About M Shanghai String Band and Friends
M SHANGHAI is a Brooklyn based indie-folk collective, named after the Asian bistro in Williamsburg that hosted the band's monthly shows from 2002 through 2009. M Shanghai's legendary concerts are known for their unbridled joy, raucous energy and intimate subtlety, with all players crowded around one condenser mic "like the faithful taking communion, or sharks smelling blood in the water".
With an adventurous take on Americana, the “M” are not easily classified; they emphasize distinctive songwriting while retaining the immediacy of classic American roots music; "timeless Americana with an indie-rock soul".
The band's fourth album Two Thousand Pennies (co-produced with Damon Whittemore, and released October 2012) is a landmark album celebrating M Shanghai's ten years as a band.
"Stellar songwriting, beautifully musical arrangements,
and one of the most arresting live shows I have ever seen.”
Samantha Parton, Be Good Tanyas
"One of the year's best…there isn't a bad song on it."
NY Music Daily
"First-rate original songs… highly entertaining, like a modern day medicine show."
Tommy Ramone, of the Ramones and Uncle Monk
"Thoroughly contemporary songs, resulting in absolutely timeless music."
Greg Haymes, Albany Times Union
"The best acts are locals M Shanghai, which usually play monthly, proving that New York, nay, Brooklyn is as country as Tennessee."
Village Voice Best of 2011 (Jalopy and M Shanghai)
"A perfect combo of American folk and the music as it stands today... a musical performance that is enduring"
Chris Lewis, Shut Eye
"Vigorous, heartfelt acoustic country with all the fixins!"
Time Out New York
"The banjos spit fire, the acoustics soothe the soul, and the vocals tell honest tales. Every song from Up From the Ground Below is a perfect combo of old time American folk and the music as it stands today... a musical performance that is enduring." -Chris Lewis SHUT EYE
An adventurous take on Americana, the M SHANGHAI STRING BAND's songs are not easily classified. They are remeniscent of traditional roots music styles, yet innovative in their musical form and modern lyrical content. The dynamics range from barnstorming breakdowns to achingly beautiful ballads, expressing originality and simplicity in the same breath.
The MSSB have gained a reputation around the New York City area as a must-see live act. The band alternates from five to eleven players at any given show; a tight knit extended family that performs as a true ensemble. As machine-made, mistake-free music becomes the norm, the M SHANGHAI STRING BAND creates music the way it used to be: heartfelt performances on the human scale, recorded live with a sense of dangerous abandon. It's an old-fashioned idea rendered new, and the results are both vibrant and timeless.