- Hello Mike, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I grew up just outside of Knoxville, TN and developed a love for music early on. My parents enrolled my sister and I in piano lessons and always encouraged us to be involved in music. My grandfather played guitar, sang and wrote songs. He was the one who bought me my first guitar long before I ever had the desire to learn to play. Whether I was pursuing it fulltime or hardly pursuing it at all, music has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember.
In addition to being a musician, and more importantly, I am a husband, a father of three, and a small business owner. Over the last couple of years, those closest to me have encouraged me to spend more time on my music. I am fortunate to have those folks in my life and I’m grateful to be at a point where I’m able to spend a little more time writing, recording and performing.
2. What was the first country concert you ever attended?
I’d say the first country concert I ever attended was probably Robert Earl Keen or Steve Earle. I know those guys are on the edge of what many might consider “country,” but to me they have always been primarily country artists.
3. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
I have heard my music called “Eclectic Country.” I don’t think I have a better description than that.
4. What is the background story behind your latest single “Sure Feels Right?”
Like many folks in this town, I moved to Nashville in 2004 with hopes of making a career out of writing songs. It didn’t take me long to realize that my writing style and process were not a natural fit on Music Row. I did not listen to the modern country music of the day and therefore had no frame of reference for the types of songs that publishers and artists were looking for. I was naïve and I learned some tough lessons. I quickly decided to get a job and put my music on the shelf. Over the next several years, I hardly wrote at all until I wrote “Sure Feels Right.” This was the song that ultimately reignited my passion for writing. As I look back now, this song was a turning point for me in many ways. Our best laid plans often don’t work out like we plan and sometimes that’s exactly what we need.
5. Is there anything else new coming up with your music career?
I will be releasing my first studio album, “Three Reasons” in June 2020. We will celebrate the release with two shows in the Nashville area. The first will be June 19 at the Mockingbird Theater at the Factory in Franklin and the second will be at Douglas Corner Café on June 20. We had several other regional shows scheduled to help support the release, but those have all been postponed as a result of COVID-19.
6. What is your recording process like when creating new music?
My recording process is probably quite different than most… In addition to writing songs and playing in a band, I own and operate a small business and it’s challenging for me to take extended periods of time off. So rather than blocking off a week or two to write and record, I simply just try to squeeze it in when I can. We actually recorded the upcoming record over the span of about a year. We’d often joke at the end of a day in the studio that we’d see each other in a month!
7. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?
I have had the privilege to play so many great places over the years, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I tend to be drawn to venues that just have a cool vibe. I like smaller rooms that feel more intimate and I absolutely love a good dive bar.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?
John Prine was perhaps my all-time favorite songwriter and we just lost him… Kris Kristofferson once said, “If God’s got a favorite songwriter, I think it’s John Prine.”
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d just like to encourage folks to support their favorite artists right now more than ever. With the current pandemic situation, there are many musicians who have lost a huge portion of their livelihood. If you value their music, show them some love by attending their Livestreams, buying some merch or just sending a simple word of encouragement.