Mike Younger

Mike Younger

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

An emerging Americana Singer/Songwriter that draws heavily from the Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Gospel and Country, but through arrangement and production that is undeniably contemporary.

Biography

Mike Younger is that rarest of artists – one so fervently driven to express himself through his music that he has navigated many obstacles, including homelessness and the carnivorous major label recording industry, out of an instinctive pursuit of his musical goals. Mike is a legitimate survivor, a gifted singer-songwriter who doesn’t just drone vacantly about hardships and trials, but who has actually lived through them… and whose strength and resilience spring from his passion for his art. “I can’t even imagine having lived my life any other way. I make music for one very simple reason – it’s what I was born to do!”

With the completion of his new album, Every Stone You Throw, Mike has chronicled his intrepid odyssey, taking listeners on a tour of his styles and stories and offering a very intimate look into the frenzied world of an artist who has led his life in a relentless search for the muse. The 12 songs on Every Stone You Throw ultimately represent a turbulent, yet rewarding, chapter in this talented artist’s unparalleled life.

Though born and raised in Nova Scotia, the wayfaring Younger has recorded in New Orleans, Nashville and New York. Since leaving home, he has unconditionally committed his life to following his creative spirit, drifting through manifold cities, cultures and styles – wherever the music has taken him. He has tirelessly performed in nearly every venue imaginable – street corners, waterfront piers, subways, work camps, coffee houses, nightclubs, concert halls and theaters. The beauty of Mike Younger’s uniquely hybridized music is that it bears the influences of each and every one of these locales and experiences.

Mike began his career as a teenage busker, leaving his native Halifax at the age of 17. Anxious to see the world, he hitchhiked across the country, ultimately ending up in Vancouver. There, he survived by playing for tips with only an acoustic guitar and harmonica as accompaniment.

He touched down temporarily in Toronto before crossing the border to New York City, seeking out the energy of the storied Greenwich Village folk scene that served as one of his earliest inspirations. No longer the fabled Village of the ’60s he had imagined, Mike instead discovered an altogether different side of New York, falling in with the tough squatting community on the city’s Lower East Side. Basic survival very quickly became his first priority. Still, he grasped at every opportunity to share and cultivate his music.

It was a sound from thousands of miles away – the Southern blues of artists like Mississippi John Hurt, Leadbelly and Robert Johnson – that would speak to Mike Younger more than any other music previously had, and that would ultimately transform the determined musician from street player to professional recording artist. “When I first heard that Southern sound, it hit me in the gut… in my soul. It was so mystical and fascinating, but also instantly familiar – it was a real revelation to me just how big an influence this music was on the artists I admired.” So when the South beckoned, he heeded the call by taking a trip to Mardi Gras in 1993. Intending to visit Louisiana for a week, he ended up staying for five years.

It was in New Orleans that Mike got his first big break, through legendary DJ John Sinclair, former spiritual adviser to the MC5 and founder of the radical White Panthers. After meeting Mike, Sinclair recognized a kindred rebellious soul and invited him to play live on his popular WWOZ radio program, “The New Orleans Music Show.” The broadcast – and the urgent energy of a compelling young artist – happened to be heard by Nashville-based music publisher Chris Keaton, who signed Mike to a publishing deal. When one of Mike’s songs reached Rodney Crowell, the country superstar was so blown away by the raw emotion and honesty ingrained in a basic demo, he signed on to produce Mike’s entire debut album. Recorded in Nashville as a largely solo acoustic venture, Somethin’ in the Air was released in 1999.

Mike Younger’s debut record received tremendous critical acclaim and overwhelming radio success, spawning two top-requested singles, while also landing songs on two prominent network television series. The title track even has its own place in history, as part of both Starbucks’ and the Sundance Film Festival’s first-ever musical ventures. The album’s success also led to Mike opening for artists ranging from Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle and Asleep at the Wheel to Kansas and Jill Sobule.

Following a soul-searching exodus into the deserts of the American Southwest, Mike made a decision reminiscent of one of his greatest idols, Bob Dylan, picking up an electric guitar for the first time and radically altering both his sound and his songwriting. Newly inspired, Mike returned to New York to reunite with old friend and pianist Bob Packwood to assemble a full four-piece band, adding Skip Ward on bass and Louis Appel on drums. After playing live togethe

Lyrics

Everyday War

Written By: Mike Younger

The Boys are on the march now, the word`s just coming in
As the line between insanity and reason it grows thin
And me all I can think is God forgive us for our sins
Won`t you see us through just one more day

The hawks are on the warpath always talking proud and strong
The enemy he`s sure to fall, he can`t hold out for long
Seems it doesn`t really matter anymore what`s right or wrong
It`s just something that we lost along the way

Chorus

It`s an everyday war
Kicking down your door
Tell me again what`s the reason
Tell me again what it`s for
I don`t care for destruction
No matter where it be
If it`s here in my backyard
Or far away across the sea

They say for every action there must be a perfect twin
And every stone you throw will come on back to you again
But tell me if it`s true where does that leave you, my friend
Hiding here behind your paper walls
(Chorus)

When the streets are full of people whose voices go unheard
Dismissed and disregarded, made out to be absurd
While the leaders of the nation offer up their empty words
And bring the fire home to us all
(Chorus)

Something to Believe

Written By: Mike Younger

Written by: Mike Younger
(copyright 2005)

If you believe in magic
It just might get you by
It just might be enough
To drive a tear from your eye
But if you don’t believe in
pretty things that you cant see
You wont ever hold the answer
To this cruel mystery
[Chorus]
Something to believe
that’s all anybody really needs
and baby you were that for me
if you believe in angels
you wont ever be alone
They’ll be walking right beside you
When you’re so far away from home
But if your faith is broken
The road becomes so long
And you will soon begin to wonder
Where it was that you went wrong
[Chorus]
Something to believe
That’s all anybody really needs
And baby you were that for me
If you believe in miracles
And things you can’t explain you might take a chance on someone
And hope the joy outweighs the pain
But if you give up on trying
And you let your heart grow cold
Then the bitter taste of emptiness is all your future holds

[Chorus]
Something to believe
That’s all anybody really needs
And baby you were that for me

Devil`s On The Rise

Written By: Mike Younger

Brother if you`re going down to the delta
Brother if you`re gonna ride the Mississippi Queen
Do yourself a favor and heed what I tell you
Beware them hoodoo women down in New Orleans

The lady with the beads aint nothing but a lowdown cheater
She says they bring good luck but that aint true
And Shanghai Lil aint nothing but a mean mistreater
She`ll drink up your blood and suck all the life outta you

[Chorus]
Is it only my imagination?
Or is there more than meets the eye?
Ever since she crossed my path I’ve had a strange sensation
Can’t help but feeling like the devil’s on the rise

Shotgun Lou, she’ll lead you to destruction
She’ll take you down to the snake pit just to dance
And she’ll tempt you and tease with sweet seduction
And then she’ll laugh in your face and leave you lost in a trance
[Chorus]
Is it only my imagination?
Or is there more than meets the eye?
Ever since she crossed my path I’ve had a strange sensation
Can’t help but feeling like the devil’s on the rise

Evangeline she stands upon the levee
Waiting for her man to roll on in
And there`s a dark cloud hanging down low and heavy
Cos somebody`s cooking up some mighty bad medicine

[Chorus]
Is it only my imagination?
Or is there more than meets the eye?
Ever since she crossed my path I’ve had a strange sensation
Can’t help but feeling like the devil’s on the rise

Eatin My Heart Out

Written By: Mike Younger

The biggest baddest mistake
That I have ever made
Was walking out on you babe
And now you say that it’s too late
I know that I let you down
Right when you needed me to come through
And now I’m eating my heart out
Trying to get back with you

I could travel a thousand miles babe
And knock upon your door
Just to ask you for a second chance
But then you say you don’t want me no more
What’s gonna come of me now
Without your love so sweet and true
Cos now I’m eating my heart out
Trying to get back with you

[Chorus]
I`m gonna keep coming back to your iron door
Cos I aint never felt quite like this before
I done changed my ways and I want you back
Baby please don’t say it`s too late for that

There aint nothing more I can do
Aint nothing more I can say
If somehow I only knew
Way back then what I know today
If I could do it all again
I never would have put you down, it’s true
Cos now I’m eating my heart out
Trying to get back with you

Soulsearchin

Written By: Mike Younger

You came into my life an electric angel
Took me by the hand and you rescued me
I was just living on the kindness of strangers
When you came and gave your love so unselfishly
I tried so hard to walk away
I tried so hard not to care
I even prayed for a hurricane just to clear the air
And now you`ve got me

[Chorus]
Soulsearchin` baby
Down by the riverside

I was drifting along with no sense of direction
Like a battered little sailboat lost at sea
Til something on the horizon caught my attention
A ray of shining light reaching out to me
And as I grew closer I realized
This was no ordinary light
That radiated all around you like some
Beacon in the night
And now I`m

[Chorus]
Soulsearchin` baby
Down by the riverside

I just keep on finding myself
At the same old crossroads baby
Trying to figure out which way to turn
After all this time
You`d think that I`d know the way home
But I guess that I`ll never learn

Discography

"Somethin In the Air" (Beyond Music) LP
"Every Stone You Throw" (Bare Bone Productions) LP

Set List

The band has typically been performing the entire forthcoming album "Every Stone You Throw" as well as a few covers thrown in...Jimmy Cliff, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Bessie Smith, Howlin Wolf, Marvin Gaye, Hank Williams as well as some traditional New Orleans rythm & blues tunes

As a solo act I typically perform selections from my first album "Somethin` in the Air" (released on Beyond Music in 2000) and my forthcoming album "Tooth & Nail", as well some as-of-yet unrecorded originals and a few country/blues or traditional songs to round it out.

Draw for club venues:
Attendance for band shows ranges from 30 to 45 or so...
Attendance for solo shows ranges from 25-40