mike milligan and steam shovel
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mike milligan and steam shovel

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Dec
31
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INDY, Indiana, USA

INDY, Indiana, USA

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Indiana Musician performs at Double Trouble Reunion on August 27th!
Posted by Mark Bastin @ www.indyconcerts.com on Sep 03, 2010


On the 20th Anniversary of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passing the band which backed him throughout his short career came together for a night of music and memories to celebrate the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble with those who filled the club in Nashville, Tennessee. 3rd & Lindsley was the location for this low profile reunion which brought together Reese Wynans, Tommy Shannon, and Chris Layton along with select musicians to perform songs from the blues legend’s catalog of music. Among those selected was Kokomo Indiana native Mike Milligan who’s band, Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel performs across the region with a sound reminiscent of Stevie Ray’s within original songs written by Mike Milligan. Many musicians work to acquire Stevie’s tone and perhaps few are as successful as Mike in doing so as he’s made a career of performing and sharing the influence who’s inspired him the most. Mike was thrilled of the invitation to perform and had good friend Bart Walker to thank as it was Bart who originally organized the event prior to Reese Wynans assuming responsibility for the historic task. After a few phone calls what started as a Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute became a Double Trouble Reunion in remembrance of Stevie.
This would not be the first time for Mike meeting Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon as he had already introduced himself years earlier while in Austin Texas. Mike came upon the guys as they were shooting photos for their album “Dog Years” with their other band mates of Storyville. Storyville was the second group formed after Stevie’s passing in which Chris and Tommy were a part of. They were shooting at the Continental Club in Austin on a Sunday and Mike was able to chat with those present after Storyville vocalist Malford Milligan introduced him as his “Long lost Irish cousin”. For Mike, the invitation to play on stage with Double Trouble is a career milestone he won’t ever forget and it became even more when asked to help Chris and Tommy around town prior to Friday’s event. Mike was able to spend time with them on Thursday and Friday before rehearsal and before the reunion show.

Rehearsals on Thursday flew by as those present ran through their respective songs with Mike getting four songs among the list to be played. Some of the artists to perform were Al Anderson, Kenny Greenberg, Jack Pearson, Pat McGlaughlin, Tom Bukovak, Shane Roberts, Ashley Cleveland, Gary Nicholson, Sol Philcox, Bart Walker, and Mike Milligan. Double Trouble consisted of Reese Wynans (the man in charge) on organ/piano, Chris Layton on drums, and Tommy Shannon on bass. Fast forward to Friday evening when the band took the stage for a crowd anticipating a night to remember filled with fans of Double Trouble and several fans of Mike Milligan who traveled from far off places to witness the event. Those there representing Mike sported their Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel T-shirts in support and stood in line early to get in the door. As the show kicked off Bart Walker performed “House Is rockin’” and “Tightrope” with a horn section accompanying him. The house was rockin’ and ready for Mike Milligan who then performed “Pride and Joy” “Ain’t Gone and Give Up” and “Life By The Drop” before giving up the stage to the next performer. After eight consecutive songs Mike was then asked to take the stage once again to close out the first set. They wanted the next song to end the first set with a bang and Mike was up for the challenge as he performed “Crossfire” which brought a smile to Double Trouble band mates faces and cheers from the audience! This was the first time Double Trouble had performed Crossfire since backing their fallen leader in 1990, which must have been a special moment shared. The special night being experienced by all present provoked the thought that somewhere Stevie was grinning in witness of the gathering that was bringing his music to life.
The second set was more of the same with Bart Walker starting off again with “Let Me Love You Baby” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A host of talent followed with another thirteen songs before Bart Walker gave the finale with the final song Stevie had performed last twenty years prior. It has been said Stevie’s version of “Voodoo Chile (slight return)” performed on August 26th 1990 was so chilling and unbelievable to witness that it was his best performance ever! For Stevie it was all he knew, to give from his soul that which gave him such joy in sharing. So Double Trouble playing along with Bart to Voodoo Chile was sure to stir some memories of the man which brought all in attendance together to share and remember. For Mike Milligan, his memories of this night won’t diminish any time soon and I’m certain some will remain with him forever in getting to play on stage with the members of Double Trouble. Notable moments as mentioned by Mike - INdy Concerts


"HEY Y'ALL I'M CUTTER BRANDENBURG, I WAS ROAD MGR AND BEST FRIEND TO STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN. I STARTED WITH STEVIE WHEN HE WAS 15 AND STAYED WITH HIM, THROUGH HIS FIRST ALBUM, "TEXAS FLOOD". I HAVE WORKED FOR MANY OTHER ARTIST , BUT ALWAYS RETURNED TO STEVIE. I HAD BEEN ON AND OFF WITH HIM ALL THOSE YEARS AND WAS ABLE TO FEEL THE STRUGGLE ABOUT THE MUSIC. IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MUSIC, THE PASSION HE SHOWED COULD NOW REFLECT THE STRUGGLE. STEVIE WAS ONE WHO LEARENED ALL HE COULD FROM ALL HE HEARD. HE LISTENED AND WATCHED ALL TO SEE AND FEEL AND ALSO WHO USED WHAT LICKS HERE AND THERE. HE BECAME WHAT I ALWAYS FELT, A MASTER AT GUITAR TONE AND LICKS. I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE A CLUB A FEW YEARS IN THE KILLEEN TEXAS AREA ABOUT 65 MILLES NORTH OF AUSTIN, CALLED "CUTTER'S TEXAS MUSIC HALL & WILD WEST CANTINA" IN HARKER HEIGHTS TEXAS. STEVIE WOULD HAVE LOVED THE CLUB. I STILL INTEND TO MOVE IT TO AUSTIN, IN THE NEAR FUTURE. I WAS LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO GET MANY GREAT ATRIST FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO COME AND PLAY. I FEEL CERTAIN ALL THAT DID FELT THE PRESENCE OF STEVIE AND IN THAT , IT SOMEHOW MADE ALL ARTIST PLAY A LITTLE BIT BETTER IN THAT THEY SOMEHOW KNEW STEVIE WAS LISTENING. THE NIGHT WE HAD MIKE MILLIGAN AND STEAM SHOVEL WAS SO STARNGE. ALL THAT DAY I FELT A SPECIAL FEELING ABOUT WHAT WAS TO COME. JUST LIKE MANY SHOWS I DID WITH STEVIE IN THE EARLY YEARS , WE WOULD PULL INTO A PLACE AND HAVE A SMALL CROWD TO PLAY TOO. THAT NEVER MEANT ANYTHING TO STEVIE. HE WOULD PLAY HIS HEART OUT FOR JUST ME IN TRUCK , MUCH LESS 8 OR 8 THOUSAND. THAT DID NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. MIKE AND STEAM SHOVEL PULLED IN, AND I COULD FEELTHEM BEFORE THEY PLAYED. I TRIED TO GIVE THEM ALL I COULD IN THE WAY OF HOSPITALITY OR FOOD, OR STORIES OR VIBE. THEY SEEMED TO BE PUMPED AND WILLING TO PLAY TO A SMALL CROWD AND LEAVE A MARK. THE MOMENT I HEARD MIKE PLAY GUITAR.WITH HIS TONE AND PASSION, I KNEW THIS GUY WAS AGAIN THE REAL DEAL. I KIDDED HIM ABOUT BEING A YANKEE AND WE ALWAYS DO THAT WITH YANKEES ITS A CROSS YALL GONNA JUST HAVE TO BARE. BUT I WOULD NOT AND COULD NOT SAY ANYTHING GOOD IF IT WAS NOT THE CASE. MIKE MILLIGAN AND STEAM SHOVEL FEEL AND HAVE THE PASSION. STEVIE USE TO GAUGE PLAYERS ON IF THE HAIR ON HIS ARM STOOD UP. HE WOULD LOOK AT ME POINT TO HIS ARM AND SMILE REAL BIG AND GO "WHOOOO! CEEEE". I FELT THAT IN MY SOUL THAT NIGHT WITH MIKE AND THE GUYS FROM STEAM SHOVEL. I KNOW SOMEWHERE MY BEST FRIEND WAS LOOKING DOWN AND SAYING "YEPPER CEE WHOOOOOOO!". "

-Cutter Brandenburg (Mr. Cee) 12-03

- mojo hut records


" "When I Get There" by Mike Milligan is so good that I can't believe they didn't charge me twice for it. "On The Day" crackles from the first snare hit. It makes me wanna dance. Mike is not interested in recycling the tired clichés. He moves easily from electric to acoustic blues with authority. This is truly an album that sounds better every time you listen to it. He sounds kinda like Stevie Ray, kinda like Robert Ward, there is even a vibe of Derek and the Dominos, but make no mistake about it, Mike has his own signature style. In this music I find a promise that other blues acts hinted at but never delivered. Mike Milligan delivers on that promise and his guitar tone is gorgeous. I must also mention how well recorded this album is. Check out Mike Milligan now! I'll see you "When I Get There"..."

-Greg Baum, Sweetwater Music, 12-03
- mojo hut records


INDY Star...INTake. April 15 - 21, 2004













January 8, 2004

Band of brothers

Yeah, only 2 out of 3 members of Mike Milliagan and Steam Shovel are

related. That misses the point.

By Joe Shearer

INtake correspondent





With a pair of siblings and a drummer who is "like a brother," it's

easy -- and not necessarily inaccurate -- to accuse the band Mike

Milligan and Steam Shovel of nepotism.

But for frontman Mike Milligan, brother (and bassist) Shaun, and

drummer and close friend Derek Felix, music has been in the family

for years.

"My father is a musician," Mike said. "Some of my earliest childhood

memories with my brother Shaun is being on a tour bus with The

Drifters in the mid-'70s."

Even the band's name shows flashes of familial influence. The

brothers took their handle from the children's book "Mike Mulligan

and His Steam Shovel," which the brothers read when they were young.

The Kokomo-based trio brings its brand of blues-rock to The

Rathskeller on Jan. 24 and hammers other houses around town, such as

The Slippery Noodle Inn, on a regular basis. The band has also set

the roof ablaze in cities such as New York, Nashville, Tenn., and

Austin, Texas.



Here's what Mike had to say:

On cover bands:

"It reminds me of paint-by-numbers. Even if you're doing

paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa; it looks great, but you never learn to

express your own emotions. How much of your soul is on the canvas?

To cover a song, it has to make me feel a certain way. It has to be

a song that makes sense to me."



On "The Guitar is Family"

"If my dad is in the audience when we're playing, I'll pull him on

stage to play guitar. He smokes me off the stage. I probably have 50

pounds on him, but he's still Big Mike."



On musical influences:

"If you hear me play, you might hear some Hendrix, Stevie Ray

Vaughan, Donnie Hathaway, Doyle Bramhill. If you like listening to

the people I listen to, you'll like my music."



On having GAS:

"I have 'Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.' I'm such a guitar freak. I

was just at Guitar Center in Castleton with a new credit card.

That's bad news."



On getting crazy at a concert:

"I play the guitar on my teeth, and behind my head, but most of the

craziness comes from the audience. We've played (at venues) where

half the audience has wet T-shirts, and we've played for bikers at

Harley parties."



On letting the audience take over:

"Sometimes I'll step out into the crowd to play. If there's someone

that I know plays guitar in the audience, I'll hand the guitar to

them and go sit down and let them play."

On improving the Indy music scene:

"The Indy scene is getting a lot better. Bigger markets (should)

start looking at Indy as a music resource. Music bigwigs need to

throw a dart at Indianapolis and say 'that's the next big place.'

Some major producers would have to sign some bands to record labels

or someone needs to start a major label here. It's like Nashville or

Seattle. (In the early and mid-'90s) people were pulling into

Seattle looking for a record contract."

On music as therapy:

"There's a song associated with all the memories in your life, like

your first girlfriend, the first time you danced with her or kissed

her. People have come up to me and said, 'you helped me with a death

in the family.' You can't put a price on knowing you helped somebody

like that."

- indy star


"This band puts together Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, a touch of soul and VOILA! Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel. You won't think that this is just another blues band, but one with the potential to put Kokomo, Indiana on the Blues Map! Mike may be the next best blues thing!"

-Carl Wolf. Muncie JAR (Star). 11-98
- Muncie star press


Discography

CDs
ALL MY LIFE 1998,
WHEN I GET THERE 2001,
IF YOU DONT CHANGE 2004,
LIVE! 2004.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING 2007, LUCKY MAN 2010

Photos

Bio

From Kokomo, Indiana, Mike began playing guitar in 1977 at age 6. Mike grew up hearing his father's soul-rock bands. He traveled with them and the Drifters in the mid 1970's throughout the southern United States. He recieved his first guitar at age 5. He purchased his first electric guitar at age 10 with paper route money. His vocals and guitar have been called "gritty and soulful" and have been compare to many. He formed Steam Shovel in the Summer of 1993 and named the band after his favorite childrens book by Viginia Lee Burton, "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel". "My mom bought the book for me from a garage sale when I was a boy. Recently, I've contacted the author's children, who are in their 70's, and they were delighted to see what the band's been doing. They also put a copy of "All My Life" in the National Library of Congress along side their mother's books", Mike said.

Its seems that Mike writes music that is appreciated and enjoyed by all ages. You may catch him performing with the band or solo electric, acoustic 12 string, or National steel, at a Blues Sunday School, an elementary or high school, and then at a venue that night, always sharing the music...

We are Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel, from Kokomo, Indiana,(everyone is from somewhere!) United States. Formed in 1993…
-Voted "best band in Indiana" in 2004 by the Slippery Noodle Inn (named Best Blues Club in the USA 2002- The Blues Foundation, Memphis, TN) and Crossroads Blues Society.
- Perform top venues and high-profile festivals continuously in Chicago (House of Blues), Cleveland (House of Blues), Cincinnati (REDS Stadium), Austin and Dallas, TX, Louisville, Nashville and Memphis, TN, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Michigan, and all over our home state of Indiana (including the Indy 500 and INDY JAZZ FEST 04,07,08!).
-All tour dates are in support of our 5 CD releases (“98,”01,”04, LIVE “04,“07), & in doing so, have performed with BB King, Buddy Guy, Al Green, Robert Cray, Double Trouble, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tower of Power, WC Clark, Walter Trout, Chris Duarte, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Bela Fleck, Martin/Medeski/Scofield/Wood, GE Smith (SNL), Fabulous Thunderbirds, Long John Hunter, Smokey Smothers, Tommy Castro, Carl Weathersby, James Hunter, Joe Bonamassa, Lil Ed, Shannon Curfman …
-In 2007, LIVE! and Timing is Everything CDs were picked up for national distribution by all Meijer and Best Buy stores and named "Top Selling Artist of 2008", by Audio Recon, MMSS’s digital distributor. Audio Recon is responsible for placing MMSS tunes on iTunes, Emusic, Rhapsody...
We keep it simple, play from the heart, and reach out to those suffering and celebrating.

We look forward to working with you!