Mike grew up on Long Island, NY. He got his first guitar at age 10 and started taking lessons. As a teenager he heard the fingerpicking guitar of Jorma Kaukonen on Hot Tuna recordings - and knew that was the style he wanted to play. Reading liner notes introduced him to the country bluesmen who recorded in the ‘20’s and ‘30’s, and he began combing through the record stores for the reissued albums of these musicians. Later on he would go to see Jorma and other contemporary artists who played this style of music every chance he got, and so began his quest to learn and play acoustic fingerstyle blues.
A Bachelors degree in music at SUNY Purchase laid a strong foundation and understanding upon which to grow. A trip through Mississippi, meeting old-timers such as country blues guitarists Jack Owens, Eugene Powell and R.L. Burnside, fostered an even deeper desire to keep the music of days gone by fresh and alive.
Family trips to the Catskill Mountains gave life to the dream of living in the country - and that dream became a reality after college. Mike moved to the Catskills, and spent the next 12 years teaching guitar and playing in the acoustic blues duo - The Hell Hounds. They recorded three of their own cd’s, and contributed on two compilations for Larchmont Recordings with other artists such as: Rhonda Vincent, Sue Foley, and Duke Robillard. They have performed at concerts, festivals, clubs and colleges up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest, and opened for notables such as Roy Bookbinder, John Hammond and Bob Margolin.
Although The Hounds have since parted - the insight into the art and business of music offered by these years was invaluable. A brief and enjoyable stint with the bluegrass band, Aurora North, aided in Mike finding his voice.
His first solo cd consists of nine originals and three traditionals. Mike has blended his influences of acoustic blues, bluegrass, ragtime and most recently old-timey music into a style uniquely his own. His originals speak of life and the trials and tribulations it may dish out. His
whole-souled talent and skill in composing is only heightened by his masterful marriage of words and music.
Mike currently teaches private lessons in Oneonta, teaches a guitar workshop at SUNY Delhi, tabs songs and offers “BluesnRags Lesson Packages” on his web site, and performs solo regularly. He enjoys a peaceful life in the mountains surrounded by the pines with his wife Lorna, a dog named Geremia, a couple of cats, and of course - his guitar.
Find out more at: www.HouseOfHermans.com