Mike has been playing guitars and other instruments since he was 12.
He caught the bug after seeing a friend of his step dads play, after which he bought a Gibson melody maker, Five Ventures albums, a portable Sears record player and learned the albums mostly note for note. He practiced every day !!!
Mike was initially influenced by the Ventures, and later by Duane Allman, Dickie Betts, Gary Rossington, Carlos Santana, BB King, Buddy Guy, among others. He played his first public performance at a folk festival in Franklin NC, when he was 14 and as a result was asked to play lead guitar in a band called "Little David and the Vyneriders". They played many clubs in north Georgia even though most of the band wasn’t old enough to get in. Besides playing the guitar, he started some singing at that time. That continued mostly through high school, and he played a stint with his family gospel group and even recorded an album with them. That was when Mike learned how to sing harmony. He comments There's NOTHING like family harmony!!!!"
After this, he and some friends formed "The Shades" - named after the Beatles tiny sunglasses. He moved to Highlands NC and was in a band named "Low Rent Inc". A few years later a high school friend introduced him to now, a lifelong friend, Ken Beck who was the premier musician in Sylva, N.C.
Together, he and Ken formed a band called "Greens Creek" along with Bill Moore, Chuck Russell, Mark Claxton, and Donald Ashe. Donald didn’t stay long and they found Niles Galloway (what a picker). They also had a few female singers including Terry Lynn Queen, and Peggy McClainey. GREENS CREEK recorded quite a bit back then and had a regional hit that was played on local radio and juke boxes. A lot of the songs in that band were originals.
After DISCO came along and other career responsibilities arose, GREENS CREEK finally split up. After they broke up, Mike tried some other bands, including another one with Ken and his brother Tim, Robbie Keener and Susan Lewis, but it just wasn’t the same since Mike had moved to Asheville and the distance was too much! He later played with a very good band called Sweeten Creek which made a demo record of one of Ken's songs that was used to market Ken's song in Nashville.
25 years later, he ran into Ken and had a reunion and discussed reviving their musical involvement. They decided to give birth to another band which was to include Ken, Chuck and Mike (from GREENS CREEK) and added Jerry Moody and Kevin Jamison, both local musicians. Since most of the members now had quite a few years on themselves, they decide to name this new band THE ELDERLY BROTHERS.
Sadly Jerry had to leave the THE ELDERLY BROTHERS with a debilitating disease. They replaced Jerry with Skip Almond, another bassist, who was mostly known from another local band THE FLUID OUNCES as well as other bands across the state through the years Since that time the THE ELDERLY BROTHERS have been honing their song list and are bringing back the music they love and grew up on. The crowds are responding very positively to our music, since a lot of them remember the same music that we play - and the younger generation also loves it - whether their parents played it when they were very young, or whether it is JUST GREAT MUSIC!
This just proves that the good stuff endures. Y'all come on out to hear us and let us know what YOU think!!!
|Mike has also written a minimum of 15 original songs.
Here is an example:
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