For about a decade and a half, up until a few years ago, singer-songwriter Cole Mitchell fronted one of the most egregiously underappreciated bands in Albuquerque's contemporary rock history. As lead vocalist, lead harmonica player and lead hellraiser of the Saddlesores, Mitchell had an aura about him that was equal parts Merle Haggard, John Lydon, and Bob Dylan. That very same aesthetic is alive, well and all over Mitchell's second solo venture, Invictus (Wasteland Records). While the sheer raucousness of a live Saddlesores show may never be duplicated, Mitchell channels all the fixin's - sly wit, sarcasm, cleverness, a deep-seated love affair with classic country music and a rooted sense of all things Americana- into the 10 tracks that make up his latest record, all snug with the voice of an angel who's been through Hell. ..Michael Henningsen This CD is a real pleasure both vocally and instrumentaly and for sure one of the best thing I have heard these last weeks. I particularly like you on up tempo songs and i noticed the very good sound and the excellent vocals. I love your voice!... Mike Penard ISA, France LOVED THE MUSIC, specially Bye, Bye Bay, Born to Lose and Lucretia Borgia. Very original voice and style and great musicianship... Raúl Tejeiro, AMC Uruguay i just got a chance to throw the CD in my car and give it a good listen yesterday. I was worried it was going to be some overly sensitive, singer-song writer confessional kind of music. I think the title of the CD threw me off ( i really should look 'invictus' up in the dictionary). i was so glad to hear some some twanged up guitar. I dig the CD and will be giving it a lot of spins...rob silverberg, wcuw, 91.3 fm, worcester, ma I like the recording, sounding live and sincere... Jacques / RCF national network Invictus was my favorite Henley poem, 'I am the Master of my fate, The Captain of my soul' and all that. I realize the cover art was entitled 'Invictus' but it took a lot of chutzpah to call the CD by that title what with Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph quoting the poem as an inspiration. Or maybe the lyrics to 'Bye Bye Baby' were inspired by that? I found the whole CD captivating. I know most musicians don't care for comparisons but I kept on thinking the CD kind of a Steve Earle (early Steve) meets Buddy & Julie Miller (Glenda's superb background vocals). I am sure we can put this CD to good use at KTEP. ..Dan Alloway, 'Folk Fury' KTEP-FM Authentic, refreshing and sounds good to my ears...Theo Oldenburg, Alt. Cuontry Cooking, Netherlands I received the sampler copy of your latest CD and I now take the chance to thank you so much for sending it to me: 'Invictus' is a good album in the alt. Country stylem sometimes making me think like a sort of Rolling Stones singing country music indeed, and a couple of days ago I started playing it in my radio programme of American folk and roots music here 'Cold Light Of The Day' was the first song to be played but more tracks from that album will be surely on air in the next weeks. -Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio, Italy Fine work! I like it a lot. Keep up the good work! Erika Brady Barren River Breakdown WKYU-FM Listen to Cole Mitchell's deep, mesmerizing, hallowed out voice and you think that's John Fogerty singing...maybe Mitchell and Fogerty were drinking from the same well. Mitchell has a little more quivering country in his voice though his original songs are more in the vein of country rock and rock 'n' roll. His themes are often a mix of honest human emotions- true grit, bittersweet love and uncertain hope ground up together to produce a strong dose of reality. And the bonus is you can dance to it. -David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal I met Cole Mitchell in an Albuquerque bar in '94, and we've been playing music together, off and on, ever since. Aside from the obvious talents as a singer-songwriter and all around charming guy, Cole is something of a slow study, and it's taken the better part of those years to appreciate how much has gone on behind all that music. When I moved back to the Southwest, some friends thought that I could play with the Saddlesores. Cole fronted the band for fifteen years, stirring up powerhouse performances and memorable songs that would eventually fall under the ' Americana ' category, though everyone was pretty much doing what came naturally to their Southern sensibilities. Cole's ability and conviction are obvious to anyone who hears him play, but what's taken time to see is that his real-ranch upbringing has filtered through to his songs. I remember one time asking Cole if he wanted to get out in the mountains to do some riding. He thought about it for a bit and said, "Well, I never considered riding horses for pleasure". He was raised in the country and worked along side his dad from an early age, much as any child would be doing who was born into it, and it was there with his dad that Cole got the steady stream of country radio that would influence his own music. On the way to dealing with every windmill or pump or fence or breech birth, in every kind of weather, that truck radio would deliver the familiar tunes of Williams, Cash and Haggard. Cole started picking out the songs on a guitar his folks bought him; he got hooked and aimed to make a go at it, but he was about as isolated as a person could get. Long before he was driving he'd be taking his horse twenty miles into the Gila Wilderness to check his trap lines, selling the skins to buy guitar strings when ever he could get to town. When he got to hearing rock and roll and buying albums, that pretty much sealed the deal, and Cole ran off to front a band that toured the country when he was sixteen. That turn of events was an eye opener for Cole, whose overall rebelliousness and wild ways had to learn to reckon with survival, music and making a living. He worked in oil fields, did pretty good, and eventually bought himself a ranch in Catron County, New Mexico, where he trained and traded horses and ran some cattle. He had stints working in a slaughterhouse and helped himself to some otherwise nefarious border business, but he always, always had a guitar with him. He made his way to Albuquerque and fell into fifteen years of great songs, ample volume, bikers, funerals and the usual ups and downs of rock and roll, including losing his sight in 1992. His first solo recording Bulletproof is an excellent transition from his days as co-writer and front man of the raucous, award-winning Saddlesores. From the high lonesome guitar and sarcastic invitation from our working class hero on My Part of Town, "When you're slumming' honey, drop on in, we're always glad to see you and yours when you're bored of what you've come to be," to the heavy-handed folk and absolute desperation from the Edge of Life, "I used to look to the heavens and scream, won't someone stand up and call my name." In his lost highway travels, between the Wild West and the Old South, and all points in-between, he has logged more than countless miles. These travels, and the places and people along the way, give life to the stories revealed in his songs. Colorful musings, sometimes dryly humorous, these stories are rooted on the fringe of the blue-collared American experience. By: AJ Appel.