I've been a professional mandolin player for more than 40 years - playing music, singing and writing songs. I'm available for gigs - including jam bands and jug bands, bluegrass or accompanying singers & songwriters. I'll entertain diverse and bizarre side projects as well.
From 1984-2011, Mike was based in Santa Cruz, CA where he hosted a roots and bluegrass radio show on KAZU, Monterrey, for ten years. He also co-founded the raging bluegrass band Harmony Grits and appeared in most California festivals and venues.
Mike was awarded the Gail Rich Award by the Santa Cruz Arts Council, an award given to socially active artists and musicians, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Northern California Bluegrass Society for his contributions to Northern California Bluegrass music and founding the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair now in it's 30th year.
Mike’s song Gospel Bong has become a light classic in the very alt-bluegrass world.
He now lives in Austin, TX with his family and 3 German Shepherds where he continues to play music.
Mike’s CD, Bindlestiff, was recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Elderly Instruments, in reviewing his album, referred to Mike as “Bluegrass visionary, Mike McKinley”.