KNiKi and Mike Beale
Canadian born Mike Beale started out his musical career in Fremantle Western Australia.
Learning his craft, Mike played in and around the cool and bohemian, alternative port city of Fremantle, Western Australia. Developing from early days a unique style, heavily influenced by seminal 60’s 70’s players of the like of Robin Trower, Gary Moore, Jimmy Page.
Early days found him playing a lot of gigs acoustically, opening his eyes and ears to the tone and simplicity delivered by an acoustic guitar. Something that’s stayed with him throughout his career.
Mike played the local scene for several years culminating in the release of his first album Breakaway.
Not long after releasing that first album Mike left West Australia for greener pastures which found him playing in places as far apart as Vancouver Canada, Canberra and Cairns before eventually ending up on Queensland’s sunny Gold coast.
Forming the original Blues rock 3 piece Men in Blues in 2005 saw Beale touring and releasing material again. Playing many of the country’s better known blues/roots festivals including the Australian Blues Festival, Queensland’s Blues on Broadbeach, Western Australia’s Bridgetown Blues and the Gympie Muster.
The cd Battered and Bruised released in 2007 and backed with national touring commitments saw several Beale original songs released overseas on the BAR blues and roots Australian compilation cds. Internet radio coverage also saw Mike’s original song “Lost” as the number one requested tune on Midnight Blues Radio in France.
“It doesn't happen every day when a song literally jumps on me like your "Drinking Overnight" did. I'm deeply impressed by your music, by your mix of blue cold and red hot vocals and guitars. Never heard anything like this before. To all those ‘new Stevie Ray Vaughans’ and ‘new John Lee Hookers’, I prefer artists which are out of compare. Men In Blues sound like they are.”
Paul Bondarovski, Midnight Special Blues Radio – France
“MIB is a rhythmn groove band, by no means short on blues, but not the 12 bar bumpa bumpa variety. At first you notice the musicality...songs where no weak links exist. In true blues style, political correctness is thrown out the window and replaced with raw emotion and feelings. Overall a great bunch of songs that should engage both traditional and contemporary blues fans alike”. Melbourne Blues Society
“Really clever, mixing blues with a bit of rock, funky and even some jazzy overtones.. very catchy. Mike Beale is a talented guitarist, songwriter and a singer with a strong voice - his imagination is evident in every single one of those aspects. Together with a tight rhythm section he has recorded a hot CD. Battered and bruised, maybe, but they sound better than ever!” Przemek Draheim - Polish Blues & Gospel Radio
Mike was invited back into the recording studio in late 2008 to sing vocals on a Bob Dylan tribute album ‘Ghostbones’ .
The album was a great success and reignited Mike’s passion for the acoustic approach to music.
The ghostbones sessions also provided some spare studio time in early 2009 allowing Mike to return to acoustic playing with his own new solo album.
Recording took place at Big Note Productions with famed Australian engineer Adrian Stuckey (Neil Finn/Split Enz).
Although a bit of a departure for current fans from the rocking Men in Blues project, the simplicity and musical space provided a lot of opportunity to develop another side to Mike’s writing, even stretching out to add some cello parts.
Debuting the cd at The Basement Gold Coast on a still winter night the songs were received with a fantastic reaction and a lot of sales.
The song Fishbone, taken from the album was a top ten finalist in the Q Music awards.
2009 also saw additional opportunities develop. After many years playing guitar, it was Mike’s voice that was suddenly in demand. Fresh from the Ghost bones project, Mike was approached by Forcene Films to sing on the title track of a new movie.
Although, 2007 to 2009 provided some great personal success for Mike, a brief text message and phone call mid 2009 from the opposite side of Australia, heralded a new and exciting musical beginning …….
KNiKi arrived in the world somewhere near Bunbury, Western Australia. Delivered by her father, she was born blue and raised in Perth.
Her love of music was spiked at the age of fourteen when she started singing lessons with a small local music academy.
Early days saw KNiKi writing music with good friend Paula Johnson. Within six months the girls assembled a garage band called Tempus with fellow musicians and started rocking out each others garages !
KNiKi began writing her debut album STAINED at twenty-four, with co-writer and gospel singer/songwriter, Andy James Court.
The album STAINED was released in 2003 and sold quite well online in the USA. This was the culmination of a challenging 3 years of hard work, writing, singing, and recording.
The songs Stained and Someone were chosen from over 1200 entries as finalists in the UK song writing competition, And Pulsing Beat came fourth in the Dance section of the Australian song writing competition and third in the dance section of the USA Billboard competition.
Furthering her vocal development and musical studies with the renowned West Australian singer Sue Bluch, lead to an introduction to the legendary Perth Musician John Meyer, ex guitarist/songwriter for the forerunners of Australian blues, Chain, and legendary world renowned hard rockers Rose Tattoo.
Meyer’s background was the perfect support for KNiKi and the two of them forged a new stronger, more cohesive blues direction.
Although it was a lengthy and difficult period, punctuated by a tremendous personal loss, the end result was a terrific Blues album.
Dedicated to her Father, JUST was released in August 2008.
The album received critical acclaim both here and abroad, resulting in invitations to appear at many festivals both at home (Australian Blues Festival, Gympie Muster) and internationally (Phuket Blues and Rock Festival, Himalayan Blues Festival)
Songs taken from Just also saw Kniki finish top ten in the prestigious Telstra Road To Tamworth, Australia premier country Music competition
Early 2009 in search of a musical collaborator, and recommended Mike Beale by a friend of a friend, Kniki made a quick call to the opposite side of the country …..
USA Mark Lush from Midwestbands.com
"KNiKi has one of the most interesting voices that I’ve heard in a long time. There were moments as I listened when I thought I had her sound-alike pined down, but then she would do something totally differently that would blow my theories out of the water. She has a voice that is paradoxical, at times it is soft and velvety smooth, while at other times, she shows a gritty, Eartha Kitt bluesy quality that is totally different."
Thailand - Phuket International Blues Rock Festival 2010
"KNiKi, the lovely, “vibracious” lass from Perth – kept the house rocking."
USA Dennis Halsey Best Female Musicians
"The first thing that strikes this reviewer is not only the power of KNiKi’s voice, but the way she adapts it to fit the song she is singing, while they are not similar I am reminded of Lisa Loebs voice, but KNiKi rocks."
That initial short trans continental phone call, at first led to a quick catch up at an East coast festival and subsequently a couple of hastily organised guest appearances at some Men in Blues Shows.
Initially just on board to help organise some continuing east coast touring musicians for KNiKi’s appearances at the 2009 Blues on Broadbeach festival, the musical chemistry between Mike and KNiKi was instantaneous.
Initially Mike took over playing guitar for KNiKi for the remaining 2009 festival commitments, including Gympie Music Muster in QLD, and the Himalayan blues festival. Both agreed it was an amazing experience, and the response to the music was overwhelming.
Described as edgy, exciting, vibrant and refreshingly different, it’s rare that something works as well as this musically.
Continued and growing interest, and tremendous reaction to the live shows fuelled the musical fire, and both of them immediately set about planning a musical future together.
But it wasn’t been without it’s challenges, not least being the distance between them. 4357 klm’s and a 5 hour flight to be exact .
It’s probably not possible for the two of them to live any further apart and still be living in Australia.
As demand around the country for the pair increased a quick trip into Bignote Productions recording studio was planned in February 2010.
Again teaming up with legendary producer Adrian Stuckey (Split Enz/Neil Finn) the result was the amazing debut album Dead On.
Great feedback and reviews have seen them go from strength to strength being nominated as finalists in 2011’s Australian Blues Music Awards for Best new Talent “Holding hands with the Devil” and Best Female Vocalist for “Love me like a man”.
Touring the Album for the pair started seriously in mid February 2010 with a performance at the Phuket International Blues Festival sharing the bill with the legendary American bluesman Charlie Musselwhite.
Following on came an appearance at the Forth Valley Blues Festival in Tasmania, closing the event to a passionate crowd of blues fans, and detonating the Festivals sound systems .. literally !
The remainder of 2011 had them criss crossing the country playing virtually every state, city and country area throughout Australia.
Increased festival appearances had them also make a brief flying visit to neighbouring New Zealand for the Bay Of Islands festival in late August.
A terrific response had them invited back immediately for the 2011 festival.
have listened to the whole cd a couple of times it certainly got my mojo working love every track it would have to be the best cd i have heard in a long time including international releases & their has been a couple of good Aussie ones lately. Best rework of Love Me Like A Man & Rollin' & Tumblin,
Coral Coast Community Radio 94 7FM
KNiKi and Mike Beale deliver some powerful Blues/Rock with their Album "Dead On",
A successful combination of styles intertwined with their own touch, ranging from soft acoustic moments to the full Power of a large Band.I receive a number of CD's From Bands looking to increase Air Play and while most are of a good to High standard, but never one as exceptional as "Dead On"
If this is a taste of what’s to come, then I can't wait for another Album.
I receive, this morning, your "dead on" CD, and I thank you.
Thank you, first, because you trust in my radio show, and also
thank you, because this is a very good work and feeling.
This music is made for my radio show.
Biker Fm France
Hey Kniki/Mike, happy new year, I hope its a big one because your music ‘Dead On’ is awesome, Cheers Chris
Port Stephens fm 100.9 NSW
‘Received Kniki's new cd day before yesterday The CD is brilliant, our kind of blues.
Kniki is hot and Mike is a real cool dude. The combination works fantastic. Be assured this CD will get full airtime from our Blues 'N' Jazz Program starting next week.’
Thanks again for sending it to REGfm. NSW
Regards Jim & Di Walford.
‘My Feature Artists on "Play The Blues" this Sunday evening are KNIKI and MIKE BEALE, who have brought out a cd together called "Dead On". It's an absolute ripper too.
Perth-based Kniki and ex-Perthite Mike have truly excelled with this one.
Expect to hear plenty of tracks off it during the show.’
"Play The Blues" on Sundays, 8-10 p.m. WST (GMT+7)
The lovely, “vibracious” lass from Perth –– kept the house rocking.
Back to the festival for a second year, this time with her own red-hot band (harp included) KNiKi’s soulful voice soared on the tropical breezes. Playing many of her own originals from her latest as well as upcoming CD the OZ diva had the record breaking crowd roaring, and the infectious beat from the stage prompted local Blues Fest veteran Bonnie Anderson to leap upon the stage and add her own powerful voice and presence to the party for KNiKi’s finale. Phuket Times Thailand
Blues on Broadbeach - Over in Victoria Park Mike Beale and KNiKi were performing. The group played some growly, down-to-earth acoustic based blues. Mixed with his rhythm work Mike threw in some excellent bluesy runs. Great Blues music with a good dynamic range in performance intensity.’
The Australian Blues Music Festival
Blues on Broadbeach Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast Blues Festival
The Gympie Muster QLD
The Bridgetown Blues Festival W.A.
Boyup Brook Muster – W.A.
Phuket International Blues festival Thailand
The Himalayan Blues Festival Nepal
Forth Valley Tasmania
Bay Of Islands New Zealand
Touring snap shot
Feb 2010 - Thailand
March 2010 - Tasmania/Melbourne/South West Australia
April 2010 - South East Qld, Melbourne
May 2010 - Canberra, Gold Coats, Brisbane
June 2010 - Far North Qld
July 2010 - Perth, South West Australia
August 2010 – South East Qld, New Zealand
Sept 2010 South west Australia, Perth
Oct 2010 – Victoria, Canberra, Brisbane
Nov 2010 – Melbourne, South East Qld
Dec 2010 – Tasmania,
Perth Jan 2011 – Perth,
Feb 2011 – Adelaide,
March 2011 - Melbourne, Canberra
April 2011 -Central Queensland
May 2011 – Blues On Broadbeach
June 2011 – Far North Queensland
July 2011 – Tasmania
August 2011 – New Zealand
October 2011 – ACT Canberra
November 2011 – Western Australia