From Kokomo, Indiana, Mike began playing guitar in 1977 at age 6. Mike grew up hearing his father’s soul-rock bands. As a boy, he traveled with them and the Drifters in the mid 1970’s throughout the southern United States. He received his first guitar at age 5. He purchased his first electric guitar at age 10 with paper route money. His vocals and guitar have been called “gritty and soulful” and have been compare to many. He formed Steam Shovel in the summer of 1993 and named the band after his favorite childrens’ book by Virginia Lee Burton, “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel”. “My mom bought the book for me from a garage sale when I was a boy. Recently, I’ve contacted the author’s children, who are in their 70’s, and they were delighted to see what the band’s been doing. They also put a copy of “All My Life” in the National Library of Congress alongside their mother’s books”, Mike said.
Its seems that Mike writes music that is appreciated and enjoyed by all ages. You may catch him performing with the band or solo electric, acoustic 12 string, or National steel, at a Blues Sunday School, an elementary or high school, and then at a venue that night, always sharing the music…
Mike cites his father, “Big” Mike, Robert Cray, Tad Robinson, Howling Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall (1 and 2), Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Donny Hathaway Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and Collins. (Get the picture?) as his mentors.
Mike formed Steam Shovel in the summer of 1993, and has performed with/opened for: BB King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray (3x), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Buddy Guy(4x), Booker T and the MG’s, Al Green, Tower of Power (2x), Sam Lay, W.C. Clark, Lonnie Brooks, Joe Bonamassa, Double Trouble(SRV 20th Anniversary Memorial Concert. Nashville, TN), Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and was named “Best Blues Band in Indiana” in 2002 by the Crossroads Blues Society of Indiana!
Mike and his band, Steam Shovel, have released 6 CDs on their Mojo Hut Records label since 1998, and log 10’s of thousands of miles a year sharing their music across the country.
“We keep it simple, play from the heart, and reach out to those suffering and celebrating”….Mike