Mike Agranoff


Click on any image below to go to the item

Image of CD
Straight Lines
Compact Disc or Digital Download
Image of CD
...Ain't Never Been Plugged!
Compact Disc or Digital Download
Image of CD
...Or Would You Rather Get a Job?
Compact Disc or Digital Download
Image of CD
The Modern Folk Musician
Compact Disc, Digital Download, or Cassette
Image of Cassette
Rocking the Boat

Book of Recitations

Listen to tracks: Click the Speaker icon to listen to an MP3 audio file. Some files are the full track; some are short clips as noted. You need an MP3 Player to listen.

Lyrics: Click the icon to link to song lyrics and extended information about the song.


You can place an order in one of three ways:

This way is best for me, as I pay no commission or fees on such sales. Prices are as follows:

1 disk: $19.00 each
2 disks: $18.00 each
3 disks: $16.00 each
4 or more disks: $14.00 each

Cassette (Yes, still available for "Rockin' the Boat") $12.5

Recitation book: $20.00 each

US Dollars only, please. .
Send a check for the full amount made out to Mike Agranoff, and mail it to:
Mike Agranoff
11 Overlook Road
Boonton, NJ 07005


Click on the PayPal link next to the image of the CD cover, and follow the directions: You will need to establish a Paypal account, but it will permit you to use a credit or debit card to make your purchases. I handle the shipping of such purchases, and I generally put the order in the mail the next business day after I get the order. I pay a nominal fee to Paypal for each purchase.

You can download either the full CD or individual tracks in MP3 format for your iPod or other music storage device by clicking the green arrow for the appropriate item. You save a little money, but you miss out on the liner notes and graphics, which are entertaining.

All items are shipped via media mail, with 7 to 10 day delivery. For faster service contact Mike directly.

Image of CD

  Straight Lines
#BFD105C - Compact Disk & Digital Download
Released in 2014


$15.00 + $5.00 shipping & Handling


"Mike, your CD is a masterpiece.  Best thing I've heard in years.  I'm gonna listen to all the way to Moncton NB, and then over to Auburn, Maine, and when I get back I'll write a full review.  But I can tell you right now, I'm not gonna be able to write a good enough review to do it justice.  I'm blown away.. the range of your voice and the command you have over it, your virtuososity as a solo guitarist.  You've found some incredibly precious songs."
--Keith Gorgas, NoDepression and Fourth Coast Entertainment Magazine.
See Keith's final review in NoDepression here.

"In his newest release, Straight Lines, Mike Agranoff defines what it is to be undefinable. Equally at ease in reciting Shakespeare or Monty Python, and equally at ease singing or playing Shel Silverstein, Stephen Foster or Bach, Mike proves that the folk universe is in fact a multiverse.  His material abundantly displays an appreciation of language and music, and their use in observation of the human condition, from awe to aww shucks.  The songs range from a possible (yet comical) explanation of Creation, to a song about being old enough to have witnessed it.  He seamlessly segues from a barbershop quartet stoner's ode to domestic weed to a Bach Concerto performed on two concertinas.  It's an eclectic range of music, poetry and storytelling, tastefully done, with support of talented backup musicians.  Well worth a listen." -- Larry Flanigan

(Disclaimer: Larry Flanigan is not a reviewer for the NY Times or any such lofty publication. He is a friend and a fan, who, unsolicited, wrote a better review of my album than I ever could have hoped for. Accurate, too. -- Mike Agranoff)

The sixteen cuts on the recording are:
track lyrics New York Central Yard (clip)
The true life of a railroad man.
track lyrics Sing That Stephen Foster Song (clip)
You never miss it 'til it's gone.
track lyrics Makin' Whoopee (clip)
A snappy fingerstyle guitar arrangement of this classic from the Great American Songbook.
track lyrics Urge for Going (full track)
A poignent observation on the onset of winter in this Joni Mitchell classic.
track lyrics Straight Lines / Road Jigs (clip)
A poem on linearity vs chaos in music and art, followed by 3 Irish jigs, not at all chaotic.
track lyrics Deeper Waters (clip)
The ultimate love of a son for his father.
track lyrics Iowa Pot (full track)
Extolling the virtues of midwestern weed in barbershop harmony.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 - 1st Movement (clip)
Transcribed for 2 concertinas, cello, & bass..
track lyrics The Kid With the Comic Book (clip)
A modern fable, perhaps suitable for a Unitarian hymnal.
track lyrics City of New Orleans
The best damn train song ever written.
track lyrics The Princess and the Frog (full track)
A shaggy-dog story enhanced by the world's most un-singable chorus.
track lyrics Now Is the Cool of the Day (clip)
A haunting vocal setting of this hymn by Jean Ritchie.
track lyrics The Ballad of Captain Crunch (clip)
A fictitious story about a real person with a fictitious name. (Spoken recitation)
track lyrics Older Than Everybody
And we mean everybody!
track lyrics The Mary Ellen Carter (clip)
Classic modern anthem by Stan Rogers..
track lyrics Diana Hanson / Parting Glass (clip)
An air for English concertina paired with a traditional Irish song of leaving..

Image of CD   Ain't Never Been Plugged
#BFD104C - Compact Disk & Digital Download
Released in 2007


$15.00 + $5.00 shipping & handling


The fifteen cuts on the recording are:
track lyrics The Wine Song (full track)
An alternative to the wine fancier.
track lyrics The Highway (clip)
The road we all travel and never see,
by Peter Fischman.
track Planxty Fanny Power (clip)
Solo guitar arrangement of the O'Carolan harp tune.
track lyrics The Dream (clip)
A newly written chorus song in the tradition of the English pub song.
track lyrics First Kiss (full track)
A marvelous evocation of that once-in-a-lifetime experience.
track lyrics 60's Mudley (clip)
Omygod! It's a flashback! It's out of control!
track lyrics Hands on the Switch (clip)
A sandwich of a Kipling Poem between 2 parts of a Dave Gordon song, examining Man's use of the Earth from two vantage points a century apart.
Gavotte (clip)
English concertina transcription of a Bach solo violin piece.
track lyrics My Favorite Diseases (full track)
A really, really really horrible parody.
track lyrics The Water is Wide (clip)
A heartbreakingly beautiful traditional song.
track lyrics The Battle of Trenton (clip)
A retelling of what really happened in that pivotal battle of the American Revolution...with critical help from the audience.
track Joplin Medley (clip)
Two Scott Joplin piano rags: "Solace" and "The Maple Leaf Rag". (two tracks).
track lyrics Wayfaring Stranger (full track)
Kick-ass country blues version of this traditional hymn.
track lyrics The Water is Weird (full track)
Don' ask.

Image of CD   ...Or Would You Rather
Get A Job?

#BFD103C - Compact Disk & Digital Download
Released in 2001


$15.00 + $5.00 shipping & handling


from the Newark Star Ledger December 3, 2000

* * * (3 stars)

"... this album has been lovingly programmed to give good accounts of Agranoff's various interests, including traditional tunes and ballads, valedictory originals* like "Before They Close the Minstrel Show," and various wild-eyed jokes or parodies. There is a marked absence of filler on these 15 tracks...

A new addition to this canon of influence is Agranoff's recent interest in the piano music of Scott Joplin. His account here of "The Gladiolus" will be a surprise to those of his fans who know him only as a guitarist, concertina player, and slightly manic jokester. The performance is lovely, full of the bittersweet introspection Joplin shares with Mozart and an embodiment of the composer's firm dictum that ragtime should never, ever be played fast.

Agranoff's voice will never be his fortune, but he knows what good singing is. On tracks like "Time Has Made a Change" (ably assisted by Pat and Ken Rolston) or "Will Ye Go," he makes its virtues plain despite a limited vocal palette. There is emotion here, leavened with quirky humor and a sensibility that can encompass many diverse influences in a singular package.

Highly recommended.

Peter Spencer"

*Note: Mr. Spencer incorrectly attributed "Before They Close The Minstrel Show" to me. It was written by Bob Coltman.

The fourteen cuts on the recording are:
track lyrics The Ballad of the St. Anne's Reel (clip)
An old standard fiddle tune...and a song about the tune.
track lyrics The Folkie (full track)
What it's really like... to a familiar tune.
track lyrics The Ballad of the White Seal Maid (full track)
A haunting song of the silkie, and a poem to set it off.
track lyrics Gypsy Davey, One Year After (full track)
A newly written sequel to the traditional ballad, arranged in the manner of Fairport Convention.
track lyrics Railroad Bill (clip)
A song about what happens when your creations start getting away from you.
track Ookpik Waltz (clip)
Note: This tune was misspelled as "Ootpik", and listed as "traditional"in my liner notes in my initial release of this CD. I have since found out it was written by Frankie Rogers.
track lyrics The Broken Token (clip)
What really  happened when Handsome Johnnie came back from sea after seven years to claim his Lovely Nancy.
track lyrics York, Maine (clip)
About the burning down of a wonderful old house, by Peter Fischman.
track lyrics Give Me Just a Little More Time (clip)
Country blues gospel song.
track lyrics Before They Close the Minstrel Show (clip)
Wonderful old chorus song about the end of an era.
track The Gladiolus (clip)
Scott Joplin piano rag.
track lyrics Time Has Made a Change (clip) Traditional song with a great chorus.
track lyrics Will Ye Go? (clip)
I think  that's how the words go...
Note: The author of this song was listed as "unknown" in my liner notes in my initial release of this CD. I have since found out it was written by Stephen Suffet.
track lyrics The Ballad of Jake and Ten-Ton Molly (full track)
Recitation about an unlikely hero's famous last ride.
The one cut not on the recording is:
track lyrics Would You Like to Play the Guitar? (full track)
Click the link at the left to see the words to this wonderful Pat Donohue parody to "Swingin' on a Star", and read the story of why the title tune of the album isn't on the album. The performance on the audio clip was from a live recording at my Formal Showcase at the 2007 North East Regional Folk Alliance Conference (NERFA).

Image of CD   The Modern Folk Musician
#BFD102C - Compact Disk & Digital Download
#BFD102T - Cassette
Released in 1993

$15.00 + $5.00 shipping & handling


"If you're tired of the endless stream of singer/songwriters whose main goal in life seems to be MTV, check out this clever CD from veteran New Jersey musician/storyteller Mike Agranoff. With guitar, concertina, a few friends that include Pete Sutherland on fiddle an Barry Mitterhoff on mandolin, and a great sense of humor, he touch a lot of traditional bases in 58 minutes. Agranoff includes Anglo-Celtic classics (a properly angry-sounding 'Matty Groves,' a sweet guitar version of O'Carolan's 'Sidh Beag Agus Sidh Mor'), oddities like a Bach concerto rearranged for multiple concertinas ('Double Concerto in D Minor'), some updated Gilbert and Sullivan (the title track), and one of the droll recitations that are a highlight of his live shows ('Ballad of the Sandman,' a 13-minute poem about the last alternative DJ)." -- Dirty Linen

The eleven cuts on the recording are:
track lyrics The Modern Folk Musician (clip)
as in "I am the very model of...".
track lyrics Matty Groves (full track)
Hard driving version of the traditional ballad.
track lyrics Nova Scotia
/Return from Fingal
Medley of haunting song about the first Europeans settlement of the land with a guitar arrangement of a harp tune from the era.
track lyrics Chattanooga Choo-Choo (full track)
Guitar and vocal arrangement of the swing classic.
track lyrics Girl from the Great Divide (clip)
Contemporary song to a traditional tune.
track Bach Double Concerto in Dm (clip)
Transcribed for 2 English Concertinas and continuo.
track lyrics Long Road to Walk (clip)
A contemporary gospel song.
track Sidh Beag Agus Sidh Mor (clip)
Guitar arrangement of an O'Carolan Tune.
track lyrics Invitation to a Funeral
/Temperance Reel
/ Vinton' Hornpipe
Irish patter song put together with a couple of kick-ass fiddle tunes.
track lyrics Ballad of the Sandman (full track)
Recitation about the last hurrah of the last great alternative DJ.
track lyrics Hamlet (clip)
The entire story in 3 minutes 27 seconds.

Image of CD   Rocking the Boat
#BFD101T - Cassette
Released in 1987

$8.00 + $4.00 shipping & handling

(Not available
in digital download )

This early release is still available as a collector's item for those who truly want to own the complete Agranoff canon. It includes two Agranoff classic recitations, "The Ballad of Jake and 10-Ton Molly" and "The Battle of Trenton". The recording is one of a live concert complete with all the introductions, bad jokes, and spontaneity typical of what happens when Mike gets in front of an audience.

The seven cuts on the recording are:
lyrics 1000 Times No
In response to requests for Bob Dylan songs...with lots of help from the audience.
lyrics Makin' Whoopee
Clever guitar work characterizes the arrangement of this standard.
lyrics The Battle of Trenton
A retelling of what really happened in that pivotal battle of the American Revolution...with critical help from the audience.
lyrics Planxty Irwin / Dark-Eyed Molly
Guitar arrangement of an O'Carolan Tune coupled with the classic Archie Fisher love song.
lyrics My Favorite Diseases
Julie Andrews is spinning in her grave...And she isn't even dead!
From Bach's Partita No. 3 in E Major for solo violin...transcribed for English Concertina.
lyrics The Ballad of Jake and 10-Ton Molly
A Classic tale in the tradition of Robert Service.

Image of CD   Jake, The Captain, and Other Heroes
Book of recitations
Released in 2020


$20.00 plus shipping

A unique highpoint of Mike's performances is the inclusion within his musical repertoire of mesmerizing stories, including the original recitations included in this book. They range from adventure fiction, to tongue-in-cheek bogus history, to science fiction/fantasy.They never fail to completely capture and engross the listener. This book contains the entire canon of his works (as of 2020), along with author's notes on the background and genesis of each piece. Also included is a brief essay on recitation as an art form, and some notes on performance technique. Each tale is masterfully visualized by illustrator Jacob Below

The six recitations included in the book are:
The Ballad of Jake and Ten-Ton Molly
One of Mike's signature pieces. An engineer in a military armaments plant is laid off, and takes suitable revenge on the world.
The Battle of Trenton
The real story of how and why Washington crossed the Delaware. From a New Jersey perspective.
The Ballad of the Sandman
The last hurrah of the last of the great free-form radio DeeJays.
The Ballad of Captain Crunch
A fictional story about a real phone-hacker with a fictional name.
The Ballad of Geppetto
What happens when a master cinema special-effects master is pushed beyond his limits.
Me and Sammy's March to the Sea
Another New Jersey take on American History in this pivotal Civil War campaign..