-savvy British fans of course).  You can get the physical album at live shows starting this weekend at Club Passim’s Campfire Festival, or email markkilianski@gmail.com, pay over paypal, and I’ll ship it to your door.

It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m proud and excited to reap the fruits of the last year and a half’s creative seeds!  I hope you get as much or more enjoyment listening to the album as I did creating it.

Album Drops this Friday, May 24th

I Will Find My Lover By And By is nearly here!  After a year of songwriting, a 2 month journey in the South, and 6 months of planning, recording, mixing, funding, and producing, this album will be available for the world to enjoy.  It will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Music Store, Spotify, and Bandcamp.  My unofficial release shows will be two sets at Club Passim’s Campfire Festival this weekend (5:15pm on Saturday, May 25th and 6pm on Sunday, May 26th) as one half of Hoot and Holler, with Amy Alvey, with a full on tour to come in the Fall.  I’m so grateful for the help of Monica de Vitry, Mike Reese, all my Kickstarter backers, and everyone who has believed in, worked with, and encouraged me in my musical path.  Thank you!

Serious Headway

It’s a landmark week in the creation of I Will Find My Lover By And By.  I have secured and exceeded full Kickstarter funding, Monica and I are screen-printing the covers as I write this, and Mike and I are mixing on Friday!  There are still a couple days left to pre-order the album or get one of the other sweet prizes on the Kickstarter page.  The album will be out this spring, but until then you can check out some video previews on my Youtube channel.  Here’s one from a house concert I played recently.

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