Hurricane Mike Thompson

Hurricane Mike Thompson

BandFolkAcoustic

Singer/songwriter of roots; country folk and blues. Influenced by the work of Merle Haggard; Bruce Springsteen; Steve Earle; John Fogerty; classic traditional blues and country/ bluegrass styles. Presently in a blues duo and also playing pedal steel for The Judy Kanyo Band.

Biography

"Hurricane" Mike Thompson has been playing music and writing songs for over thirty years. His committment to family life and career have somewhat "back-burnered" what otherwise might have been a thriving musical career.

He has written jingles and themes for radio and television in the form of Public Service announcements and documentary scores. He has also penned material for community campaigns and industrial conventions.

He has opened for renowned artists such as, Shirley Eikhard, Patricia Conroy, and Sawyer Brown, along with a host of many lesser-known but talented high-level acts. He has also shared stages with many notables, Vern Gosdin, for one; he even got to record with Hellen Reddy!

He's jammed with David Bromberg, Saul Broudie and Jerry Jeff Walker in the early part of his career.

A big moment came when bluesman, Doctor Isaiah Ross asked to borrow Mike's equipment at a Mariposa Folk Festival then ended up inviting Mike onto his workshop stage to join him, Johnny Shines, Larry Johnson and John Jackson, all pivotal blues artists in their own right.

"It was an incredible thrill to be part of something so seminal to our music." Mike says of the experience," Johnny Shines was as close as I would ever get to the legendary late Robert Johnson. He was "little Robert's" closest friend back in the thirties." Doctor Ross wrote "Cat's Squirrel" and "Hobo Blues", both now blues and rock standards.

"Hurricane" Mike Thompson's musical abilities and showmanship have garnered him recognition in the form of several awards:

In 2000, "Hurricane" Mike was awarded the "Uncle Buddy" plaque for his talent as "steel-player". "Uncle Buddy" is regarded as the "Uncle" of Canadian country music; one of the pioneers.

In 2002, "Hurricane" was nominated ,"Entertainer Of The Year" and received a trophy from "Oprey Orillia", a central Ontario country music jamboree. ( The misspelling of "Opry" was deliberate as to not incur legalities with WSM.).

Much to his surprise, "Hurricane" was presented with another award that year from NOTA Music Conference in Barrie, Ontario, for the same honour.

In 2006, while a member of Nashville Songwriters Association International, one of his entries, "Only Tears", won a prize and honorable mention.

"I try to write about many subjects.", Mike Thompson explains, "Mostly, I ask my songs to tell stories and paint pictures for my listener. I tend to describe the perils of life and emotions we all face via our interactions with our world and each other. Often, my songs carry a political edge, reflecting social conscience.

I'm very moved by the "homeless" situation that has gripped our land. I try to support "homeless" fundraiser causes; donate to shelters and drop off essentials (gifts) that help keep people warm and dry, when I can.

Also, I have this bad habit of being an easy touch for panhandlers on our streets. Because, there but for the grace of God, go I! Maybe my songs will help out somehow."

Mike's songs cover similar territory as the blues but they're "of my own voice and perspective done my own way.", he says.

"My emphasis is more on lyrics than on music. If it was the other way around, I probably couldn't paint as much of a picture. ".

When asked about what moves him, the "Hurricane "replied, "I like soulful stuff: reso-phonic guitars and tasty steel-licks. When I'm just by myself, I rely heavily on my harp and my fingerstyle guitar with occasional slide licks. As a "sidey", I drag out my arsenal of instruments to support the artist I'm backing."

"Hurricane's" songs are movies for the mind:

"Many of my songs are about the homeless: " Colder Days", for instance, was featured in The Toronto Sun by columnist Mark Bonokoski.

Also in this EPK are the lyrics to "Stayin' At The Old Imperial Tonight.", a tune about life as a "bag-lady" on the streets. I don't have a dub of it yet, but it's a hit at all my shows and folks tend to join in on the chorus."

Bonokoski has penned a few stories on Mike Thompson's work: He also wrote an article about "Flags Of Freedom" a song Mike created about our Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan as seen from a young soldier's perspective.

That media connection culminated in Mike's being asked to take part in a huge (3500 people) Canadian troop support rally in Dundas Square,Toronto, along side notables: Mayor David Miller; the Police Chief Wm. Blair; Gordon Lightfoot; many political and military figures along with those parents of the fallen.

"My musical influences are good songsmiths: John Prine; Guy Clark; Rodney Crowell; Bob Dylan; Fred Eaglesmith; Murray Mc Lauchlan; Kris Kristofferson; Steve Earle; and Newfoundland's Roy Payne.", Mike offers.

"I'm on Roy's last album as a dobro(R)-player and harpman. Yet, I'm influenced by the news as much as the blues.", Hurricane explains.

"Redneck Woman", a Gretchen Wilson tribute five-piece band where I was the steel-guitarist/ harp-pla

Lyrics

Colder Days

Written By: "Hurricane" Mike Thompson

COLDER DAYS ( Guitar ) Key: F ( capo on 3rd fret, play in D.)

It’s getting’ on for winter…
There’s holes in both my socks.
I sleep beneath this trailer
In a beat-up paper box.
Me and the boys, we drink our wine
And tell a lie or two
And watch the whole world pass us by
And watch ourselves turn blue.
If you wanna keep your shoes, boy,
Just tuck ‘em ‘neath your head…

Yeah, here it is November
And there’s colder days ahead.

There’s treasures in the trash-bins...
The menu for today:
Half-eaten sidewalk sausage
Some lawyer threw away…
Folks just pass and look down their noses;
The kids just laugh and smirk
And yell,”Hey! There’s a skidrow bum!
Why dontcha look for work?!!”
My body crawls with parasites;
My skin is grey like lead…

Yeah, here it is November
And there’s colder days ahead.

Bad visions when I’m drinkin’
Make me close my fist
And hammer on these alley walls
Where the corners smell like piss! *
Where the users and the losers
All crowd around the fires
Swappin’ tales of distant dreams
And unfulfilled desires.
Where you sleep with one eye open
So you don’t wake up dead…

Yeah, here it is November
And there’s colder days ahead.

(Nice little instrumental break, right here.)
Some guys are on the hard stuff,
The one thing I ain’t tried.
When I wake up and see my breath
Another old fool has died.
We’ll steal his coat, his booze, his boots
If the cops don’t find him first
‘Cause you know you left it too damned late
By the time they fetch the hearse.
And there’s nothin’ in the papers
‘Cause nothin’s ever said….or even read.

Yeah, here it is November
And there’s colder days ahead.

I don’t need your goddamned charity;
I don’t wanna stay inside!
I know I lost my dignity
But out here, I found some pride!
I couldn’t care less about how I look
Or even how I smell….
And if I had someone I could write
I’d say I’m doin’ well!
But I’ll sit through one more sermon
If it helps me find a bed…

‘Cause here it is November
And there’s colder days ahead.

Yeah, here it is November
And there’s colder days ahead.

Words and music: “Hurricane” Mike Thompson
c 1994
SOCAN

* For air-play purposes this line has been changed to:
“ Where the corners smell like THIS”. (Depending on the audience make-up: ie, children; seniors; those who find offence, or deem language inappropriate, I will often choose not to sing the first version during my live performance.).

Dangerous person

Written By: "Hurricane" Mike Thompson

DANGEROUS PERSON
Words and Music © by: “Hurricane” Mike Thompson, SOCAN

DANGEROUS PERSON

Out in the mid-east, there’s a man with beliefs
Made in the bright shades of Hell…
From blood sand, he rose to lead the brigade
That would smite the white infidel…
He lives high in the rocks among eagles and hawks
With rebels, ‘freedom fighters”, they say…
With rifle and sword, they seek a prophet’s reward
And face Mecca five times a day.

And his followers drill for the day they must kill,
Till the dyin’ needs no more rehearsin’…
And they look to be guided to the side of All-ah
By a man who’s a dangerous person!

In a dynamite vest, a boy meets the test
Of his love for his family: dirt-poor.
His father has offered a son who’ll be blessed,
For an envelope slid ‘neath the door…
We live and we die for our passions or cash;
And sometimes, the motive ain’t clear…
The boy weeps goodbye in his head-band sash
And embraces this moment of fear.

He slips though the plaza; it’s down to the crunch;
There’s prayin’ and cryin’ and cursin’…
Then, below the tall windows where diners eat lunch:
The act of a dangerous person!

Dangerous persons, dangerous times;
Dangerous thoughts from dangerous minds…
Dangerous reasons for livin and dyin’…
And there ain’t no tellin’ what’s lurkin
In the heart of a dangerous person!

There’s a man at the White House, who never will lead;
His heart has failed him before….
Some say he stands for power and greed
And the avails from another man’s war…
I see a village destroyed by troops he’s deployed;
But from destruction will come reconstruction…
Workers flood in; the rebuilding begins.
Money is such sweet seduction!

Three men awaken; hostages taken;
Now the talkin’ could use some more nursin’…
When “No deal!” is said; each loses his head.
Is their boss a dangerous person?

There’s a guy livin’ somewhere in Canada.
Ain’t he a whole lot like you and like me?
Works from early till late at a job he must hate
Then flops down and watches TV…
You won’t see him vote; he has his remote;
He’s swallowed by a big easy-chair…
When gunners mow down some goat-herder’s town.
He watches, but why should he care?

Without any views, he flips from the news.
As conditions steadily worsen…
And if you took a picture of his comfort and bliss,
You’d be lookin’ at a dangerous person!

Dangerous persons, dangerous times.
Dangerous thoughts from dangerous minds…
Dangerous reasons for livin’ and dyin’
And there ain’t no tellin’ what’s lurkin’…
In the heart of a dangerous person!

STAYIN' AT THE OLD IMPERIAL AGAIN TONIGHT

Written By: "Hurricane" Mike Thompson

STAYIN’ AT THE OLD IMPERIAL AGAIN TONIGHT

Yeahhhhhhhh!

It looks like she’ll be stayin’….
At the old Imperial again tonight!
She’s got three bags full of dresses
That would stand up by themselves
In a shopping cart with one wheel almost gone….
She’s been on the street since April;
No place to call a home;
Now she feels the chill of Autumn comin’ on.
And down at the bottom of a broken road,
There’s a burned-out Chrysler eight,…
Must’ve been a limo, in its day,…
Well, it’s a long walk to the Waldorf
And that sky has turned to slate
And when you got no home,
Here’s the perfect place to stay:
------------------------------------- Chorus:

Where the doors are off the hinges
And the seats are shot to hell;
And someone smashed the dash and took the horn,…
It may not have the comforts of the cheapest, cheap hotel
But at least, it’s kinda safe and sorta warm,…
Oh, she knows it ain’t the ritz
But it fits her style just right!
Yeahhhh, it looks like she’ll be stayin’…
At the old Imperial again tonight!
-----------------------------------------
She stares past her reflection
Into a small café,…
Where someone left a donut on a plate….
She hurrys into grab it
Before she’s shooed away;
For the moment’s lost
Once you hesitate…
Then she spends her whole day walkin’;
Just talkin’ to herself
But she don’t care, ‘cause that’s just how things are.
With her hand out to those tourists
From inside those posh hotels
She’ll make some change
Then head back to that car!
-----------------------------------------
Chorus:

© 1996 Words and Music: “Hurricane” Mike Thompson
SOCAN

Discography

My discography is somewhat scattered but certainly does exist:

I started out with my first recording experiences being writing and cutting Public Service Announcements about seatbelts; driving impaired; child road safety; and dental hygiene. That continued into writing sales convention musical themes and scripts for industry; short film documentaries; along with local radio spots for car dealerships and furniture wholesalers. But I made a few records too!

"Mister Longface"/ bw "Loading Dock" Periwinkle Records.

"Hold Me Closer To Your Heart"/ bw" Two Good Reasons" Tryemo Records.

"Charlie Played The Fiddle" on album "Live At The Richmond Inn", Ambassador Records.

"Cars And Corsages" on album "Live At The Richmond Inn" ( This album was a "Live" compilation featuring fellow artists, Magoo; Joe Wood; Carl Nixon; Michael MacDonald and myself.) Ambassador Records.

"Voices From Other Rooms" independent album of classic acoustic blues covers and originals, Northern Echo Records.

"Dobro Pickin'", country classic standards. Condor Records.

"A Dobro Christmas", album of Christmas favourites. Condor Records.

"Colder Days", Northern Echo Records.

"Flags Of Freedom", Northern Echo Records.
( Both releases were produced by Wendell Ferguson).

I've also appeared as studio session player, ( mostly on harmonica but occasionally as a steeler and dobroist(R),...), on a list of works by other artists; approximately 80 vinyl cuts and 66 CDs and tapes. Many of those artists are independent and obscure.

Set List

In my set-list I play a lot of blues: This is a sample of a typical night. I also work with another harp-player when we do a duo. The Key designations are for his benefit...that is, his harp is in a different key than the song being played.

SONGS HARP KEY SONG KEY

MILK COW BLUES A E
RIDE AND ROLL A E
STRANGER BLUES A E
SEND YOU BACK TO MAMA D A
ROLLIN AND TUMBLIN C G
I GETS THE BLUES WHEN IT RAINS F C
BOOMER BLUES B F#
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER D Am
MEANTOWN BLUES C G
DALLAS C G
BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME A E
CATFISH BLUES C G
FEEL LIKE GOIN HOME C G
ALBERTA F C
STANDIN AROUND CRYIN D A
DUST MY BROOM G D
WILD ABOUT MY LOVIN A E
BLUES AND TROUBLE C G
I”LL PLAY THE BLUES FOR YOU D Am
MYSTERY TRAIN B F#
DEEP RIVER BLUES A E
STONES IN MY PASSWAY C G
ME AND THE DEVIL D A
CALL ME THE BREEZE D A
FLIP FLOP AND FLY D A
HIGHWAY 61 C G
WALK ON A E
FISHIN BLUES F C
GEORGIA F