Release Date: November, 2015. (Some explicit content.)
Available for purchase at: CDBaby
COMPLETE VIDEO PLAYLIST:
This is my album Outdoor Cat. I wrote these songs during my travels as a member of the Grilled Lincoln's band. Some were written for the album recently & some are many many years old. Producers EOM & Lack Of Afro also contributed two songs. Its co-produced by Frank Marchand and mastered by Randy Leroy. It features MANY talented musicians who were kind enough to help bring my dream to life and show off those chops on my record. We had a great time making this. Please enjoy!
Love - BakkTron
Mike Bakke (of The Grilled Lincolns, founded in 2002) comes correct with his debut solo album “Outdoor Cat,” a high-energy, in-your-face blast off of hip-hop, funk, reggae, soul, raw emotion, Muppets, bacon and blunts. If you’re looking for a quiet, cozy companion-album to sip tea to while you watch Downton Abbey, this might not be for you (unless, of course, Miss Patmore is in the kitchen shaking her big-ass booty, cookin' up some bacon.) But if you’re looking for a kick-in-the-pants, amp-you-up, check-your-pulse, full range display of epic musical talents then bring it on!
From being immersed in the organic "soup" of the scene for many years, including those formative ones at the beloved The Whiskey in Annapolis (that was, without exaggeration: The best bar in the history of the universe), Bakke has made some quality connections and he brings a bunch of them along for the ride. The album is truly a showcase of the diverse range of voices and styles that Naptown and Maryland have to offer. In fact, Bakke should get a musical diversity award - for the sheer number of guests he has on the album (over 40 local musicians are featured!) And honestly, isn’t that what’s supposed to be all about? It kinda' reminds us of the many great 90s hip-hop, gangster rap albums that featured their fair share of contributors and guest emcees. Another awesome nod to 90s hip-hop is the mini mid-album sketches aptly entitled “Mid-Album Review,” featuring the one and only,Wax (seen performing here at Rams Head Live) and one clown-assed pseudo-critic named Neil Abromowitz, played by T-REXX. Wax is also featured on "Drowning," along with brother, Herbal T.
Here at Naptownmusic, our reviewers were never haters - and luckily, none of us have played wood block or triangle, so that’s a plus! But enough with the nostalgia and introduction, let’s get down to the nitty gritty with Mike Bakke:
“Outdoor Cat” kicks things off with a solid mix of funky guitar riffs, horns, fast paced drums behind Bakke’s bottom banging bass. The combo of Skribe’s soulful singing with Bakke’s rhymes provides a stellar balance of vocal stylings. The song sets a nice tone for the album and features one bad-ass reference to Kermit and Miss Piggy. Mike McHenry provides his exemplary guitar shredding, putting his definitive stamp on the song throughout.
“Lepers vs Stepfords,” featuring Joey Harkum (of Pasadena) is a fun follow-up with a jovial chorus: “They say heaven’s in the sky, hell is underground, I did a faceplant, shit was upside down, that was in the same day. They say there’s a man up top and one underneath, I’m just in the middle trying to get a little peace, because it’s fading away.” The song has a bouncy melody with some excellent guitar reverb and distortion. The song is filled with some of the album’s best lyrical word play and life truths such as “I’d rather break bread with the lepers than fake a bake sale with the Stepfords...I’d rather be a broke me than a very rich you,” and “Y’all are some weak hipsters, I read scriptures from the biography of Keith Richards.”
“The Bank Teller” cranks the old-school soul (reminiscent of OutKast) up to full blast with some booty shaking jams and contributions from Jeremy Ragsdale, Soul Khan and Seez Mics. The song has a beautiful uplifting message hidden under being broke and making it to last call: keep trying, do your best and everything will be alright.
“What She Doin’” is another bad-ass funk romp with Jason "Jay Crawdads" Crawford from Higher Hands dropping some awesome rhyme flow. The chorus “I think you might be out of your mind,” adds some ultra cosmic Bootsy Collins style. “Both Always Right” is a catchy reggae tune featuring Brandon Hardesty (of Bumpin’ Uglies) and the sweet sultry vocals of Miss Sara (Sara Kryscio, seen here with Zach Bellas of Pasadena, Zach Bellas & the Company Band).
“The Breakfast Song” (w. Mike Bakke, Big SLOP, Walt Baby, Raw B) could very well be the crown jewel of the album. It’s certainly not for all tastes (forgive the pun) but it’s clearly an inspired work, well crafted, and produced with its solid hip-hop beat and rhyming from Big Slop (Spittin Lyrics On Point), Bakke and crew. If you love hip-hop, wake ‘n baking, big booties and bacon then this song is your dream come true. (Rumor has it there’s an epic music video on the way for this one and it will be truly exciting to see the final product.)
“Stunt Double” is a tribute to all the crazy beautiful ladies in the world and how they are so irresistible, featuring the full members of The Grilled Lincolns with Viki Nova. “Like You Read About,” is a great follow-up to “Stunt Double” featuring The Grilled Lincolns in full again and providing a further tribute to crazy party girls.
“Startover,” features full-out Bakke and shows that he’s got a softer side and it’s pretty awesome. “Go On & On,” is another sparkly highlight of the album and further displays the incredible range of Bakke’s musicianship and the cast of Naptown’s finest. This time G-Linx alum, Jeremy Ragsdale, and Julie Cymek (of Sweet Leda) join along for the fun and the outcome is a truly inspiring. The sax, keyboard and acoustic guitar are especially well balanced in this tune. Jeremy kicks off the song perfectly and then, as we've come to expect, Julie blows the roof off the house.
“Have No Shame,” featuring Ray Wroten (of Bond & Bentley) and Ryan Shiner (of 86 The Effort) is a solid, sweet melody compliment to “Go On & On” that’s a little more rough around the edges and proud of it. The song continues the great positivity running throughout the latter part of the album. After one final blowout “Mid-Album Review,” the album closes with “James Lipton” featuring solo Bakke bringing it raw with some solid lyrical hot fire.
All and all “Outdoor Cat” is a must listen for any Naptownmusic fan and it’s an astounding testament to the fine artists and musicians who continue to make our scene shine. Major props to Mike Bakke for putting this one together and producers EOM, Lack Of Afro, Frank Marchand (of Hudson Street Sound), and mastered by Randy Leroy for mixing master craftsmanship.
You can catch Bakke with The Grilled Lincolns as they perform their farewell concert as the part of the One Koast Entertainment Frozen Harbor Music Festival in Baltimore, Friday, February 19 and Saturday, February 20. Bakke will share the stage with other great local artists including Sweet Leda, Higher Education, Pasadena, Bumpin Uglies, Lovebettie, Bond & Bentley, Skribe, Shawn Owen Band, Gingerwolf, Ms Sara, Jocelyn Faro & the Ragazzi, Troll Tribe, and many others. And oh yeah Redman (aka Reggie Noble) is gonna' headline the whole thing. It will truly be one for the ages!
Check out fun some clips from the "Outdoor Cat" CD Release party: