Mike Ladd has been a strong presence in central Massachusetts for almost thirty years. His completely original style of writing and performing at times defies description, leaving audiences captivated. Ladd’s music weaves aggression and beauty, intensity, and subtlety into a tapestry that has earned the respect and admiration of his peers in the music industry.
Mike Ladd’s musical career began in Worcester, Massachusetts during the late ‘70’s. As a founding member of the regionally popular band Chimera, his abilities on guitar and voice won him much acclaim. As the band’s popularity grew, an EP was released in 1985 on the band’s own label called Coming Into Color. An appearance on the television series “Spenser For Hire” elevated Chimera to their height of notoriety and they disbanded in 1987.
After backpacking through Mediterranean Europe, Mike Ladd returned in the 1990’s and published The Auricle, an art and poetry magazine showcasing New England artists. In its short life, The Auricle won high praise in cultural circles and was used in public school English curricula. Throughout the decade Ladd was a member of Critics, Cynics, Antagonists; Leslie Buck & the Change; and No We Don’t; as well as writing and performing both solo and with his own ensemble The Ladd Foundation.
His first full length CD, The Storm, was critically acclaimed throughout the northeast (see reviews). Produced by Lance Vardis (Rustic Overtones, Twisted Roots, Apehangers) and crafted with Joe Miglionico on bass and drums (both Chimera alumni), The Storm also features Chris Stanley and John Byron on percussion, Rick Becker on sax, and the late Bill Ryan on trumpet. The stark and riveting cover photograph was by Steve Collins and the stunning paintings on the back and inside jacket are by the wonderful Amy Weichmann. A decade after its release, The Storm sounds current and remains a beautiful and brave vision of soul and psyche.
Mike Ladd is also included on The Old Vienna Tapes Vol. 1, a live showcase of artists’ performances at the famed Old Vienna Kaffeehaus; and the Ladd Foundation appears on the Iggy Pop tribute collection I Wanna Be A Stooges from Revenge Records. Mike Ladd has been the subject of numerous television and radio interviews and performances, and has acted on the theatre stage as well.
In this new century, Mike Ladd was a member of the funk and R&B band The Valves through 2009, and, along with Joe Miglionico, performed with them all over New England. Ladd has written for The Journal of Music in Ireland (JMI), and currently has several projects in the works. He is happily married and has three boys and perhaps too many pets.
Cost: No Cover (Worcester Students Earn WOO Points)