Wall Street Journal: Mike Plays One-Handed Economist Blues


Are You Suffering From the ‘One-Handed Economist Blues’? 

Feb 17, 2016

Video: World Bank adviser Michael Kelleher, who’s a singer, guitar-plucker and songwriter in his off hours, performs his song, “One-Handed Economist Blues,” for WSJ. 

Blog Post: Harry Truman’s not the only one who has pined for economic certitude or bristled under the fuzzy dichotomies of “on the one hand…on the other.” World Bank adviser Michael Kelleher—singer, guitar-plucker, songwriter in his off hours—wants some clarity, too. 

He has his own case of “One-Handed Economist Blues.” 

“The world’s a crazy place,” he croons, “and I feel so confused. I want a one-handed economist/to tell me what to do.” With wage growth sluggish and inequality on the rise, the Chevy Chase, Md., resident—who recently released an album with his violinist wife Karin—is now pondering a whole opus of econ blues. 

Mr. Kelleher, a native of tiny Cooksville, Ill., brings his original tune to the RTE roadhouse.

REVIEW: Downbeat Magazine

Downbeat Magazine 
January 2016 Issue

ArtistKarin & Mike Kelleher 
Album: Mélange 

“The Kellehers are passionate Washington, D.C.- based musicians with feet in jazz and classical camps. Mike—a former White House director of correspondence—sings, scats, strums and composes; Karin plays classical violin in several Maryland symphonies. 
“Mélange presents their array of originals, covers and mashups with strings and a rhythm section, with a tone that’s cheery but a style that’s neither fish nor fowl. Charts lope along with swing feel (Joe McCarthy of Afro Bop Alliance is on drums)…and Karin’s eager violin obbligatos. 
“Ensemble counterlines unfurl with grace on ‘Kyrieousity’ and ‘Claire De Lune’….  Bookending the set are Mike’s original vocals ‘Beautiful Pain’ (with oboe filigree) and ‘My Love Isn’t’ (guitar and violin), with clear voice…. His earnest tenor sounds best (think Kurt Elling or Theo Bleckmann) at low volume and intensity on ‘Ancka’s Dolphin Dance,’ the Hancock favorite enriched with fresh lyrics and ripe choral overdubs. “

REVIEW: Karin & Mike Kelleher: Melange

By George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

"I’d thought I had heard it all, but a string read of Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance” along with Eliot’s bass and Mike’s vocals is a Godiva Dark Chocolate treat!"

Read the full review here. 

REVIEW: "Former Obama White House Chief Releases Record (the Musical Kind)"

By Roxane Assaf, Huffington Post

"...these thoughtfully rendered pieces have the quality of art song. The choices are intellectualized, with original melodies given unexpected twists and famous covers turned inside-out. A showcase of complex meter, harmonic creativity, and vocal alacrity is rarely so listenable. When it's over, you miss it."

Read the full review here.