Selections from unreleased LP:
“Stuck Together” the album features 6 new songs plus 4 remixed/remastered tracks from “Stick Together” EP
- 4 straight albums on CMJ Top 200
- SOLD OUT 4 vinyl & 4 CD pressings
- WXRT 93.1 FM Chicago’s Finest Rock – Local Anesthetic Best of 2016 & 2013
- Averaging over 100 tour dates/year including:
- October 2018 direct support for Murder By Death on The Other Shore LP release tour Midwest leg • Riot Fest (Chicago), The FEST (Gainesville), Summerfest x2 (Milwaukee), SXSW x2 (Austin), Midpoint Music Festival (Cincinnati), Musikfest (Philadelphia), Mile of Music 1 – 5 (Appleton) • Headlined the Metro, sold out Schubas (Chicago), drawing ~30 in Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton, Minneapolis, Quad Cities, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Louisville, Columbus, Philadelphia
- Direct Support for: Imagine Dragons, Local H, Murder By Death, Maps & Atlases, JD McPherson, PHOX, Astronautalis, Cracker, Two Cow Garage
- Over 30k Followers among social media channels, newsletter & Bandsintown
- Click here to download a breakdown of our tour experience by market (updated Jan 2018).
- Daytrotter 2017 | Daytrotter 2016 | Daytrotter 2013
- Audiotree Live x4
- Red Bull Sound Select
- Song God, Country, Grave featured in Banshee on Cinemax
- Song Let’s Go played in Wrigley Field during Cubs World Series run
- Bob Buckstaff – Electric & Double Bass, Guitar, Vocals
- Mike Maimone – Keyboards, Lead Singer, Songwriter
- Ian Tsan – Drums, Vocals
Kicking off 2018, Mutts recorded a 6-track EP called “Stuck Together,” a companion piece to September 2017’s “Stick Together.” The lead single, “Better Believe It,” was released on Gubbey Records on August 18, 2018. The full-length LP release of Stick Together / Stuck Together is scheduled for Spring 2019.
The trio rang in 2017 celebrating their inclusion on WXRT Chicago’s local “Best-of” list for the 2nd time. When they made it in 2013 it was on the acclaim of their acoustic album, Object Permanence, which quickly sold out of 2 vinyl pressings. This time just two singles were strong enough: “Let’s Go,” which was played in Wrigley Field during the Cubs’ historic World Series run, and “Neighbor,” offering a message of togetherness directly after the election.
On September 12 Mutts released both songs on a 5-track EP entitled “Stick Together,” recorded and mixed at Audiotree Studios by Rick Fritz (The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Regina Belle, Destiny’s Child). The lead single “I’ll Be Around” became the 3rd track from the EP to be played on WXRT, described as “outrageously good” by DJ Richard Milne, and “really well done” by Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee.
This distinctly positive EP springs from some of the most trying times of singer/songwriter Mike Maimone’s life. Leading up to the release of their 4th LP, “Fuel Yer Delusion, vol. 4” in late 2014, Maimone was kicked out of the house by his partner of 5 years. Around that time, several bands that Mutts had been friends with called it quits. The trio decided that the next record would be a complete about-face from the sardonic “Fuel v4,” instead offering a sincere message of strength. After recording it, drummer Chris Pagnani had his first child and decided to leave the group. Soon after, the bar that Maimone played every week when home closed. And then the tour van died.
Despite the adversity, Maimone and bassist/guitarist Bob Buckstaff decided to go ahead with the release. Regarding the title, Maimone says, “2016 felt like the laying down of a worldwide gauntlet; the eruption of a lot of deep-seeded divisions. So, I wanted to abandon all the satire and cynicism and just come out and say what needs to be said. Sure, it’s extremely difficult, but people need to stick together. Even if our band didn’t, we’re going to figure out a way to make it work and get this music out there.”
Putting music out seems to be what Maimone does best. With the release of “Stuck Together,” he will have independently released 6 LPs and 5 EPs since 2008 (click here to visit his publishing catalog site with nearly 100 tracks indexed and tagged). His deep versatility as a songwriter has helped him land 11 songs on WXRT – from the family-friendly stadium jam “Let’s Go” to the gritty “God, Country, Grave,” which was featured in a sex scene on the Cinemax show Banshee. In his own words, Maimone says, “My songs are born from a life of contradictions.” Maimone grew up in conservative rural Ohio, not coming out of the closet to his Catholic parents until age 30. He was an all-state athlete in high school, who played against LeBron James, while having a deep appreciation and love for the arts (Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall” inspired the entire album, Separation Anxiety). He graduated from the University of Notre Dame business school, but quickly walked away from corporate America. Maimone explains, “Through my songwriting, I try to turn these disparate life experiences into music that relates to all different people, helping us discover commonality.”
Maimone and Mutts average over 100 tour dates a year and have played the stages of Riot Fest and Summerfest; headlining at Metro and Schuba’s, selling out the latter. As a session keyboardist in Company of Thieves and Los Colognes, Maimone has toured with Blues Traveler, Plain White T’s, OK GO, and the Hold Steady. Mutts have opened for Imagine Dragons, JD McPherson, and Local H. And so this story goes, it gets more intriguing with each new chapter.
2018:10:11 : The Bad Copy
Picture someone who decided that Tom Waits was fine, but decided he needed to be way more positive, ten times louder, and write piano parts that, when played properly, result in significant damage to the instrument itself. Only then will you have a good idea of singer Mike Maimone’s approach to songwriting.
With songs that champion the resilience of the human spirit carried triumphantly on the shoulders of three of the most talented and enthusiastic rockers Chicago has to offer, Mutts were as electric as ever opening the night up… Everyone fortunate enough to show up early was rewarded with the biggest smile plastered on their face by the end.
2018:10:09 : Third Coast Review
Chicago’s own Mutts opened the show [for Murder By Death], a 3-piece blues rock and with a genre bridging sound which initially struck me as Tom Waits meets Imagine Dragons. Singer/songwriter and keyboardist Mike Maimone has the growl and grit of Waits but with a more blues rock appeal (think The Black Keys, Queens of the Stone Age), but with lyrics that delve deep into Maimone’s past, discussing everything from his conservative upbringing to when he came out to his parents at 30.
2017.10.04 : Brendan Bayliss
“I can’t get this tune out of my head. It’s really well done.” – Brendan Bayliss, Umphrey’s McGee, on “I’ll Be Around”
2017.09.07 : Earbuddy
Maimone delivers a solid vocal performance in a song [Don’t Touch It] that feels like the New Pornographers meeting up with Afghan Whigs.
2017.08.31 : Ground Sounds
[I’ll Be Around] grabs you immediately with distinct vocal power. Such an intriguing voice is hard to come by, and when you pair it with a positive message and an unforgettable hook…you’ve got a track that is truly going to leave an impression. We think this song, EP, and band are going to be turning some heads this Fall.
2017.07.17 : WXRT 93.1FM
This new track from Mutts is outrageously good.
– Richard Milne (re: I’ll Be Around from Stick Together)
2017.01.18 : Windy City Times
Mutts happily delivered what could be expected and then some. As a send up of an old time honky-tonk band with a frat house sloppiness and a straight up punk attitude, the trio of Mike Maimone ( vocals/keyboards ), Bob Buckstaff ( bass ), and Chris Pangnani ( drums ) has created an aura that is entirely affable, blunt, and charming in a roustabout way. Where it seemed that Maimone came across as an out, buff Tom Waits without the brutal wear and tear, Mutts has evolved into a cohesive blunt instrument around him.
Opening with “Everyone Is Everyone”—with its in-your-face chorus ( “Let’s shut the fuck up and go for yourself!!!” )—Mutts challenged Powell for the crown of class cut-up. “Shake It Up” and “If It’s Hot” came surprisingly early and hard ( and, yes, Maimone ranted the song while atop his electric piano and no he did not hurl himself into the audience ), but there were more surprises. “Terranant” got a grim, goth treatment that planted the song in three feet of sludge while the new “Neighbor” with an assist from vocalist Jennifer Hall was served with a roof rattling gospel intensity despite songs coiled structure. Then came the finish, a melee with Hall, Powell and some of his Exports and various friends crowding the stage for a sloppy rip through “Let’s Go.” – by Vern Hester