The Michael Cleary Band Posted by Edwin BartlettPosted on Monday, July 1st, 2013 The Michael Cleary Band has been a Ct Institution for over 20 years.  Although listed as a Rock/Funk Jam Band, that only describes a small part of who they are. When a band has been around for as long as The Michael Cleary Band, it is a constant evolution of playlists and genres. Very few bands are able to accomplish a feat of this magnitude. To be able to play the Live Music Scene in Connecticut, a band needs to be constantly evolving, and the Michael Cleary Band does exactly that. The Michael Cleary Band has opened for Tower of Power, Little Feat, NRBQ, The Average White Band and many more. MCB plays throughout the State,, and  can show up doing covers, or their original music. And that is part of the reason for their longevity, the ability to give the audience a great show regardless of what the playlist consists of. K, enough of the press kit kind of stuff. I have had the great pleasure of seeing The Michael Cleary Band  on several occasions. MCB has helped me with some fundraising that I have been known to do on occasion, and I have even seen them when they had Gumby on stage with them, and yes, there are pictures to prove that one. The first thing that you notice is how tight they are. Although they have had a few changes over the 20+ years of gigging, the one constant is the fact that Michael Cleary is the type of musician that others want to perform with, and finding the best musicians to fill in the occasional opening is not hard for him. When I started writing this a bit ago, I kinda was at a lost for words (that actually does happen with me, contrary to what you see on FB) so I started trading emails with Michael on that subject. Yes, when you see him do the club gig, Groove/Funk/Rock with a twist definitely works. But as you can see, their are more layers to The Michael Cleary Band that that. I guess if I had to name one musician that I would compare Michael to, I would have to go with Joe Jackson. Joe Jackson had quite a few hits in the 80′s, but the thing that most impressed me about Joe Jackson was the versatility and the courage to take his music outside the “mainstream”. In my opinion, The Michael Cleary Band has these same qualities, and is very much worth the drive to catch them playing out.     ” - Edwin Bartlett

Ct Out and About

One of Hartford's Best Original Bands!” - Doug Maine/Sarah Wesley

Hartford Magazine

The Michael Cleary Band - Refreshingly honest, no nonsense music. No cliches either. Best band we have heard in a long time. We play them in the U.K. on our show, and you know how fussy we are."Stu and Kendall Radio show 102.3fm” - Stu and Kendall

— Stu and Kendall's Radio Show 102.3 FM

I enjoyed the heck out of your live performance ...and certain parts really brought a smile to face. Elliott Randall / Steely Dan /” - Elliott Randall

— Steely Dan

I am dating myself when I say that the Michael Cleary Band is more my parents music than my own. Influences like Little Feat, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, and the Allman Brothers guide their tunes. However, where their previous discs left me cold, MCB Live has finally convinced me that these guys are worth noting. And you know what did it for me? The lyrics. They´re a great working-class band with a great live show. Dan Berry, Hartford Advocate 5/3/07” - Dan Berry

— Hartford Advocate

These guys have been dishing out their R&B/blues (with a bit of funk tossed in to get the rumps shaking) for nearly 20 years. Their latest album, recorded live at Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford, is a fine recording. It has lots of solos that actually work, some extend-o-jams that keep the crowd up. It's all that you'd expect from a established, polished band.  Craig Gilbert/New Haven Advocate  3/14” - Craig Gilbert

— New Haven Advocate

MCB Live Live records are typically best saved for bands that have either a tremendous live show like Kiss or for bands that have a legacy that warrants as much ala The Rolling Stones. So reviewing a live record from Hartford act The Michael Cleary Band is a bit of a pre-loaded gun. The Michael Cleary Band has been carving out their niche as the areas preeminent blues-based rock band for almost 16 years now and they are great at what they do: check the solo at the tail end of Never Gonna Let, the harmonies on Stand, or pitch perfect classic rock stand-in Zydeco. The live setting suits them and it´s the relative coziness of the venue that yields a hominess as you have fans squabbling, the band´s inner dialogues and if you listen hard enough you can hear the clinking of pint glasses between sets.” - David Lewis

— New Haven Magazine

Michael Cleary Band ~ MCB Live For the uninitiated, MCB Live is a great introduction to the Michael Cleary Band, the closest you´ll come to experiencing them live. For area fans who´ve followed MCB´s near 16-year road of music-making in our region, it´s a cool souvenir to be savored, a colorful snapshot of these musicians completely in their element. Recorded at Hartford´s own Black-Eyed Sally´s, MCB Live delivers an evening´s worth of funkified songs capable of moving both hearts and feet. Brothers Ed and John Corvo lay down and power the grooves here with soul and precision, abetted by Paul Bozzi´s engaging percussion; keysman Vince Delaria at times conjures up the late great Kenny Kirkland with his wondrously colorful lines; and Cleary presides over his ensemble with soulfully agile vocals and guitar.  Groovier than the Allman Brothers and more riffalicious than Tower of Power, MCB´s sound is an audibly tempting brew seasoned with skill and feeling. High points "Zydeco Girl," TOP-esque groove-fest "Funky 16" and closer "Child Inside" joyfully illustrate their musical bond is as energetic and entertaining as ever. Catch them live in Middletown on April 6th at La Boca.” - Guy-Michael Grande

— Ear Candy/Rare Reminder

LOCAL MOTION by Thomas Pizzola - The Hartford Advocate Rites of Spring: The Michael Cleary Band after 13 years is Hartford´s answer to the Allman Brothers.The first weekend of spring brought with it some very un-spring-like weather such as snow and ice, but it also brought a couple of really good shows to warm the heart of any lover of local, original music. On Saturday, at the Arch Street Tavern I caught a heartfelt and very well received set by the long-running Michael Cleary Band. The Michael Cleary Band is a Hartford institution. For 13 years the band has been churning out their highly addictive blend of blues-based rock to appreciative audiences in the area. They do an excellent job of merging different styles of music into the standard blues rock template. So, while the songs have a bluesy rock base, there are also traces of funk, jazz, country, soul and Latin in the mix, making the band sound at times like Hartford's own version of the Allman Brothers. Each member of the band is talented in his own right, but Cleary definitely deserves some notice for his ace guitar playing. A master of his instrument, he effortlessly shoots out bluesy, emotive solos especially on the occasions when the band gets down and jams. But he's also a solid rhythm player, able to lay down a nice solid groove, when duty calls. Cleary calls his band a "labor of love" and one can hear this love in the music they play. Even more so, you can feel the love the fans show for this veteran band as they danced the night away to the music.” - Thomas Pizzola

— Hartford Advocate

MCB-Live disc RIPS!!! The solo on All To You is ridiculous.” - Alan Veniscofsky

— Rane

Join the email list!

MCB Email List