March 2007

michael pickett
(CANADA)
- multi-award winning recording artist -
- acoustic Blues from a real Master! -
in his 6th decade

Text and Photos by Michael Pickett, Ray Bodenstein und Fritz Svacina
BIOGRAPHY



















































Michael Pickett is fast approaching his sixth decade as a professional performing artist. How is this possible? He was born in 1950! At the age of four he sang for his grandmother who tossed him nickles and dimes while she sat at the kitchen table sipping her whiskey-laced tea. Growing up in the suburbs of Toronto did not preclude him from discovering and following his passion for the blues. The soul of this timeless genre is deeply rooted in his psyche and he continues to nurture this passion.........as if he had any choice!

This singer/songwriter and award winning recording artist embraces the blues with style, substance and musical integrity. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s he established himself as a musically ground-breaking, electrifying singer/songwriter/ harmonica player, leading seminal bands Whiskey Howl, Wooden Teeth, and the Michael Pickett Band. Musically profound, they pushed the envelope for blues and funky roots music. He provided the direction for all three projects and surrounded himself with some of the top musicians in the country.

1998 was a banner year when he released his long anticipated and eagerly awaited debut CD, Blues Money. This all original recording was nominated for a JUNO and received the Jazz Report and Real Blues awards for Blues Album of the Year. Michael was also presented with the coveted Maple Blues Blues With A Feeling Award in recognition of his passion and lifetime commitment to the blues.

2000 saw the release of his second CD Conversation With The Blues which earned him another JUNO nomination and won the Canadian Indie Music Award for Blues Album of the Year. This extraordinary recording, described by Billboard as transcend[ing] the urban blues idiom is an eclectic mix of ten original compositions comprised of blues, r&b, soul, jazz, delta, and gospel.

In 2001, he immersed himself in the acoustic guitar after a 20+ year hiatus (he never played guitar in the bands) and was soon practicing up to 14 hours a day. With focus and diligence, this musical transition transformed him into a formidable guitarist on the six-string, twelve-string, and National Steel Duolian. In the fall of 2002, the metamorphosis was complete. Leaving the band behind, he re-emerged revealing yet another layer of his seemingly endless reservoir of musical talents.

With exceptional award winning rack harmonica skills and powerful vocals, he delivers charismatic, compelling, and passionate performances that are charged with electricity and filled with authenticity, substance, and a unique style. He puts his own spin on obscure tunes of legendary icons such as Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and showcases his own potent material. This songwriter has evolved into an eclectic and captivating storyteller through Delta Blues, Country, Folk, and Americana, revealing a profound understanding of where this music comes from and why it stands the test of time.

Pickett now performs exclusively as a solo acoustic artist touring throughout Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe appearing in blues, folk, jazz clubs, coffee houses, house concerts, theatres, festivals - receiving standing ovations everywhere!

He has played with and/or shared the stage with: Big Mama Thornton . John Lee Hooker . James Cotton . Jeff Healey . Bo Diddley . Koko Taylor . Downchild Blues Band . John Hammond . Matt "Guitar" Murphy . Doug Kershaw . Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith . Snooky Pryor . Sunnyland Slim . Lazy Lester . Tom Rush . Josh White Jr . Rory Block . Matt Minglewood . T.Graham Brown . Kentucky Headhunters . Hubert Sumlin . Taj Mahal . Muddy Waters . Son Seals . Big Bill Morganfield . Robert Cray . Buddy Guy . Jon Cleary . Tea Party . Gary Nicholson . The Players . Fortunate Sons . Colin Linden . Watermelon Slim . Brian Stoltz .Rev. Billy C. Wirtz . The Nighthawks, and more.

michael pickett
(CANADA)
- multi-award winning recording artist -
- acoustic Blues from a real Master! -
in his 6th decade

Text and Photos by Michael Pickett, Ray Bodenstein und Fritz Svacina





































Michael Pickett nähert sich schnell seiner 6ten Dekade als professioneller Künstler. Wie ist das mögliche? Er wurde 1950 geboren! Aufgewachsen in den Vororten von Toronto entdeckte er sehr schnell seine Zuneigung zum Blues.

Der Sänger/Songwriter und Ausnahmekünstler, der bisher viele Preise für seine Songs, Aufnahmen und sein musikalisches Schaffen gewonnen hat, spielt den Blues auf seine ihm eigene Art mit Substanz und musikalischer Vollständigkeit. In den 70igern bis 90igern wurde er als Sänger, Songwriter und Harp-Spieler mit Bands in Kanada und den USA bekannt, bei denen er als Frontmann agierte - Whiskey Howl, Wooden Teeth und der Michael Pickett Band.

1998 wurde ein sehr erfolgreiches Jahr für Michael Pickett, als er seine lang erwartete und von der Presse begeistert aufgenommene Solo-Debüt-CD “Blues Money“ veröffentlichte.

Die CD mit reinen Original-Aufnahmen wurde für einen JUNO nominiert und erhielt den Jazz-Report und Real Blues Award für das "Blues Album of the Year“. Michael wurde ebenfalls mit dem begehrten Maple Blues “Blues With A Feeling Award“ in Anerkennung für seine Zuneigungund sein Lebenswerk zum Blues geehrt.

2000 veröffentliche Michael seine zweite CD “Conversation With The Blues“, die ihm eine weitere JUNO Nominierung einbrachte und er gewann für die CD auch den Canadian Indie Music Award für das “Blues Album des Jahres“.

2001 begann Michael sich nach 20 Jahren erstmals der Akustikgitarre anzunähern (er spielte nie Gitarre in seinen Bands) und er übte bis zu 14 Stunden am Tag. Mit grossem Ehrgeiz und Gewissenhaftigkeit wandelte dieser musikalische Übergang ihn in einen beeindruckenden Gitarristen auf der 6-saitigen, 12-saitigen und der National Steel Duolian um. Im Herbst 2002 war die Metamorphose komplett. Die Band hinter sich lassend startete Michael eine weitere Karriere mit seinem scheinbar endlosen Reservoirs der musikalischen Talente.

Mit aussergewöhnlichen Fähigkeiten an der Rack-Harmonika und hervorragendem Gesang, für die Michael etliche Preise gewann, liefert er charismatische und leidenschaftliche Shows ab, die mit Elektrizität aufgeladen und mit Echtheit, Substanz und seiner ihm eindeutigen Art gefüllt sind. Er setzt seinen eigenen Drive auf unverständliche Melodien der legendären Ikonen wie Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee und stellt sein eigenes starkes Material zur Schau. Dieser Songwriter hat seinen eigenen, eklektischen und faszinierenden Storyteller-Stil für Delta Blues, Country, Folk und Americana entwickelt und man entdeckt bei Michael immer wieder ein profundes Verständnis dafür, von wo diese Musik kommt und warum sie den Test der Zeit übersteht.

Michael Pickett tourt jetzt ausschließlich als akustischer Solo-Künstler, der in Kanada, den USA, Großbritannien und Europa in Blues-, Folk- und Jazzclubs, Kafeehäusern, Theatern, bei Hauskonzerten und auf Festivals auftritt - standing ovations everywhere!

Seine erste Solo-Europa-Tour nach vier erfolgreichen Großbritannien-Touren...
Weitere Infos, Fotos, Songs und Tourdaten unter www.michaelpickett.com
oder www.bluebridge-network.com Tourtermine auch unter www.bluedates.com

Presse

“I had a vision that he was gonna be one of the best. In my book he is.“ Hubert Sumlin
One of the finest harmonica players of all time.“ Lee Oskar

An amazing artist who breathes a new life into the Blues by bringing it back with original energy and charisma.” Downeast (ME,USA)
“Acoustic, traditional blues at its best performed by a true bluesman!“ Concerto, Austria
“.....a world-class tunesmith ...one of Canada´s top acoustic blues artists!“ Blues Revue
“Gives good chase to John Hammond on guitar and leaves him behind on harp.“ Blues Matters!
“Pickett has a natural blues voice blessed with an unbridled intensity that hooks you from the first track.“ Blues in Britain Magazine, UK

Credits

MICHAEL PICKETT
Big Mama Thornton . John Lee Hooker . James Cotton . Jeff Healey . Bo Diddley . Koko Taylor .Downchild Blues Band . John Hammond . Matt „Guitar“ Murphy . Doug Kershaw Willie ‚Big Eyes‘Smith . Snooky Pryor . Sunnyland Slim . Lazy Lester . Tom Rush . Josh White Jr . Rory Block .Matt Minglewood . T.Graham Brown . Kentucky Headhunters Hubert Sumlin . Taj Mahal . MuddyWaters . Son Seals . Big Bill Morganfield . Robert Cray . Buddy Guy . Jon Cleary . Tea Party GaryNicholson . The Players . Fortunate Sons Colin Linden . Watermelon Slim . Brian Stoltz . Rev. Billy C. Wirtz . The Nighthawks ....
Discography











MICHAEL PICKETT: Blues Money (1998)
Label: Wooden Teeth Records
Musician: vocal & harmonica: Michael Pickett
guitar: Colin Linden, Teddy Leonard, Neil Chapman, Slavka Kobrin, Mike Francis,
bass: Steve Chadwick, Leo Valvassori, Malcolm McCuaig
Hammond B3: Doug Riley, Doug Romanow
organ: Richard Bell
piano: Doug Riley, Richard Bell
drums: Marty Cordrey, Dale-Anne Brendon, Shawn Eisenberg
vacuum cleaner: Paul Brennan
percussion: Rob Greenaway
saxophone: John Johnson
trombone: Gord Myers
background vocals: Louise Pickett, Molly Johnson, Tiki Mercury-Clarke, John Pickering, Michael Pickett

01. World Gone Crazy
02. Blues Money
03. Shake
04. The Sweetest Sound
05. 1988
06. All of These Blues
07. Call Your Name
08. Work So Hard
09. Walkin'
10. Trouble
11. I Won't Be Your Fool
12. My Mind's Made Up

















MICHAEL PICKETT: Conversation With The Blues ( 2000)
Label: Solid Gold, 69677 41028 2 0
Musician: vocal & harmonica: Michael Pickett
guitar: Shawn Kellerman, Teddy Leonard, Kevin Breit
mandolin: Kevin Breit
resophonic guitar: Michael Pickett
bass: Steve Chadwick, Leo Valvassori
Hammond B3: Bill McCauley
piano: Doug Riley
additional keys: Doug Romanow, Bill McCauley
drums: Gary Craig, Marty Cordrey, Paul Brennan
doumbek: Marty Cordrey
percussion: Rick Lazar
saxophones: John Johnson
trombone: Gord Myers
trumpet: Dave Dunlop
violins: Lenny Solomon, Norm Hathaway
viola: Arturs Janson
cello: Richard Armin
string conductor: Doug Riley
background vocals: Jackie Richardson, Liz Tilden, Troy Adams, Louise Pickett, Michael Pickett

01. Big Train 
02. The River
03. Love Don't Mean It
04. When I Lay My Burden Down
05. Look Out At The Weather
06. Conversation With The Blues
07. Cecil & Spadina
08. It Don't Matter To Me
09. Bad Love
10. Junk Thang
11. Mother Earth
12. Night Comes
13. Total Running Time

MICHAEL PICKETT: Solo (2002)
Label: Wooden Teeth Records WTCD003
Musician: Michael Pickett: vocals, guitar, rack harmonica

01. Louise
02. Blues Is A Friend Of Mine
03. Steady Rollin' Man
04. The 'Hood
05. Cecil & Spadina
06. Feel Like A Stranger
07. Lonesome Road
08. Lose Your Money
09. World In An Uproar
10. Bill's Song
11. Living With The Blues

MICHAEL PICKETT: Live At Winterfolk! (2004)
Label: Wooden Teeth Records
Musician: Michael Pickett: vocals, guitar, rack harmonica

01. I Got Fooled
02. Me & The Devil
03. Blues Is A Friend Of Mine
04. World In An Uproar
05. Cecil & Spadina
06. Louise
07. Bill's Song
08. Lose Your Money







WHISKEY HOWL; Live At The El Mocambo (2005)
Label: Solid Gold, 69677 41024 2 4, Vintage 1982 LP - Solid Gold / EMI
Musician: vocals & harmonica: Michael Pickett
vocals: John Witmer
drums: Ed White
bass: Rick Burkett
guitar: John Tilden
baritone sax: Simon Wallis
tenor sax: John Johnson
trumpet: Dave Dunlop
The Howlettes: Betty Richardson, Kim Richardson, Liz tilden

01. Chicken Shack
02. One More Mile
03. Let The Good Times Roll
04. Walkin' By Myself
05. Rock Lsland Line/Early In The Mornin'
06. Mother Earth
07. Look At Granny Run
08. I'll Go Crazy
09. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)
10. Man Of Many Words
11. Everything (Gonna Be Alright)

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