has always been a country music fan for as long as he can remember. A
native of Glasgow, he recounts family parties as being full of singing
country songs as well as Scottish and Irish. He always HAD to do a turn,
although from behind the settee sometimes!
joined the Army in 1976 at the age of nineteen and spent three years trying
to convert the Folk Club audiences in West Germany to Country Music. He
likes to think he had SOME success!
He has met most or the major stars from Garth Brooks to Kitty Wells and
still remembers how his knees trembled when he met George Jones for the
first time as a 17 year old!
Born in Bournemouth, Mike grew up listening to the likes of Johnny Ray, Guy Mitchell & Frankie Laine on the radio. Then, like many of his generation, rock 'n' roll arrived, had a profound effect on him and made him want to play. He also discovered a certain Mr J Cash, and it was upon hearing "Ways Of A Woman In Love" that his lifelong love affair with country music began.
Mike started out as a singer but soon discovered his drumming ability, and for the princely sum of £25, (a fortune in those days), he acquired his first drum kit. This led to the formation of Ricky Marshall and the Deputies, (circa 1960), a country-sounding name but heavily into Cliff and the Shadows. Mike's involvement lasted until 1962, when his interest in cycle racing brought an end to his musical career, or so he thought. However by 1965 he began singing again, this time with a piano player, though after a year or so his "showbiz" career was once again put on hold. Old habits die hard though and his passionate interest in country music, plus his ever-increasing record collection, combined to encourage Mike's eventual return to playing.
An informal jam session in 1979 led to the formation of the Cottonwood country band, and for the next 12 years Mike was their drummer, until a chance meeting with John Scott in 1991 resulted in Mike joining Capricorn, where he has happily remained ever since.
His interests include spending time with four grandchildren, and most sports, particularly football. Among Mike's many favourite singers are Gene Watson, Ed Bruce, Faron Young, Rodney Crowell, Bobby Dare and Jimmy Buffett, but he cares little for Nashville's current pop obsessions, sticking firmly to traditional country, or as he says, the real thing!
Initially hooked on The Shadows, Mike started playing guitar at 12, and formed a school band, doing pub and private gigs by 15. He played in a rhythm & blues band on leaving school, based around Basingstoke & Reading, mixing all the '60s influences together. He then moved to Poole, and helped form Cincinnati Hog Farm in 1971, swapping over to bass guitar, and playing their country/folk/fun material all around the Bournemouth area.
In 1975 he founded Three'n'Easy, with two former CHF members, which with the addition of a drummer in 1977, reformed as Western Approach, who were successful on the southern country scene, until disbanding in 1995. Mike then helped form Dorset-based Shameless, who carried on the gigs with a programme of high energy, modern country material. A year later Mike joined Capricorn and, ten bass guitars later, is still going strong.
Born in Ireland, and with a lifelong affection for his native musical heritage, Pat was bitten by the country music bug on first hearing 'El Paso'. He initially began performing back in the '60s, with a Merseyside band, then worked as a solo singer / guitarist, in Liverpool and London, before forming his own group in the 1970s. He joined his first pure country band about 30 years ago and has had country music on his mind ever since.