• Lamp Light / Surf & Turf

    Two very different shows over a big weekend:

    Friday, November 6
    Lamp Light Music Festival / Eastown, Grand Rapids

    On Friday night I'm making my debut at the third annual Lamp Light Music Festival, a house concert festival in Grand Rapids' Eastown district. I've heard nothing but great things from everyone who has played in previous years and I'm really excited about it. It will be my first gig in Grand Rapids since 2010 and I'm bringing State Park guitarist Ryan Gimpert along to do our first show together as a duo. We're playing at the Bird House at 11:15pm, but there are great acts all night at each of the houses. 

    Lamp Light Festival: Schedule
    Lamp Light Festival: Facebook Event Page

    Sunday, November 8
    Surf & Turf, V.3 / Old Town Tavern, Ann Arbor

    On Sunday night, my annual Surf & Turf  concert with Dave Boutette comes into its own with year number three, the knockout round! New tunes and old favorites in our favorite format...

    SURF: Timothy Monger sings sea chanteys, maritime tunes, and assorted nautical fare.
    TURF: Dave Boutette sings cowboy songs, campfire tunes, and music of the Old West. 

    Thank you once again to the wonderful Jenny Harley for her brilliant poster art.

    Music starts at 8pm. No cover.


  • Harvest Festival

    The first and only time I played at the West Park Band Shell I was 17 and behind a drum kit. My brief teenage stint as drummer for Brighton noise rock band Galen took me to several great Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti underground venues (R.I.P. The Green Room and the original Performance Network space) and introduced me to a lot of great music that was previously out of my scope of knowledge or interest. I have Aaron Dilloway to thank for that. I don't remember much about the day we played at the Band Shell or what other weirdo indie bands were on the bill, but it was 1994 and surely involved some of the Community High bands we frequently gigged with. I distinctly remember the disorienting ricochet of my snare drum off of the adjacent Miller Manor apartment block throwing off my already shaky timekeeping.

    Several years later I moved to Ann Arbor just a couple of blocks away from West Park and its gentle hills became a regular neighborhood backdrop for the follies and dramas of my early-20's. I even have a long-unfinished and, in retrospect, completely overwrought song celebrating West Park. So, last month when my friend Kevin suddenly decided to set up an Autumn festival there, I jumped at the chance to play on that stage again.

    It will be just me and my guitar this time, but some other great local acts are also on the bill like Rollie Tussing & the Midwest Territory Band and my GLMS bandmate Greg McIntosh's latest project Loose Teeth. The fact that Kevin managed to throw together such an appealing little festival in so short a time is a testament to what a productive badass he is. There will be local art, food trucks, various vendors, and you can bring your dog.

    5th Ward Harvest Festival
    Saturday, October 3rd
    2-8pm / Free
    West Park Band Shell
    Ann Arbor, MI



  • River Street Anthology Sessions

    I feel fortunate in a lot of ways, but getting to be a part of Matt Jones's River Street Anthology project with so many other brilliant musicians has been a highlight of my year. I'm just one of over 100 Michigan-based artists who have so far recorded a song for the project, but my session happened to overlap with a visit from multi-media renaissance man Steven Michael Holmes who was in Ypsilanti doing a shoot for his blog Mostly Midwest. He has offered a sneak peak at the Anthology and it includes a video of me playing a new song called "Outside the Venue." A slightly more robust version of this tune will be featured on my next LP.

    Mostly Midwest: First Look: The River Street Anthology


  • Summer Come Along

    On Thursday, June 18 I'll be making an appearance at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. I've been fortunate to play the festival's Top of the Park series for several years now and it's consistently one the nicest gigging experiences of the year for me. It's a wonderfully run month-long festival in a great downtown setting. I'm playing at 6pm this year on the Acoustic Stage which will be on N. University Ave. this year due to construction at the old site.

    A few days later on Saturday, June 20 I'll be in Ypsilanti at The Mix Studio Theater. The gig is hosted by my friend Rollie Tussing who has an excellent new album out this month. Rollie will do a short set of his own and Ohio bluesman Dooley Wilson will also play. The show begins at 8pm


  • Following a run of early winter gigs, I decided to take most of the spring off and focus on sessions for my next album. It's still relatively early in the tracking process, but several of the songs are really starting to take shape and I feel like I've hit my stride over the past month. The above photo is from a session I did recording Patrick Herek at his house in Northville over the weekend. I'm thrilled to be working on new music and plan to keep up the pace throughout the summer while adding a few live shows to my calendar as well.

    Here is where I'll be in June:

    Friday, 6/5 - The Tap Room - Ypsilanti, MI
    Thursday, 6/18 - Ann Arbor Summer Festival / Top of the Park - Ann Arbor, MI
    Saturday, 6/20 - The Mix Studio Theater - Ypsilanti, MI


  • This photo was taken at Lake Pukaki on the west side of New Zealand's stunning South Island where I was lucky enough to go camping last month. Even when I write songs about my friends, my family, or the comforts of home, it's frequently the wonder of travel that helps to fuel my inspirations and alter the perspectives and attitudes I have surrounding my daily life. Whether intentional or not, travelling outside of my city, state, and country (or hemisphere, in this case) provides new sights, emotions, and ideas that refill my mental reservoir. Whenever I return home from a trip, I tend to feel an immediate creative boost.

    I am always, in some form or another, working on material for a future release, but as is often the case in the rapidly changing months of Spring and Autumn, I feel hastened by the speed of life to step up my game. New songs are being written and recorded. See this photo as a sort of "album under construction" badge and know that even if you haven't heard from me in a while, you will, in fact be hearing from me. 

    April 2015

  • February Problem Solving

    Everyone knows that the best way to conquer midwinter melancholia in the Northern states is to fill your February calendar with activities. Excercise, go to museums, task yourself with demanding projects, volunteer for a charity, join an obscure society, make unnecessary shopping excursions (building credit), try to keep the sad stay-at-home drinking to a minimum, GO SEE LIVE MUSIC, etc. 

    Here, I offer you two solutions...

    Solution #1 (Big City Version):

    It's so nice when a new venue opens up. The Grand Rapids-based craft beer bar Hopcat recently opened a new location in Detroit and while many of us certainly love our craft beer, they also had the foresight to augment their new venture with what I've heard is a pretty high class performance space called The Huma Room. On Wednesday nights, the guys at Grand Circus Media are booking smaller acoustic and roots-type acts and my lieutenant/piano-henchman Patrick Herek and I will be making our Huma Room debut on Wednesday, February 11 opening for bluegrass outifit Thunderwude.


    Wed., February 11 - 8pm
    The Huma Room @ Hopcat
    4265 Woodward Ave.
    Detroit, MI 
    21+ / $5

    Solution #2 (Small Town Version):

    If heading downtown on a Wednesday isn't your joint, Pat and I will be playing a more intimate show in the intimately smaller town of Saline, Michigan which happens to be where I now live. This hometown venture will be at a secret venue that sometimes occurs above an Italian restaurant on Michigan Ave. Who doesn't love to be a part of something secretive?


    Sat., February 21 - 8pm
    Acoustic Routes Concert Series @ Mangiamo's
    107 W. Michigan Ave.
    Saline, MI
    $10 / Call 734-429-0060 for reservations
    Full bar and dinner service available


  • I'm pretty thrilled to perform at the Ann Arbor District Library on Friday, January 30th. It's a place I've loved and provides a service I've used since I first moved to the area many years ago. They've continued to grow, evolve, and adapt with the times, inspiring me to try and do the same. As the collection has spread and each regional branch taken on its own personality, I still feel a particular fondness for the old downtown building which has always felt like the center and beating heart of the city. No matter how much information I can now get from my phone or computer, I know there is still more to learn in those stacks than I'll ever be able to get to in 50 lifetimes.

    I'll be joined on piano and accordion by my good friend and longtime collaborator Patrick Herek. The show is free and will be held in the Multi-Purpose room downstairs which I'm referring to as the Room of Requirement.


  • January

    Happy new year, friends. I hope the first week of 2015 has felt optimistic and unthreatening. I took advantage of the sunny, snowless January 1st to build a fire in my backyard. It seemed a symbolic way to ring in a fresh calendar year, but I love winter campfires so I'll take any excuse to chop some wood and enjoy a day beer out in the cold.

    The holidays were relatively quiet, musically, but I've got a handful of shows coming up in January and February. I'll post more info as they approach, but here are the dates:

    Friday, January 30 - 7pm
    Ann Arbor District Library
    343 S. Fifth Ave.
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Saturday, February 21 - 8pm
    Acoustic Routes Concert Series
    107 W. Michigan Ave.
    Saline, MI

    Lastly, here is a video of the Scottish band Pilot doing their classic winter jam "January."