Michael Blakemore is a professional touring and studio musician. He currently lives in Oklahoma City with his wife Julia. Michael has been creating music and collaborating with many diverse artists and musicians for over 13 years. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, piano, bass and drums.
Michael began playing guitar at the age of 12 after a career ending knee injury ended his journey and dream to be a professional ice hockey player. In 1999, Michael began to play guitar in a local youth church band. There he began to sing and play guitar for Wednesday night youth services and the occasional Sunday morning special. Michael and his friends from the church band soon formed a local garage rock band and played various shows from 2000 to 2004 under the name Frail.
Michael continued to sing and play in the church circuit all throughout high school. He had the privilege of getting to play with and learn from some of the older, premier players around town. In 2004 Michael began to play lead guitar for a very talented singer/songwriter named Darren Flowers, from Moore Oklahoma. In November of 2004, Michael went to Nashville, Tennessee to record Darren’s newest EP (Time is Never Now) with producer Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay, Bebo Norman…) at Sputnik Studios. During the recording session Michael was heavily inspired by the use of analog and tape delays and unconventional usage of music gear. He was also very inspired to start learning to produce and engineer projects.
In 2005, Michael began writing songs without the help of a band and dug deep into his singer songwriter vein, after being heavily influenced by Darren Flowers There, he experimented with pop style melodies and simple life-relatable lyrics. In his senior year of high school, with local shows and talent show performances, he quickly gained recognition as a young, talented singer/songwriter. During the summer of 2005, Michael was touring fulltime regionally throughout Texas and Oklahoma with Darren Flowers and writing his own music in his spare time. In the Fall of 2005 Michael began recording his first full length project called the “City of Lost Children.” It was an extended 15 song album with lots of experimentation and “learning experiences.” It was released on iTunes in December of 2005.
In the early months of 2006, Michael began to record his second project “Love Songs.” This was a very stripped down project when compared to City of Lost Children. Love Songs was very acoustic guitar and piano driven. Love Songs was never released on iTunes, but was for sale at shows. In March of 2006, Michael had the privilege to join forces with Brian Toth of Tuf-Gi Productions out of Lawton, OK. Michael and Brian hit it off and began brainstorming marketing and touring ideas. By summer of 2006, Michael was playing every weekend in the bar and club scene between Oklahoma City and Lawton. Michael’s live sound was full and entertaining to watch. Michael would use guitar pedals to loop guitar parts, vocal harmonies and drum beats to create a full, faux-band sound. He quickly gained a great live performance reputation and radio play in the Lawton area. By summers end, Michael had an exclusive ad sponsorship with Miller-Coors as a bar circuit artist. Michael continued to play and tour the bar scene until early 2007.
In the fall of 2006, Michael began production on his third album titled, “Passengers.” The project consisted of six songs with a new sound and was collaboration with local artist Jay Lashley and producer Jarod Evans. Passengers was a new creative outlet for Michael because it was different than his acoustic sound. Refreshed for something different, Passengers did not disappoint. Passengers was released in December of 2006 to a packed house at the Lounge. Passengers landed Michael and the band many gigs and sustained them for a good year of shows and local publicity. Michael travelled around regionally and played shows and led worship for festivals, youth groups, colleges and many other various outings. The song Passenger’s, was selected in the fall of 2007 to be on the “Top 20 Indie” record for 2008 and was the first track. Michael spent the rest of 2007 writing more acoustic based songs, demoing various ideas., and starting a business. From 2007 until late 2008, Michael was booked solid from Tuesday through Sundays, playing with various artists and solo ventures.
In 2008, Michael and great friend Daniel Minton, started the boutique pedal company, DMB Pedals. With the success of Passengers and the daunting task of starting a business, Michael took some time off of writing and playing solo gigs for a few months. In March of 2008 he received the phone call asking if he wanted to tour with rock band Radial Angel on an east coast run. Michael eagerly hopped in a van and soon became great friends with lead vocalist Jared Taber. He continued to tour with Radial Angel for the rest of 2008. In the summer of 2008, Jared and Michael started a new project called New York Summer. They began demoing and writing songs together. Michael very much enjoyed the writing process with someone else. By the fall of 2008, Michael was touring regionally with New York Summer as well as juggling a new solo project called “Natural State” the New York Summer album pre-production, the success of DMB Pedals, and planning for his wedding to Julia. In September of 2008, Michael also began playing full time lead guitar with worship leader Andy Kirk on weekends in Oklahoma City.
In November of 2008 Michael was presented with a record deal from an Independent label from Nashville called South Paw Records. After carefully reviewing the material and trying to keep life manageable, Michael opted to put the deal on hold and finish out the year. In December of 2008, Michael married Julia and moved into the Shady Trail house together.
After limping out of 2008 with a full plate, 2009 hit with full force. Natural State was released in January on iTunes. Natural State was very creative, emotionally charged 12 song album. Feeling the pressure, Natural State was rushed into mixing production and was released with little to no marketing, which later led to it being removed from iTunes until a further date. Michael quickly put his solo writing on hold indefinitely as well. DMB Pedals was booming by the spring of 2009 with the release of the Lunar Echo. By the Summer of 2009, the Shady Trail was a house, a recording studio and a pedal workshop. The New York Summer record “Ticking Clock and Masquerades” was also in full tilt in between pedal making and various regional touring.
In the fall of 2009, Andy Kirk moved back to Nashville and DMB Pedals began to take precedence over everything, which brought the New York Summer project and playing elsewhere, to a trickling halt.
The year 2010 came with a renewed spirit. Michael, Julia and DMB Pedals moved to the Fairfield house and continued to grow the pedal business and catch up with the work demand. By the summer of 2010 “Ticking Clocks and Masquerades” was mixed and ready to be released. New York Summer shopped the album and began the growing excitement for their first full-length album. Michael landed endorsement deals from Taylor Guitars, Elixir Strings and BadCat amplifiers in the summer of 2010 in the anticipation of the New York Summer release. Ticking Clocks and Masquerades was released in September of 2010 to a packed house at VZD’s which ironically would be their last show. After finally getting the album on the table after a year and a half of recording and regional touring, New York Summer decided it was time for a breather and time to re-focus life goals. Michael began playing spot dates with Andy Kirk in Nashville in the early fall and winter of 2010. Still very busy with DMB Pedals, spot dates deemed themselves to “fit” best in Michael’s hectic schedule for the time being.
2011 came with momentum from the Andy Kirk project and renewed the spirit of music for Michael. Touring the east coast, opening for Grammy award nominated bands and sellout crowds began to re-inspire what Michael soon realized he had put way on the back burner; his passion for music and the people who need music to survive. Michael began to reignite the flame for his solo project and began thinking about how to start the creative process back up again. Michael began touring with Oklahoma City worship leader Nick Thurmond in the Spring of 2011 as well as the continued spot dates with Andy Kirk.
In the Summer of 2011 Michael and Julia decided that they would be moving the Nashville Tennessee at the beginning of 2012. This move would give them a fresh start and give DMB Pedals a much broader market. Michael and Julia also decided to start their own collaborated rock project called Sea of Satellites. They are currently working on recording their new EP and their Christmas record. Michael is also currently working on re-mixing and re-releasing songs from the Love Songs and Natural State albums as well as other songs he never recorded from high school.
Michael is still extremely busy with DMB Pedals and continues to juggle a successful business, touring and writing, but is very happy because he is doing what he loves.