Mike Stocksdale

Mike Stocksdale

 Culver City, California, USA
SoloAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

A true songwriter and storyteller harnessing a brilliant mix of folk, rock, blues, and country. Live acoustic performances are intimate and thoughtful, but Stocksdale's foot percussion and harmonica add energy, and excitement.

Biography

Mike Stocksdale is an artist you've listened to your whole life, or at least it feels that way. There is familiarity in his melodies, and the honest stories he tells hit home. His ability to translate his personal experiences into relatable lyrics is, in a word, captivating.

Los Angeles native Stocksdale embodies all aspects of true musicianship, with a technical education in guitar from the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA, and a past rich with classic influences including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and B.B. King. Stocksdale got his start playing lead guitar and writing songs for Three Minute Mile, a band he formed while studying psychology at Indiana University. When the group disbanded, Stocksdale began honing his songwriting and vocal skills, and found new direction as a solo artist.

He has since forged a reputation for himself in the Southern California independent music scene with thoughtful, well-crafted albums that resonate with a diverse range of audiences. His latest release, Until the Oceans Rise, is a poignant, conversational collection of songs melding together the best parts of folk, rock, blues, and country. Tracked live to tape, the raw acoustic nature allows songs and lyrics to be the centerpiece of this very honest and intimate piece of music.

Quotes about Mike Stocksdale:

"Stocksdale is an artist whose vision has been expertly realized."
New Music Review - Music Connection Magazine

"Mike Stocksdale's music is a masterful blend of memorable melodies and beautiful poetry. Well-crafted songs delicately grab your heart and never let go. "
Paula Munoz - Music Connection Magazine

"The first impressions of Mike Stocksdale, the man, and Mike Stocksdale's music are the same: honest and approachably straight forward with little adornment. "
Tom Fitt - Peninsula People

"Well crafted, delicate piece of music...memorable and moving."
Lior Shamir - We Are Listening

"The combination of Stocksdale and Strand with careful instrumental framing works on ‘Chase You’ as if you are digging for gold...With ‘Chase You’, Mike Stocksdale has delivered the ultimate record, like the one all artists are waiting for. "
Johan Schoenmakers - altcountryforum.nl

"Stocksdale, along with his amplified acoustic friends, achieves an organic intimacy on these recordings, his warm, breathy voice the perfect lead instrument for his material...The production/arrangement choices are just right --uncluttered yet not underdone. A very solid artist. "
New Music Review - Music Connection Magazine

"Whether singing alone or with a band, Stocksdale's tunes are perfect for television, movies, or radio, because they speak to what is in all of us. In a city where folksingers are in abundance, Stocksdale shows that it's really all about the craft. In this, he is outstanding."
Paula Munoz - Music Connection Magazine

Credits:

  • Finalist - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival 2018 - Songwriter Showcase 
  • Finalist/Honorable Mention - Unsigned Only Music Competition 2018 (AAA)
  • Semi-Finalist - Music City SongStar 2017
  • 2nd Place Winner - International Songwriting Competition 2015 (Performance Category)
  • Multiple TV placements on shows such as New Girl, Quantico, Hart of Dixie, and Happy Endings
  • Opened for Cam, Will Hoge, Tinsley Ellis, Eric Gales, Soul of John Black
  • Featured in viral youtube video by Garance Dore and Tiffany’s
  • Semi-Finalist - International Songwriting Competition
  • Semi-Finalist - UK Songwriting Competition
  • #1 New Music Review - Music Connection Magazine
  • Honorable Mention - Unsigned Only Music Competition
  • Daphne’s Restaurant featured artist
  • Top 100 artists - Music Connection Magazine
  • Finalist - Independent Music Awards (Folk/Singer Songwriter Album)
  • Best New Artist Nomination - New Music Awards
  • Finalist - We Are Listening Singer/Songwriter Awards
  • 3rd Place - 11th Annual Unisong International Song Contest (Acoustic/Folk)
  • Honorable Mention - 14th Annual Billboard Song Contest
  • Finalist - We Are Listening Singer/Songwriter Awards


Lyrics

Love Song

Written By: Michael Jeffrey Stocksdale

Thought I would write you a love song baby
Just to get out what I need
Selfish I know but I can’t take it slowly
Changing it up
Going with my gut
I’m in a rut but you’re digging me out of it

Thought I would paint you a picture baby
Just in case you didn’t see
I’ve been depressed I’ve been all in a mess but
I have to confess
Withholding the rest
In Boots and a dress you’re just so damned impressive

I open my eyes and I crawl out of bed babe
Just to get closer to you
It’s obvious now there’s nothing holding me grounded so
You get the crown
I’ll be the clown
If you shoot me down I’ll just keep coming ‘round you

Hold me back if you think you can
Scold and smack, I can take the pain
Give me your best and worst
You can try to run but I’ll get there first

Thought I’d be able to stop thinking of you
But I keep on eyeing my phone
Hoping to hear that I’m all cleared for landing
Struggling to steer
Greasing my gears
Foiling my fears that this plane is a crashing

Thought I would write you a love song
I’m not even sure what that is
A delicate platform or is it a bad form
Of me freaking out
Struggling with doubt
Supressing a shout and just writing it all down


Oh My Soul

Written By: Michael Jeffrey Stocksdale

You could shape me into something
You could drag me up from nothing
Like a drowning boy pulled up by his heel
And I might just give in
Give my whole world a spin
and straighten up stronger than steel

I could jump over buildins
I could save all the childrens
I could trade in my feet for these shoes
but as time lingered on
And the years made me strong
I would still find my weakness in you

Oh my soul
I can’t quite make it alone x2

You been patchin up my engines
You been oiling my decisions
And I been trying to steer straight for awhile
When I think I’ve reached the end
The road sign signals turn again
I screech my wheels and pull out in style

(see) I could jump over buildings
I could save all the childrens
If I trade in my feet for these shoes
but as time lingered on
And the years made me strong
You know I’d still find my weakness in you

Oh my soul
I can’t quite make it alone x2

Now Little lady Sadie lays alone inside her room so shady
With all the lights turned down and her mind turned on
While I’m strumming on that old guitar and wishing on the distant stars
With all my life cut short and my dreams spread long
She says ‘maybe I will go to spain’ I don’t even need an aeroplane
But I’ll get there somehow you just fuckin watch
Oh and it’s me that can’t stop watching her with glass of wine and mind so sure
I’d let her in if I thought she’d let me off

Oh my soul
I can’t quite make it alone
I can’t quite make it alone

A Passing Phase

Written By: Michael Jeffrey Stocksdale

I been feelin better I tore up all the letters you wrote but now I’m waitin’ for anyone to notice me. Maybe I should total my car or set my house on fire.

I been hoping I was changing with all this rearranging you’d think that I was moving away but I ain’t moving away. It’s never been clearer that I’m still here.

And I been counting crows, but I don’t believe they know that I watch and now I’m waiting for all of them to cover me. Maybe if I give ‘em a yell they will shroud me in black.

I ain’t sayin that I’m dyin but a part of me is trying to climb out of the depths of this well and I been slippin away. It’s never been clearer I lost my grip.

Life is long. At times it feels we get it wrong. But it’s only time. These moments that make up our lives are here and then they’re gone. And we don’t have a choice but to move on.

After all it’s just a passing phase.
Pull those pictures down and save the frames for better days because...
After all it’s just a passing phase.

Lately I been waiting for you to turn up out of the blue but then I wonder, would you even notice me? Maybe if I shaved my face or cut my hair.

Well I bet you never think of the things that I been thinkin about. I been getting lost in my mind and now I’m tryin to find a way to get out of here and leave you there.

Life is short. Yea at times it feel like we wanted more. But it’s only time. These moments that make up our lives are here and then they’re gone. And we don’t have a choice but to move on.

After all it’s just a passing phase.
Pull those pictures down and save the frames for better days because...
After all it’s just a passing phase.

Everyone is growin but I’ve been layin low. And I can’t believe that time betrayed me so suddenly. Maybe I should build a machine and do it over again.

I ain’t sayin I regret it. Or wish I could forget it. But part of me is missing the days when everything was ahead. Now I’m lookin behind more than out in front.

A passing phase. What an easy thing for me to say. But...this life is long. I know I’ll end up where I belong, but for now I’ll write a song...and wait for something else to come along.

After all it’s just a passing phase.
I write these lyrics down and save the rest for better days because...
After all it’s just a passing phase.

Get Found

Written By: Michael Jeffrey Stocksdale

Everybody take a seat I’ve lost the will to be discreet so I might say a thing or two
If I offend let’s not pretend that we were friends ‘cause if it ends I do believe this one’s on you

Looking back it’s easier to think of things as I prefer but I don’t do that anymore
My TV eyes been hypnotized and sterilized so many times I can’t see what I was before
--
So let’s make a run at denial while keepin’ our feet on the ground
Take some advice for a while like the old man said, “Just get lost if you can’t get found”
--
When I was young and just a fool and holdin’ out in middle school I tried to keep my feelings hid
And now I’m grown and on my own in crowded rooms I feel alone around adults I’m still a kid

The Internet has all the knowledge and all the answers who needs college I wish someone had set me straight
It’s got everything I every wanted all right there but it’s so daunting all I do is masturbate
--
I’ve fallin’ behind for so long I forget what it means to gain ground
But you can’t get it back til it’s gone like the old man said just get lost if you can’t get found
--
Everybody wants some love the perfect fit, the perfect glove to cover us so no one sees
There’s parts of me I keep inside when they creep out she doesn’t mind that’s always been a mystery

Everybody’s so unsure and insecure and immature or maybe I’m the only one
Or maybe if we all got laid and smoked some weed and weren’t afraid we’d quit the wars and hide the guns
--
Dig me a hole in the road, ‘cause I’m going deep underground
I’m Takin’ a trip to the soul, like the old man said, “Just get lost if you can’t get found”
--
Been stalling for an hour or two to try and tell the truth to you but truth is that it’s hard to say
The only thing I ever want is everything I haven’t got, I think you knew that anyway

All I need is you to care and raise me up from my despair oh maybe that’s all love can be
So in the end I guess what’s true is I’ll do anything for you if you do anything for me
--
I kept it inside for so long I forgot what it meant to make sound
But you can’t get it back til it’s gone like the old man said just get lost if you can’t get found

The Rest of Our Lives

Written By: Michael Jeffrey Stocksdale

I been waiting for a week to get sober or somethin’
But i ain’t touched a drop and and head won’t stop spinning
(Cause) Reality set in that nothing in life is ever for sure
Yea I am starting to think that this hangover has no cure

My body’s in motion but my brain won’t budge
And escape is the only fantasy i can think of
So I am taking you with me to find we belong
Lizzy Strap in tight and crank up an old love song

baby i don’t know where we’re going tonight
take my hand in yours and hold it tight

if you’re scared well that’s alright
we got the rest of our lives to put up a fight

in this pale moonlight
Yea you look so right
come a little closer baby
i won’t bite

jjjust a distraction to keep my eyes on the road
and my head out of the game before it starts to explode
Cause there ain’t nobody left who wants to play by the rules anyway
Let’s just forget all our troubles and head down the old highway

baby i don’t know where we’re going tonight
take my hand in yours and hold it tight

if you’re scared well that’s alright
we got the rest of our lives to put up a fight

in the pale moonlight
Yea you look just right
come a little closer baby
i won’t bite

Elizabeth sits by the side of the road
As the full moon bathes her in a soft yellow glow
with a train in the distance, she whispers the softest tune
Says there’s beauty in the battle, and I know we’ll win one soon

she stands up In The shadows of the cold night air
With a stone eyed stare says “let’s go somewhere”
And opens up the driver side door of the automobile
Tells me life’s too short to let the devil take the wheel

baby i don’t know where we’re going tonight
take my hand in yours and hold it tight

if you’re scared well that’s alright
we got the rest of our lives to put up a fight

in the pale moonlight
Yea you look just right
come a little closer baby
i won’t bite

CAN WE KNOW LOVE?

Written By: Michael Stocksdale

Every morning i been wakin alone
open my eyes and I stare at my phone
can’t believe it’s been a whole damn year
of me checking the news to see if we’re still here
but the truth is I don’t know if anybody will last
i ain’t somebody like to live in the past
but everything we fought for is fading faster and faster
we can’t have wind without a hurricane
We can’t know love unless we know about pain

now I’m worried that it’s making us sick
the bad news is beginning to stick
have we all become all desensitized?
is there anybody left who wouldn’t be surprised
if a tidal wave came or atom bombs rained
or trees turned to flames or if presidents were game
show hosts?
can we go crazy without ever being sane?
can we know love unless we know about pain?

What can I say?
If no one hears me does it matter anyway?
What can I do?
If this whole world has gone to shit then we ain’t got so much to lose

i been listening to old bob dylan
he was saying this before we were children
i like to think writing words is my calling
everybody heard him and still the hard rain is falling
so i wonder if it’s worth it to believe anything
if i know my song well before i start singing
does it matter at all?
can we know freedom without ever being chained?
can we know love unless we know about pain?

What can I say?
If no one hears me does it matter anyway?
What can I do?
If this whole world has gone to shit then we ain’t got so much to lose

all this bitchin’s got me starting to think
i can battle with the pen and the ink
but if i really want to get through the gate
i gotta try and be kind to all the people I hate
And i been feeling like a soldier on the edge of the earth
weighing every movement to decide what it’s worth
and now i’m done looking back and i’m vetting my facts
and i’m fixing this a crack so this world isn’t scrapped
can we have wind without a hurricane?
can we know love unless we know about pain?

Alexandra

Written By: Michael Jeffrey Stocksdale

She went off like fireworks in the sunset
packed up in a flash and hit the road
made it all the way to California yesterday
Back in Indiana i’m alone

Alexandra
i can see you walking backwards
as the sun sets
on the cliffs of palos verdes
where the world ends
You’ll begin to find the answers
as the ocean meets the land
close your eyes feel the sand
And I’ll remember Alexandra if i can

she rents out a studio in Venice
Headlines down at Trip on Friday nights
Every now and then she writes a song about the end
At least I like to think someday she might

Alexandra
i can see you walking backwards
as the sun sets
on the cliffs of palos verdes
where the world ends
You’ll begin to find the answers
as the ocean meets the land
close your eyes feel the sand
And I’ll remember Alexandra if i can

yesterday i dreamt i saw you singing
Lonely on the streets of Hollywood
nobody really heard, so I tried to memorize the words
But Alex you were gone before i could

And I woke up searching for that fallen faded sorrow
Then I closed my eyes and I tried to dive back in
‘Cause sometimes all we need is a reminder that we bleed
To make us feel like we’re alive again

Alexandra
i can see you walking backwards
as the sun sets
on the cliffs of palos verdes
where the world ends
You’ll begin to find the answers
as the ocean meets the land
close your eyes feel the sand
I’ll remember Alexandra
remember Alexandra
I’ll remember Alexandra if i can

Discography

Until The Oceans Rise - 2017
The Late Great Soul Shake - 2015
Ashland - 2011
Chase You - 2009
The Hill - 2007
Searching for September - 2005

Set List

Will usually play acoustic with harmonica and foot percussion - kick drum, tambourine.

Set list includes original music and a few covers during long gigs.

Can play for 10 min. up to 3 hrs.