Biography

‘He is among the very best in the world. I’m thrilled that he is part of this tour. He’s exceptional, I know you’re going to love him’ – Justin Hayward, The Moody Blues

Mike Dawes (ENG) is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers.

His acclaimed solo music has gained over 15 million hits on popular video sharing sites and since the release of his debut album in 2013 he has toured almost every continent on the planet, with an average of 150 concerts per year.

Mike needs to be seen live to be believed. His ability to create the most unusual tones and textures simultaneously from a single acoustic guitar leaves fellow musicians stunned. Bass, melody, harmony and percussion all seamlessly produced using his signature technical yet intrinsically musical guitar technique.

His show is not just for guitar fans however, his entertaining and humorous rapport transcends the traditional guitar concert. Extraordinary virtuosity meets Monty Python via a one-man rock show. Mike has recorded with and taught multiple grammy winning artists, appeared on film and TV soundtracks, released apps, written for the world’s best selling music magazines and in addition to his solo work, currently performs alongside and in support of the legendary frontman of The Moody Blues, Justin Hayward, the debut live DVD of which entered the US Billboard charts at #2.

Musicians including John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Gotye, Billy Sheehan and James Valentine (Maroon 5) have all spoken of their admiration towards Mike’s work.

Beautiful and sensitively played arrangements and compositions – Acoustic Magazine

At 27 years of age, Mike has made a huge impact in a relatively short space of time. His persistent work ethic and entertainingly meticulous approach to composition and performance on a single instrument has seen raised smiles and dropped jaws all over the world. He is not a typical guitar player. On a single steel string guitar Mike is able to coax out the most unusual and subtle textures, whilst performing layers and layers of music simultaneously using complex micro-techniques led predominantly by the right hand.

In a style that is hard to illustrate, the young Brit combines rock, folk, funk and pop music in an instrumental concoction that leaves listeners both confused and intrigued. However, it’s his innate musicality and ear for melody that give listeners something different. Mike is able to utilise his advanced technical arsenal to achieve a musical and emotional end, a skill set often lacking in this instrumental category. In the live arena, his British humour and electric presence sprinkle an entertainment not uncommon in a comedy club. He does not take himself seriously, but the music is taken very seriously.

Mike is a rare breed of live musician. Without a spoken word he can evoke a rainbow of emotions with his music. With a spoken word he can brighten anyone’s day, English speaking or not. Throw in his staggeringly refined instrumental proficiency and you have a true, world class tour de force.

In June 2012, Mike Dawes released his first solo instrumental through the US label, Candyrat Records. This incredibly detailed arrangement of Gotye’s smash hit ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ took on a life of it’s own when it smashed through 1.5 million views in just one day online on YouTube. Since going viral, the video found itself on the front page of Reddit, Collegehumour and hundreds of popular blogging sites. MSN news featured Mike on the front of their US web browser whilst Gotye himself praised the arrangement as his favourite cover of the song, even inviting Mike to session at his studio in South Australia.

 ‘Astounding Virtuosity’ – Gotye

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Since releasing his debut album, ‘What Just Happened?’ back in April 2013, Mike has been able to follow up on his acclaimed arrangements and compositions with a vast world tour that has taken him to all corners of the planet. The release was critically praised with consistent 5 star reviews from physical and digital media outlets, as well as users of iTunes, Amazon and more.

A young virtuoso – Ken Bruce (BBC Radio 2)

Percussive. Melodic. Spunky. Sweet. – Minor 7th (US)

Mike Dawes’ debut album is nothing short of genius – Amazon (UK)

A perfect balance of emotion and technically superior skill, 12 out of 15 – Musik Reviews (Germany)

iTunes

Mike lives on the road, performing constantly all over the planet from the USA to the Far East. In late 2013, he visited Beirut to perform the first ever instrumental fingerstyle concert in Lebanese history. In addition to performing, Mike is known for his guitar clinics and workshops, which he has taught all over the world. This passion for teaching is evident in his bi-monthly columns for the UK’s Acoustic Magazine, print and video columns for Guitar World Magazine (US) as well as his frequent Skype sessions developing the guitar techniques of his loyal and willing participants.

The atmospheric nature of some of Mike’s music lends itself well to cinema and synchronisation. Mike’s song ‘The Impossible’ has featured on Indie releases in both the US and Turkey whilst his compositional style has been acknowledged by a major UK advertising firm, who commissioned Mike to compose and perform an exciting guitar battle for a multi-seasonal TV campaign.

In late 2013 Mike released his first application for iOS devices.  The tuition app, ‘Percussive Acoustic Guitar with Mike Dawes’ has been 5 star rated and has become a popular utility for guitarists wishing to develop their playing and learn about Mike’s approach to the acoustic guitar. The app, along with 3 follow up apps, is available now via the webshop, and iTunes

 

History

 

Mike began his musical adventure aged four, when his parents introduced him to The Blues Brothers. In his early childhood he experimented with keyboards before picking up his first electric guitar at 12. Instantly taking to the guitar, Mike quickly became involved with the local music scene, involving himself in numerous bands and projects. In 2003, at 13, Mike reached the semi-finals of Jimmy Page’s ‘Riffathon’ competition.

Having experimented with tapping techniques on his old Les Paul, in late 2007 he picked up his first acoustic guitar, A modified Taylor dubbed ‘Jean Claude’. He proceeded to embark upon a 4 year solo run which saw performances across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, it was during this time that he developed his style.

For the list of products that Mike currently endorses, please click here

7 Comments

  • Laurie x said on Nov 17, 2013 1:07 am

    hey mike,
    saw you yesterday at International Guitar Night, awesome! love your humour, keep it up!
    hope you enjoy quebec

  • Linda wrazen said on Feb 20, 2014 4:31 am

    Mike, heard and saw you in buffalo, ny. I’m smitten! You brought me joy through your outstanding playing and playful personality. Thanks for a great night. Love the cd.

  • jim davis said on Mar 29, 2014 10:02 pm

    when are you coming to Tucson? we’d love to have you – Tucson has a great music scene and I know you’d sell out.

    JD

    • mdlogin said on Apr 11, 2014 1:55 am

      Hey Jim, really soon actually, May 31st! 🙂

  • Bill Spruit said on Jun 11, 2014 6:29 am

    Just saw you play at the Aladdin in Portland. Epic!

    You and Justin and Julie made a great trio. VERY KOOL!!

    Come Back Soon…

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