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February 14, 2012


Clarksdale resident musician, Guitar Mikey, has signed with Earwig Music of Chicago to release a new studio album, Out of the Box, with a street date of April 17, 2012. The music was recorded in Hideaway Studios, Coahoma County, MS over a two-year period, 2010 to 2011, and is produced by Guitar Mikey and engineered/mixed by Mark Williams.

On the 15 original tracks, Guitar Mikey is joined by many of his talented friends; Billy Gibson, harmonica , Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters), guitar, Mark Yacovone (Thacker Mountain Radio Show), keyboards, David Maxwell, keyboards , Peter Nunn (Gowan, The Jitters, Honeymoon Suite), keyboards, Marty Richards (Joe Perry Project, J Geils), drums, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, vocals, and Clarksdale's own Super Chikan and Terry "Big T" Williams.

Back in the 70's Guitar Mikey started his musical career in Hamilton, Canada at the age of 11 smitten with seeing Muddy Waters live. A decade and various bands later, including teaming with Richard Newell, King Biscuit Boy, in the early 80's, Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing formed and after a debut self-release, signed with A&M/Spy and released Caught Between The Squeeze. Following stints in Chicago and New England, a trip to Mississippi in early 2000's brought Mikey and his wife to Clarksdale where they now reside.

"Mike McMillan, known as Guitar Mikey, is someone whom I have been seeing gig around Clarksdale, Mississippi for a few years now," says Michael Frank, head honcho of Earwig Music. "In 2009 I sat in during the Juke Joint Festival, with Guitar Mikey, blowing harmonica alongside Billy Gibson. That fun night resulted in my friendship with both musicians, which ultimately led to Earwig's release of Mikey's self-produced album Out of the Box. Starting with Earwig's first release, by the Jelly Roll Kings, I have always liked aggressive guitar and vocals, wrapped around good songwriting. I have also admired musicians who are entrepreneurial and driven to succeed on their own terms. Guitar Mikey is such a person, a Canadian expatriate living for a long time in the USA, a guitarist on the move, destined to be in the next wave of killer guitarists on the global stage. He and his band are "The Real Thing", committed and driven to make their mark, with a fresh take on the blues. I am proud to provide a label platform for Guitar Mikey and his musical cohorts. To paraphrase two giants of southern culture - Honeyboy Edwards and Emeril Legasse - Mikey's blues-rock gumbo is properly cooked, with his own special brand of hot sauce. He kicks it up a notch. Bam!"

Though Earwig Music is not known for releasing blues-rock albums, Guitar Mikey's project is not the first one on Earwig in that vein. In 2008 Earwig released Tulsa, Oklahoma guitarist Scott Ellison's Ice Storm, and from 1996 through 2005, Earwig cut four albums with Liz Mandeville, showcasing her many shades of blues, soul, swing, and blues-rock tinged pop, with the rock-edged guitar work of Mike Gibb and others. Earwig Music's most notable recording artist is David "Honeyboy" Edwards, with whom Michael Frank played harmonica and managed over three decades. Earwig Music is set to release two other albums this spring with Out of the Box - Albert Bashor's Cotton Field of Dreams and Tommy McCoy's Blues Late in the Lonely Night.

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