Journey into music
His father, John Blakey, was a keyboard player in the 60’s and 70’s, so he force-fed Mike classic rock, funk, blues, and soul as a foundation for his music tastes at a very young age. He started piano lessons as most kids do, but that didn’t last because of finger restrictions in his right hand.
To continue Mike on a musical Journey, his father bought him a black and white Danelectro guitar with a gold sparkle finish and built-in distortion. Mom wasn’t all too happy about this purchase. At first, Mike didn’t even want to play the guitar, but the more he played it, the more he started to like it. Once he learned the solo to 99 Red Balloons by Goldfinger, it was game over.
If it wasn’t for his dad he would have probably not been playing the guitar as he does today. Many guitar instructors came and went, but the one who really pushed him was Brandon of the St. Louis ska band, “Psycho Dad.” Brandon taught Mike how to play ska on guitar and that is a heavy influence in his songwriting today
When Mike was young he used to be afraid of the dark. Nowadays he no longer trembles before the stage lights turn on.
Mike didn’t wake up one day and think “I want to be an artist”. As he says, the path to becoming an artist is a journey, and always will be. He started writing when he first felt love at the age of 15 with a song called “Friends or nothing at all” What a dumb idea that song was, they are still friends!
Mizzou University, playing in a band
While attending college at the University of Missouri Columbia (Mizzou), Mike wanted to be in a band; the lifestyle and comradery among friends are what attracted him the most. During his time at Mizzou, Mike met a fella named Bryan Kunkel while he was walking around the dorms with his guitar trying to pick up girls, but found Bryan instead. He had long hair, so it was close enough. The pair developed an immediate connection through music and other passions, which eventually led them into a time, where they played with a band called Mind at Large in Austin, Texas.
Find out what Mike is doing nowadays!