Mike Coykendall

Mike Coykendall

 Portland, Oregon, USA
BandAlternativeAmericana

Mike Coykendall is a critically acclaimed musician, engineer and producer, best know for his work with artists such as M Ward, Blitzen Trapper, She and Him, and Bright Eyes among others. His own compositions are wildly rich and varied, with an unpretentionus and organivcally unpredictable quality.

Biography


IN MIKES WORDS:

I was born Michael Revere Coykendall in rural Kansas, September of 1963. There is a lot of confusion as to how my last name is pronounced. My heritage pronounces it as "Kirk-in-doll." I can't explain the spelling. I don't know. There must have been trouble somewhere. So, I'll answer to about anything. Nice to meet you.

Chasing Away the Dots (Fluff and Gravy Records, 2012) is the culmination of 48 years of living and negotiating the slippery slopes of this intangible thing called music. The journey began in rural Norwich, Kansas at age two when I would sing at local grocery stores, banks, hair salons, restaurants, etc I was the freakish child who would belt out a long multi-versed songs (that I had learned from my mother) upon request. I wised up and stopped this foolishness by age four, but the music bug was always there. As a child I spent my mornings at the breakfast table listening to Country Western radio with my father, but rock and roll found a way into my heart as well, much to my fathers dismay.

I had my first band in high schoolwe played Beatles and Stones covers. Since then, it's been many performances, records, successes, failures, laughs, late nights, and mornings that come too early. Ive been writing songs since the early 80s and have made many a wild recording since that time. Over the last 10 years or so, as an engineer/producer/musician, I have had the good fortune to finally be able to make music my sole focus, working with M. Ward, Blitzen Trapper, Tin Hat Trio, She & Him, Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, Fernando, Richmond Fontaine, Beth Orton and Bright Eyes, just to name a few. Chasing Away the Dots would not exist without every life experience (good and bad) that led up to it.

The album took four years to complete. I would fill books full of lyrics and then start putting them to music, recording basic takes, mostly improvisations, onto a cassette 4-track. I filled hundreds of these cassettes. There were no rules--straight songs or pure avant-indulgence. The editing would come later. The best, most promising bits, were then transferred from the 4-track cassette to the 8-track 1/2" machine. Overdubs were added. Friends were invited in to add their talents. Many quick mixes were made along the way; hours and hours of playtime and problem-solving, being careful not to belabor anything. All of my characters (good and bad) were invited to the party. The shy/melancholy one, the philosopher/preacher, the playful chaser, the dreamer/escapist, and the reckless believer--they all had plenty of time to assert their influence. Chasing Away the Dots is the only room in the house that they all felt comfortable in.

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Discography

As Mike Coykendall...

Hello Hello Hello (2005, Stereotype Records)
The Unbearable Being of LIkeness (2010, Field Hymns)
Chasing Away The Dots (2012, Fluff and Gravy)