Mike Herrera is better known for fronting the punk band MxPx than he is as a solo artist. He is also the front man of Tumbledown which is alt country, rockabilly, and twisted Americana band. However, in 2011 Herrera released an album called “Live from the Basement” which was recorded on April 6, 2011. Mike does not consider it a solo album as it does consist of him playing songs from all of his groups. “It’s just me acoustic, playing my own songs in my basement” is how Herrera refers to it.
The result is a stripped down album which is surprisingly powerful. The simplicity of the project draws the listener to pay closer attention to the well crafted lyrics. Yet Mike keeps it humble as he includes an outtake of the song “Drowning.” It ends when he drops his pick and calls himself an idiot.
Mike does include a complete version of “Drowning” as track three. The song is a powerful song. In this setting his songs tell stories and a showcase of his storytelling ability is “Arrested in El Paso Blues.” The album is a collection of a dozen songs His voice, guitars, and most importantly the songs shine through on this project. A band project might rely on different musicians, electric instruments, and possibly the songs could be overlooked. That is not the case on this album as it is a different animal.
The album is available at tumbledownhq.com or at MxPx.com. The price makes the album a bargain as it is priced at $6.99. If you like the songs on the album chances are you will like Mike Herrera’s other projects which include MxPx, Tumbledown, and Arthur. Arthur is more of a 50s, 60s feel project which Mike also pulled material from for “Live from the Basement.”