Stephen Bartolomei

Next Show: July 26th Union Hall with Dead Fingers!!! Brooklyn NY.

Listen to the recent Daytrotter Session here: Daytrotter

New "Tin Roof Session" Video posted here

In 2003 under the guise of Mal Madrigal, Stephen Bartolomei penned a wistful batch of songs and began performing in Omaha, Nebraska. Soon after a band was formed featuring a rotating cast of players from many of Omaha’s most recognized bands including Azure Ray, Bright Eyes, The Good Life and Lullaby For the Working Class. Dozens of recordings ensued. Early on, the sharing of these recordings was rare. The first record, Mal Madrigal (Self -Titled BLR-001), was limited to very few CD-Rs with handmade jackets and artwork. The second effort was the even more rare “Elephant E.P.” available only while Stephen toured with Saddle Creek Records artists Mayday and Neva Dinova.  Finally in 2007, Mal Madrigal released two full-length, vinyl-only albums.Life Among the Animals (BLR-003) is spare and haunting, populated with the swells of noise, rustic instruments, and prepared sounds. The Road is Glue (BLR-004) plays as a collection of songs, revisiting the earliest Madrigal material with a full band. In 2010 Mal Madrigal released From the Fingers of Trees (BLR-005). This time, the songs unfold like cinema, weaving the stories of wanders and outsiders into a plaintive and echoing soundscape. Recorded almost entirely live, the record is raw, fragile, and affecting.


With the release of his fourth record, All the Ghosts, Bartolomei has dropped the previous moniker, playing under his own name with comrades (musicians Ben Brodin, Ryan Fox, John Kotchian, Dan McCarthy, and Michael Saklar) as an accurate label for the group of long time friends and musical collaborators who join him. Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, All The Ghosts is the most genuine representation of the musical talent of the band to date.


The album avoids easy categorization, nimbly shifting from lush melodic folk to electrified minor key moodiness. In its spare moments the album is intimate, in its crescendos, powerful. Bartolomei’s voice is compelling yet humble, in service to communicating the song. Flourished with lap steel, vibraphone, piano, and a wide palate of guitar textures, All The Ghosts is a dynamic and diverse listen.


Stephen currently resides in New York City where he regularly performs under his own name, produces music, records, and designs custom recording equipment. He also operates a boutique vinyl-only record label called Bocca Lupo Records.


Stephen has shared the stage with notable songwriters and bands including Calexico, Destroyer, Centro-Matic, Bright Eyes,  Nina Nastasia, Simon Joyner, Eric Bachmann, Richard Buckner, and many others.




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