New Jersey native and resident Mike Esposito is unique in the world of American roots music; his live shows are a virtual panorama of this country’s musical tradition. It’s blues, it’s bluegrass, country, rhythm & blues, rock n’ roll, Appalachian folk, New Orleans jazz and even a little bebop for good measure. A virtuoso performer on bottleneck slide, Dobro, lap steel, acoustic and electric six-string guitar and even electric bass and ukulele, Mike could easily adopt a swaggering air of braggadocio, the blues man’s traditional stock in trade, yet he remains a humble man, quietly exuding confidence in his talent and abilities.
Like many teenagers growing up in the sixties, Mike was influenced first by the British Invasion of rock groups, particularly The Rolling Stones and later, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and roots American rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival. When Mike discovered legendary blues man Robert Johnson around that time, his world changed, as he delved deeper into acoustic Delta and Piedmont style blues, as well as bluegrass and down home, old time country string band music. In the seventies, Mike, playing Dobro and National steel guitar, founded The Lost World String Band, which earned international recognition for their flawless instrumental virtuosity. An acoustic act, the group toured the United States and Europe, appeared on nationally broadcast television shows, performed at Lincoln Center in New York City and shared stages with some of the brightest names in the music business, including Doc Watson, Asleep At The Wheel, The Ventures, the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, John Hartford, The Whites and many more.
When Mike became a husband and father and settled into a daytime career, the globe-trotting tours abated, but he still exercised his passion for American roots music working local gigs in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as appearing as a sideman on over 25 albums. Mike worked solo and with a bassist and drummer for several years, and in 1999, his first Compact disc, Let It Slide, was released on the Hackettstown, NJ-based Buy Or Die Records. A true eclectic solo album in every respect, Mike played all the instruments and presented a wide spectrum of roots music, covering many stylistic bases. Let It Slide was a critical success and continues to sell well to this day.
Let It Slide was followed by The Mike Esposito Trio Live, recorded and released in 2000 at the Knowlton River Music Festival, featuring Mike on electric lap steel guitar. Mike’s third CD, Goin’ Down The Delta was released in 2005 and this disc puts the emphasis on ragtime, traditional blues and Delta blues styles. All Mike’s CDs are available for sale at his live performances and at selected record shops in northern New Jersey. With interest in American roots music at an all-time high, guitar ace Mike Esposito, as a solo act and with his band, is a unique and talented performer who will be impressing his loyal followers for years to come with feats of instrumental and vocal virtuosity.