New Release Rack: Michael Jerling’s “Halfway Home”

January 3rd, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Michael Jerling: Halfway Home

“Where the black dog scratched at the old blue door
And the greasy grooves in the kitchen floor
Something moves just outside the frame
It’s a long climb
But you’re halfway home…”

Halfway Home is a marvelous new album from veteran North Country singer-songwriter Michael Jerling. It’s the follow-up to his 2009 live album Music Here Tonight, which was recorded in concert at Caffe Lena. It’s also his first album of all new material since 2007’s Crooked Path, but it was worth the wait, jam-packed with 14 songs.

Recorded at his Fool’s Hill Studio in Saratoga Springs, Jerling is joined by his regular musical sidekicks – Tony Markellis on bass, Teresina Huxtable on reed organ and accordion and Danny Whelchel on drums and percussion, as well as special guest contributions by Danny Gotham on mandolin and nylon string guitar, Victor Sanders on electric guitar, Kevin Maul on slide guitar and Mike Vlahakis on keyboards. In addition, Don & Victoria Armstrong, Bob Warren & Joy MacKenzie and Dale Haskell chime in with their distinctive voices.

Not only a multi-talented musician – he plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica on the disc – Jerling is also a masterful craftsman, a songsmith with a confident strength and a keen eye for the details that bring his eloquent songs to life. He’s a magnificently understated vocalist with echoes of such masters as Guy Clark, John Gorka and Lyle Lovett. And just when you figure you’ve got him figured out, he effortlessly shifts gears to crank out a bluesy anthem (“Bigger Hammer”), a wry Tin Pan Alley stroll (“Personal Appearance”) or a lilting samba (“No Solid Ground”).

Michael Jerling celebrates the release of “Halfway Home” with a performance at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Saturday (January 4). He’ll be accompanied by Teresina Huxtable and Tony Markellis. Veteran Canadian singer-songwriter Lorne Clarke opens the show. Tickets are $16 in advance; $18 at the door.


Songwriting Workshop at Saratoga Guitar

October 16th, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg
Nancy Walker, Michael Jerling and Bob Warren

Nancy Walker, Michael Jerling and Bob Warren

Saratoga Songwriters Panel – featuring the trio of veteran singer-songwriters Nancy Walker, Michael Jerling and Bob Warren – is offering a two-hour songwriting workshop at 7pm on Thursday, October 18.

“The Inspiration & Craft of Songwriting” will be held at the Saratoga Guitar & Music Center in Saratoga Springs.

The cost of the workshop is $30, and you can register by emailing Bob Warren at

Workshops: The Inspiration and Craft of Songwriting @ National Dance Museum

September 26th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Nancy Walker, Michael Jerling and Bob Warren

Nancy Walker, Michael Jerling and Bob Warren

Michael Jerling, Nancy Walker and Bob Warren are three of Nippertown’s finest singer-songwriters, and now they’re sharing some of their musical knowledge and tricks of the trade that they’re learned over the years.

The three songwriters will be presenting the Saratoga Songwriters Panel over the course of six consecutive Saturday mornings this fall. Titled “The Inspiration and Craft of Songwriting,” the series of two-hour workshops will begin on Saturday, October 15, and classes will be held at the National Dance Museum in Saratoga Springs.

Some of the topics that will explored during the workshops include:

1. The Songwriting Process
2. Structure and Expanding Your Musical Palate
3. Putting Your Song Across
4. Music First? Lyrics First?
5. How to Write a Bad Song
6. Ideation and Musical Variation
7. Recording and the Songwriter

The cost is $90 for the series, and registration is now open.

LIVE: “The Right Mix” @ the Saratoga Arts Theater, 11/7/09

November 20th, 2009, 12:35 pm by Greg

How big was it? Michael Jerling at the Saratoga Arts Theater

How big was it? Michael Jerling at the Saratoga Arts Theater

Produced by Nancy Walker – an excellent singer-songwriter-turned-concert-promoter – and emceed by Dave Michaels from radio station EXIT 97.7, “The Right Mix” showcased some of Nippertown’s very best roots-oriented musicians, packing the intimate Saratoga Arts Center Theater with a full house of fans.

Hot on the heels of his new CD, “Music Here Tonight: Live At Caffe Lena” on Fool’s Hill Music, magnificent singer-songwriter Michael Jerling kicked off the evening’s music in fine fashion. Accompanied by percussionist-keyboardist-accordionist Teresina Huxtable and the Northeast’s incomparable, premier bassist Tony Markellis, Jerling rolled through a set of evocative, heartfelt songs, highlighted by the humorous, real-life-on-the-road odyssey “Wide Awake In Parsippany” and the comical “In The Middle Ages.”

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Five Firsts: Michael Jerling

November 5th, 2009, 12:05 pm by Greg

MichaelJerlingNAME: Michael Jerling
INSTRUMENT: acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … first I paid for – the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Joni Mitchell/ Crosby, Stills & Nash (Or was it a triple bill? – Vanilla Fudge/ Aorta/ The Youngbloods)

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Silvertone acoustic guitar (unplayable)

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … either “Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues” or “The Dangling Conversation” (no surviving set list)

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Easy to Remember (forgettable)

Michael Jerling teams up with Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys and Rick Rourke & Lost Wages for a special concert titled “The Right Mix” on Saturday (November 7) at the Saratoga Arts Center in Saratoga Springs. A pre-performance reception, “Behind the Songs,” begins at 6pm. Doors open for concert at 7pm. Dave Michaels from radio station EXIT 97.7 emcees.

MICHAEL JERLING’s “Music Here Tonight: Live at Caffe Lena”

September 25th, 2009, 9:27 am by Greg

MichaelJerling(Fool’s Hill Music, 2009):

Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter Michael Jerling has been making records for nearly 30 years, which means that those early albums were honest-to-goodness vinyl records.

It also means that he’s been making music for long enough that it’s time for him to take a look back and survey his repertoire. So, yes, you could call this album a career retrospective, except that Jerling certainly isn’t ready to sit back and rest on his laurels.

Rather than taking the easy way out and slapping together old tracks for a greatest-hits or best-of compilation, Jerling decided to revisit some of his favorite tunes and record them anew in one of his favorite settings – that cozy little second-floor coffeehouse on Phila Street, Caffe Lena.

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Holly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Capital Repertory TheaterRamblin Jug Stompers