Mike Lounibos
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Mike Lounibos

Sonoma, California, United States | INDIE

Sonoma, California, United States | INDIE
Band Country Singer/Songwriter

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Lounibos Has Stars In His Eyes

By Elizabeth Zima
SONOMA INDEX-TRIBUNE THU 02/01/2007

Local C&W Singer Climbing the Nashville Ladder

"I always wanted to touch people with my songs."
- Mike Lounibos

Mike Lounibos has been on a journey to the Main stage in Nashville since he was 11 years old and learned to play the guitar. By the time you read this story, he will be in the country- western music capital recording his second CD - one he hopes will catapult him to stardom.

"My wife and my producer, Greg Perkins, both asked me to go
to Nashville and record another CD," he said. "My wife gave me the nudge and my producer put together the "A" team of studio players to get the CD done."
It has been a long road to get this far for Lounibos. "I always wanted to touch people with my songs," Lounibos said. "But getting in front of an audience wasn't that easy."

He started out auditioning his songs at the West Coast
Songwriters, an association that helps songwriters get their
start. "A producer would come to an open audition and he would critique your song," Lounibos said.
He got his first single-song contract with Loretta Lynn's publishing company through a song audition. After that, he was invited by one of the premier Nashville song-writing
houses, Horipro, to sit down and write for several weeks. "They started setting me up with some of their writing staff," he said. "In a two-week period their staff would
write from 75 to 125 songs." Out of those songs maybe five of them were recorded as demos for recording artists to listen to for prospective albums.

In Nashville, he said, artists like George Strait don't write all their own material. Instead, the artist will work with writers he already knows. "He works with those writers that have already produced hits for him." Occasionally, several
songs are open to the outside. "Artists and producers will listen to sometimes up to 2,000 to 4,000 songs to find the
right ones to complete the album. It's a miracle when a song
sees the light of day through this process," he said.

After he started regularly traveling to Nashville to write songs, his friends and family began to bug him to record his first CD. "I had already done demo tapes for my songs." So he took his songs and went into the studio to put together a CD. A friend, Jere Carr, who is a professional album graphic designer, out of kindness and friendship, created a
professional CD cover for "beer money."

What happened next only whetted his appetite for the big
time. "A friend put an mp3 file of one of my songs on a Web
site," Lounibos said. The song received so many hits that an
independent label called him.

Lounibos went with the independent label thinking that he would get exposure for his CD from the Internet and from markets that didn't follow the recording labels' lock-step formula. "I started to gain fans in Europe," he said. "Radio stations there are free to play what they want and they love independent artists. I had the number five song in Denmark for a while." The only problem for Lounibos was he didn't have a band to tour with at the time.

Back in America, an A&R rep for Sony, who liked "the timber" in his voice encouraged Lounibos "go out and get some shows under your belt with a band." He started playing the fair circuit with a local band called River Run in 2004 and 2005. At one point, the band opened at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa for country-western star Don Williams.

In 2006 the climate changed for singers with a more "exotic" look. "My producer called and asked me if I was ready to record. 'The market is calling for musicians with some ethnicity, he said with a chuckle. You know, the type, one that's half-Mexican or half-Indian.' "

With his white Stetson on, Lounibos looks like a young Roy
Rogers. It's hard to tell that he's the member of an unusual
ethnic group. But looks can deceive. While his last name is
a Basque name, it's not readily apparent that he is
half-Korean.

And when he sings, the resonance of his voice is pure
country-western twang. Asked to sing one of his most popular
songs on the fair circuit ("Ring in Time"), still unrecorded, the smiling Lounibos breaks into such a sweet
song that the noisy café quiets a bit.

And when Lounibos excuses himself for a moment, a man at the
next table asks: "Who is that guy, I don't recognize him? At
first I thought it was the radio and then I realized he was
singing. Is he a star?"
Not yet, but he may be soon.

Other feature articles available upon request.

****************************

- Sonoma Index Tribune


Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Californian Mike Lounibos has just released his second CD. No big deal. In Nashville, where Lounibos spends most of his time, the recording studios are into overtime rates with the number of hopefuls laying down tomorrow’s music today. It’s a hard slog with so many offering so much. It’s easy, as an Indie, to get lost in the rush to radio play, public recognition and the hoped-for reward for the years of effort and the dollars spent. So what makes Mike Lounibos stand tall against so much competition? Sure, he has the looks, the voice, which is a pleasing blend of twang and emotion, and the band. But what may just cut it for this hatted hopeful is the basic of it all – a song.

“Ring In Time” is one of the 12 tracks on Planet California, the album on which Lounibos co-wrote all the cuts, and is available now on Southern Angel Music. Deciding early in life music was his preferred route Lounibos has paid his late night dues in bars and low tip honkytonks, to finally emerge as a seasoned and capable performer. “Ring In Time” just could be the needed breakout cut.

A well crafted weeper about the joy and tarnished times of a wedding ring, Lounibos and his co-writers (Sheila Capua, Lisa Aschmann and Bill Harris) have penned as good as anything you’d hear on a modern Strait or Jackson outing. When Lounibos tells: “I was born to be loved, waiting to be bought, sitting in the jewelry shop, caught a young man’s eye as he was walking down the street he gave me to his girl, and she loved me,” you warm immediately. When the tune tracks the death of the owner, Lounibos adds the ache: “I was placed in a box, sealed with a kiss; would I be forgotten, never to be missed? The velvet was soft, but so dark inside…” For those who love happy endings: the ring gets passed from the mother’s estate to her daughter. The tune, if propelled by radio could fly. Time will tell and shrewd industry song chasers will know that this is something special.

After spiking interest, the album doesn’t fail or fall away. Give Lounibos a second listen and you’ll quickly hear a raft of potential made-for-radio spins. “Dance Little Jo-Jo” is a harmony-rich opener, while “Something In your Eyes” tells of the hypnotic power of a female, and the title cut shares a lyrical tour of California.

But it’s when Lounibos shares his heart and passions that this album takes direction. They say you have to live some pain to sing some, well, that being the yardstick, on tracks like “She Loved Me Enough” and a tale of hangin’ in and hangin’ on too long, “A Fool For Loving You”, the happily married Lounibos proves that keen observation of life and love comes in handy for writing country music.

While several of the Planet California cuts track heart moods, passion comes to the fore with “This Old Guitar”. Lounibos, who cites Randy Travis, Tim McGraw and a handful of other chartbusters as his steering influences, “Guitar” reaches back to a more defining time. In singing how he cut his teeth on Haggard, Jones and Jennings, this singer songwriter who watches old westerns for enjoyment reveals the driving spirit to his music.

Californian Mike Lounibos has just released his second CD. No big deal. Don’t be too sure.

- www.CountryStarsOnline.com



***** You can hear every word and every word matters...
Reviewer: Kathleen McIntyre

Talented country singer Mike Lounibos backed by experienced country musicians, has just released his new album, PLANET CALIFORNIA. Even if you aren't a diehard fan of country music you will appreciate his storytelling ability. The lyrics are thoughtful and clever: you can hear every word and every word matters. He touches on real-life experiences - love lost, love found, family, memories - all the standards of country music. There is delightful humor in the "Planet California" title track and the "Jewel Of Old Mexico," is a song of love for his beautiful wife, Maria. Lounibos' songs range from poignant to toe-tapping. Imagine yourself in a dimly lit bar in the dusty Texas Panhandle and try a quick two-step, followed by a slow shuffle with your sweetie. Lounibos co-wrote all 12 songs and nine of them with California/Nashville singer-songwriter Bill Harris. www.MikeLounibos.com

***** Gonna be a star that’s for sure Mike!
Reviewer: Lynne, Clinton, North Carolina

Awesome everyone. Get out and there and purchase it, you won't regret it. It made my day. Awesome voice and writing. Hopefully mine won't be ruined by the end of the week, by playing it constantly all the time... Gonna be a star that’s for sure Mike, and I’m proud to say, I am your number one fan. I played it for friends, and family and are agreeable with me. "God Bless" for making my week special. I know how much hard work it is to keep the hard work up and pleasing your fans. More than that I remain number # 1 fan

***** GREAT, GREAT, GREAT YOU WILL LOVE IT
Reviewer: Ruby LeeMasters

This CD is the Greatest CD I have heard in a very long time. I have it and the $15.00 was very well spent for it. If you buy the CD Planet California I promise you that you are getting your moneys worth and then some extra for it. The whole CD is Great not a dull song on it.You will love this CD as much as I do. GREAT JOB MIKE!!!!!

***** One of those artists every country music fan will appreciate.
Reviewer: The Country Start Page, Netherlands - www.Country Startpage.com

One of those artists every country music fan would appreciate because he's just making excellent country music.

***** This CD is incredible and deserves to win many awards.
Reviewer: Sal Acardi

Every song on this album is enjoyable to listen to. When one song ends, you can't help but look forward to the next one. This music is so entertaining that before you know it, you're back to the first song again, but happy to hear it once more. I even find myself singing these tunes in my head when I don't have any ipods or stereos near me! This deserves to win many awards. Mike has talent and is gifted. I hope he keeps singing and making more songs for us to enjoy.

***** Must have for your country collection
Reviewer: Benz Babe

Great CD! I play it at work and have nothing but great comments from customers and employees. Keep up the good work. Sandy, NH

***** Absolutely Brillant.
Reviewer: Sandy Marshall
I just received my CD April 4th, and I am not at all disappointed. Each song has a different meaning, emotion. Kind of emotion that reaches in and grabs you from inside the heart. I just love it. www.myspace.com/countrysangel Sandy

**** Great music
Reviewer: John Wooster, Ohio

Hello everyone!!! My wife Ruby got Mikes new CD Planet California last month. I really enjoy all of the songs. Mike definently has what it takes to make it all the way to the big time. He is already well on his way to the top if you ask me and/or my wife. she won't even let me take the CD in my truck. So I think Someone needs to sign him before they lose out on some great talent. Thanks for your time. John



- www.CDbaby.com


The Buzz Has Started!
Here’s some of the latest Fan Comments
www.myspace.com/MikeLounibos


Mar 21, 2007
Mike, You are AWESOME guy !!!!!
Yeah..You up there Baby !!! Brandy, Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Mar 21, 2007
Hi Mike, Your a great song writer and singer, keep it up! Dj Astaroth! Traverse City, Michigan

Mar 21, 2007
Hi, Mike, I was showing your music to my friends while they were here and all liked it.. my feet are tapping with the beat!! wanna have a DANCE,,,,haha,, COOL I will check how to order your CD to china or send over to UK for my friend to pick it up . Annie, Shanghai, China

Mar 20, 2007
Howdy Mike, Bro...I wanted you to know all of your songs are wonderful and I definitely plan on getting one of your CD's. The song "As Beautiful As You" I would say, has to be my favorite at this point. Looking forward to hearing all of them. God Bless Ya Mike Rick Amburgey, Smithville, TN

Mar 20, 2007
Hi Mike! Just thought I would let you know that your CD plays over and over in my van I have not heard my radio station since i checked my mail yesterday and got the CD.LOL, I did let John listen to it last night while we were in town and he just loves it. Thank You again. Ruby, Wooster, Ohio

Mar 19, 2007 - Hey Mike,got your cd today it is really really good!! Thanks again for signing it! Dotti, Pinewood , South Carolina

Mar 19, 2007 - Mike.... Love your music....Saw you on and wanted you to know I THINK YOU SOUND TERRIFIC! Have A Great Week Paige Richie, Anderson, Indianna

Mar 20, 2007
Hello Mike,
I just can't get enough of your voice... I love it... I guess it's time for me to buy your cd. is it available in Germany? Jambalaya, Brandenburg, Germany

Mar 19, 2007
Hi Mike! Checking in on my upcoming star. Enjoy popping in and listening to that beautiful voice. Keep hanging, I don't think it's gonna be long before you are #1,. Have a good week
Your #1 fan and i'm sure there are many. Lynne,

Mar 18, 2007
Awesome voice Mike! Fantastic country sound! You're as good as anyone out there. Five stars my friend!!! Johnny Tarantino, Nashville, TN

Mar 18, 2007
Hey Mike ~ I luvd your song "Planet California". Great lyrics and a very catchy beat. Keep it up bro - you're gonna be big! ~ Jason, Las Vegas, Nevada

Mar 18, 2007
Hi there! Ur music is fabulous i luv it, i have never heard of u before in my life, but now having u as a friend has made me listen to ur music and fall in love with it, coz i am a true blue country music person. Plz keep in touch luv ya Sareena xxx Sareena, Adelaide, South AUSTRALIA

Mar 17, 2007
Mike, WHEN DOES THE TOUR START BRO. I'M READY TO GO!!! Jimmy D. Scottsdale, AZ

Mar 16, 2007 4:05 PM
Hi Mike, I ordered your CD and can't wait to get it. Have a great weekend. Continued luck and stay safe. Betti, Virginia

Mar 16, 2007
Mike, YOUR VOICE IS AMAZING BTW... HUGS, NICOLA Nordrhein-Westfalen , Germany

Mar 16, 2007
Mike,. I'm listening to your music now, and you should already be a star. Absolutely the best voice and singing I have heard from anyone who has contacted me yet. Your fan for an upcoming star Lynne, Clinton, North Carolina

Mar 14, 2007
Mike, just dropped by to wish you a blessed day. May you always have a song in your heart."As Beautiful as You" is the most beautiful song I'v heard in a long time. If you wrote it, I applaud you.What a song for a wedding. Peace and Love ! Betty, Nitro, West Virginia

Mar 7, 2007
Hi Mike! Gotta tell ya....I love your song "As Beautiful As You". What an awesome song!
Here's to your continued success! Hugs, Hope, Austin, Texas

Mar 3, 2007
Hi Mike just passing by to say hi and hope your day is going great.Luv "Joyce"Country Girl You Rockkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!! Joy, Florida

3/2/07
HI Mike! Wanted to let you know that I listened to your music and also your song cellar, WOW!!! Liking what I hear.... different and original, your a keeper and I hope you go far, I am spreading the news and hope you get a chance to come to southwestern virginia and i'll be there with a big crowd. Well Done!!! Nancy, Virginia

Feb 28, 2007
I love She Loved Me Enough. I hope to hear more of your music soon. Hope you keep singing great songs like the ones on your site! Love em! Elizabeth, New London, North Carolina

Feb 28, 2007
When will you start touring??Also do you know if you will be in S.C.? Dotti, Pinewood , South Carolina

Feb 27, 2007
Hi Mike,
Yes it does get your adrenalin running when you know people love and enjoy your music. You keep up the good work. Your fans will stand by you 100%. At this point you belong in Nashville already. Yours, out of all invites I have received, is the best I have heard yet. Keep wriiting and singing - your once to be upcoming fan - now a fan forever
Lynne God Bless, Lynne, CLINTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Feb 25, 2007 4:22 PM
Thanks for the finding me and sharing a wonderful talent. I love your songs. Your vocals are awesome. You have a unique voice that is from the heart. I wish you the best on your musical journey, you are a winner. Peace and Love ! Betty, Nitro, West Virginia

Feb 24, 2007 12:40 AM
Mike, you sound great. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you on CMT :)
Brigette, Bradenton, FL

Feb 23, 2007 11:09 AM
Hello there. you comin' to Austin anytime soon? Whinny, Austin, TX

Feb 23, 2007 3:57 AM
Thank you for your add request. Your OUTSTANDING!!! Keep up the great tunes. Loads Of Love; Dawn,Oxford, NY

Feb 22, 2007 1:18 AM
Oh wow, thank you so much for the add!! Im truly honored.... LOVE listening to your music..OMG your voice... I would be sooooooo happy to hear from you... I love your hat in the pic.. suits you quite well hun. - oh I love your profile, your music.. and that hat!!.. I'd look pretty sexy in it myself..LOL
New York, Hugs,
Stacie

Feb 17, 2007
Hi MikeI'd like to hear more than just four but out of those, "Beautiful" is definitely the one that I like! Great sound keep it up! Jeff-, Okinawa, Japan

Other testimonials available upon request.

- www.Myspace.com


Mike Lounibos
Planet California
Southern Angel SA-250

The contemporary Nashville country sound gets a high quality treatment on this likable second album from California-raised Mike Lounibos.

This consistently memorable collection of potential radio hits has a cumulative effect, and while the tracks may not all be instant knockouts, by the second spin their commercial quality begins to shine. As well as building a live fanbase, Lounibos has been simultaneously aiming for major success as a songwriter, and has co-penned every song here-many with assistant producer Bill Harris. The weepier numbers are eloquent and moving rather than lazily sentimental. The up-tempo rockers provide a decent amount of energy, and there's enough quirkiness in the less obvious subject choices to lend character to the album and its creator. Delivered in a warm twang direct from Alan Jackson or George Strait, with a little of Kenny Chesney's everyman appeal, these tracks go all out to win their listeners over. The accomplished backing band, featuring guitar from Darin Favorite and producer Greg Perkins on fiddle and pedal steel, offer solid rather than flashy support, and in any case the majority of the songs, could stand up on their own.

Ring In Time, is a stately ballad, looking back on a life via the emotional history of a wedding ring. It's much more absorbing than it sounds, and enhanced by Lounibos' commanding vocals and a simple but striking melody, the song makes a lasting impression. The fragile evocative As Beautiful As You covers more conventional romantic territory but again wrong foots the listeners with sheer style and elegance; anyone tempted at first glance to dismiss Lounibos as run-of-the-mill will find that songs like this get in the way. The honky-tonk flavoured Something In Your Eyes stays with the love song template, but picks up the pace and adds a punchy country-rock backing for a mischevious and utterly endearing expression of wonder at the blindness of love. There's a traditional-learning paean to the musician's life in This Old Guitar, name checking Messrs Jennings, Haggard and Jones as Inspirations, and a fresh twist on that familiar theme of the family home in Who Lived Here, a thought-provoking exploration of a vacated house. Country traditions do run deep on PLANET CALIFORNIA, but alongside a desire to do a few things in new ways. The title track has a heavier guitar framework and a snappy rap-inspired lyrical style, while the closing pairing of No Brainer and Too Long, Too Hard For Too little Money head back to an enjoyable authentic bar=room sound for an upbeat conclusion. This is a polished country album delivered with skill and enormous conviction. If justice has anything to do with it Mike Lounibos' career should have a bright future.
HC

- October, 2007 - Maverick Magazine


Discography

The PLANET CALIFORNIA CD can be purchased in stores and online and is being distributed through Amazon.com, CDbaby.com, I tunes, www.MikeLounibos.com., Rhapsody,Yahoo shopping, musicsphere.com, etc.

Individual songs can be streamed or downloaded at the above internet locations.

FULL TANK OF LOVE songs (Released 2002) can be heard at: www.cdbaby.com/MikeLounibos, Wallmart Downloads, Amazon, Itunes et al.

Mike Lounibos – Planet California CD – Southern Angel Music
Dance Little Jo-Jo * Ring In Time
Something In Your Eyes * As Beautiful As You
This Old Guitar * She Loved Me Enough
Planet California * Jewel Of Old Mexico
A Fool For Loving You *Who Lived Here
No Brainer * Too Long-Too Hard-For Too Little Money

Ronnie Baker – Ronnie Baker CD – BNT Records
Something In Your Eyes
Hard Rockin’ Rebel
Stronger Than Diamonds
What About Me And You

Grant Davis - No Caution CD - Rum Cay Records
Love By Accident
Rhythm Of Our Hearts
Mrs. Someone Else

Kaley - All I Ever Wanted CD - Hillbilly (single) - Phurst Degree Records
Who Do You Think You Are
Someday • Forever You-Forever Mine
Tell Me It’s You • Catch Me If You Can
Every Time You Breathe

Lee Lightfoot - I’m It CD- When It Rains Whiskey Pours - AMI Records

Mike Lounibos - Full Tank Of Love CD - Comstock Records
Full Tank Of Love • My Love Is Your Love
Mrs. Someone Else • I Wonder What It’s Like
Tomorrow-Today • More Love Between You & Me (#29-Europe Airplay Charts)
Smile • My Son’s Coming Up Tomorrow
Today This Day • In Love
We Didn’t Know You Were Leaving • He Cleared The Way

Canadian Artist Compilation – Tears Of A Thousand Years CD - Pass It On
Canadian Artist 9/11 Fundraiser

Film: 3 songs in Love Thy Neighbor - 2002 - Tribeca Rules
Starring: Roy Scheider (Jaws, All That Jazz), Scott Wolfe (Party of Five, Go),
Jake Webber (Mind Of The Married Man, Meet Joe Black), Wallace Shawn (Clueless, Princess Bride)
Exec. Producer: Marshall Persinger, Co-Producer: Sam Cole
Director/Writer: Nicholas Gregory
Composer/Music Supervisor: Stephen Coleman

Photos

Bio

2008 - Mike's new song, "Who's To Say," is a song of hope for world peace - please enjoy and pass it on...

2007 was a break-out year for Mike Lounibos and his new CD, Planet California, in the United States and Europe. Globally over 345 radio stations played songs from Planet California and the nominations came rolling in. Here are the highlights:

********
2007 Independent Music Awards (IMA’s)
Country Album Of the Year – Finalist
Mike Lounibos – Planet California

South Bay Music Awards – Double Nomination
Country Artist/Group Of The Year – Mike Lounibos
Independent CD Of The Year – Planet California

European CMA Awards - 2007 - Winner
Independent CD Of The Year – Mike Lounibos – Planet California

**********

Mike can best be described as a singer/songwriter and country artist whose original songs draw deep from the well of human emotion. Songs of love, sorrow, humor and hope that will cut a hole through you, leave you breathless and then heal you.

His vocal style is unique and expressive especially when he’s singing one of his crazy uptempo party songs. Mike’s new CD, Planet California, crosses all country boundaries: fun, rowdy and edgy uptempos, compelling story songs and some classic traditional country!

Mike doesn’t only write and sing Country though; he just loves singing great songs no matter the genre and his shows reflect that. He is bilingual as well and always throws in some Spanish songs in the mix.

He grew up in Northern California, but has spent many years honing his musical skills in Nashville. Since mid-1995 Mike has split the year up residing in both Sonoma and Nashville; driven by a passion to become an accomplished songwriter. Then as he saw some of his early friends get their Artist deals, Mike's journey to become a recording artist began.

In 2002, Mike released his first CD, FULL TANK OF LOVE, in Europe on the Comstock label. Then after receiving critical acclaim in Europe, Mike starting performing consistently around Northern California. First primarily as a singer songwriter and then 2 full years with his first country band River Run.

Now, with plenty of shows and plenty of years paying his dues, under his belt, Mike's talent is finally being noticed. Mike, was thrilled when Greg Perkins chose to work with him knowing that Greg had recorded and performed with such artists as Gretchen Wilson, Big and Rich, Tammy Wynette and many others. Mike is also honored to have co-written songs on his new CD with some of Nashville's established hit songwriters and some rising stars.

Mike grew up listening to a wide variety of artists and groups like Alabama, Kenny Rogers, James Taylor, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Al Jareau and Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Tim McGraw, Clint Black and Diamond Rio. You'll find their influences in his music for sure! Mike’s hobbies include fishing, camping, watching westerns, bowling and watching his kids play sports.

Mike has had several independent artists record his songs, and is often a featured writer on various projects produced by Joe Smith (Back Street Boys, In Sync, Mariah Carey). Mike has had several songs place on hold by major artists, but is still working hard to score that big radio hit as a writer. If all goes well he’ll do it as a successful country artist,
God willing!