The show had already started and the sound came rushing up the stairs to meet me as I made my way to the basement of the Izzy Bar that night in '97. The sound, like Led Zeppelin on overdrive wearing a Stetson and armed with 21st Century calculus, made my hair stand on end. I'd been told by those who know that The Hermanators were probably the best band in the city and that their leader, Mitch Stein, was a New York guitar legend. Sure enough the room was packed, full of some of the finest improvising musicians anywhere, devoted fans and even a contingent of the beautiful people.
Over the course of the set they played with energetic hyper funk, raucous raging rock, hymnal beauty, twisted country and bemused blues underpinned by advanced harmony and intricate grooves all the while displaying incredible empathy between each other and a healthy dose of humor. I'd been Hermanated!
Mitch Moose Stein is a genuine NY guitar hero, born and raised in the mythic Gotham. Both his parents were musicians (mother a classical pianist and father a jazz trumpeter) but the first music that hooked him while still in kindergarten wasMeet the Beatles. The young Stein, drawn to the rhythm of rock 'n roll, started off on drums before switching to the guitar in the 6th grade. Shortly after, he started lessons with renowned studio musician Allen Hanlon whom Mitch says kicked my ass and made me take the guitar seriously!