When an artist is heartfelt and when their music is served up, in earnest, when all you know of this artist is the conviction with which they express their inner selves through their medium, to meet them face-to-face can be an intimidating moment.

Mike Hadreas, however, is immediately disarming. At the end of a week of shows and press, before the day has begun for most of the neighborhood, he and his band are full of energy and ready to share a series of emotionally demanding songs.

We start in the main hall of the Manhattan Inn. A salvaged baby grand lies in wait under a skylight that feeds tentacled plant-life none of us can reason is alive or dead. Mike’s voice fills the abandoned hall with a song perfectly suited to the privacy of the moment.

We move on to the bar, light-less and sanitized, another blank canvas which he now fills with a solo, slow, insular notes are aimed at nostalgic fragments displayed in the rafters.

We transition back to the piano. To finish, Mike has arranged a sparse but joyful piece to meet the zenith of the sun as it settles over the skylight above and invites us out into the day.

Originally published March 9th, 2012 // La Blogotheque