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Coconut Teaszer, Hollywood, CA; 07/18/99

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The title of our interview with guitarist Mike Hartman is "Mike Hartman: Don't Even Try to Stop Him" (click here to read our interview). That title was anything but an accident and Hartman proved that during an advance show of his upcoming tour (click here for tour dates) at the legendary Coconut Teaszer in Hollywood.

Plagued by technical problems (which were obviously getting on Hartman's nerves) Mike Hartman and band nevertheless delivered a blistering set that not only showcased Hartman's admirable talent but that of his band as well.

Ripping through many - if not most - of the songs on Hartman's solo CD (click here to read our review), Mike Hartman managed to give his audience exactly what they came for - an evening of blistering rock'n'roll. Sure, there are no lyrics to any of Hartman's stuff but, hey, there are (usually) no lyrics to Joe Satriani either. Both guitarists focus their energy on the music and - in both cases - the result is staggering.

Although the evening's early technical problems were obviously a thorn in Hartman's side (he seemed befuddled and off-center for the first few tunes), the guitarist and his impressively able band finally overcame their onstage troubles as the music overwhelmed everything. By halfway through the show, Hartman et al had the audience begging for more - as much for the intensity of the performance as for the stupendous song-writing and arrangement.

When it was finally time for Hartman to leave the stage, he had made the audience forget about the technical problems he was juggling with in the beginning and locked them into his musical view. Hartman and his band received a raucous round of applause and appreciation. Not only are Hartman's guitar licks powerfully unforgettable, but the live performance - of the entire band - was explosive.

Mike Hartman and band are currently on tour in support of his release, "Black Glue." For tour dates and more information, please visit

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:17 -0400.