Mike Hallal Band Releases "Live at Lizard Lounge" CD

The Mike Hallal Band celebrates the release of their new CD, "Live at Lizard Lounge, " with a performance Saturday, Dec. 13, at the underground club, located at 1667 Mass. Ave. The 53-minute album features blues-soaked rock originals and extended funky jams recorded this summer and mixed at Woolly Mammoth Sound. Attendees receive a free copy of the disc with admission. Steeped in the likes of Muddy Waters, Cream and the Black Keys, the 4-piece band has been packing the intimate Lizard Lounge since their first appearance there in January 2008.

At the release party, they'll showcase original songs from the new CD and debut more fresh tunes, with the help of special guests Tommy Dempsey and Mike Previti. Dempsey starts the ruckus at 9 p.m. with a set of original acoustic rock. Excluding the bonus instrumental, all of the album's tracks were recorded one night last June, when the band was hitting the note with special guest Jesse Flack (Jim's Big Ego) on upright bass. Rowdy, workingman's blues, slow-burning soul and rapid-fire funk mark the range of originals.

A riff-heavy update of bluesman Henry Townsend's "Doctor Oh Doctor, " first recorded in 1931, takes out modern frustrations. And grooved reworkings of little known tunes by Tom Petty and Neil Young reveal the band's eclectic roots. "Keep it real was the mantra for this CD, " says singer/songwriter/guitarist Hallal. "Nothing was re-recorded. You can get right in there with the real sound, the night, the spontaneous simpatico." Joining Hallal in the band are 15-year brother-in-arms, drummer Jim Antonellis, songwriter/guitarist Chris Schluntz and bassist Robert DeCorte, who appears on the bonus cut. All live in the Boston area.

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