Bio

Alabama Mike is a force on the microphone with the first rate, church house tenor’, that he was blessed with, he delivers a sound that will remind you of a young BB King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, or even Little Johnny Taylor.
Michael A. Benjamin, aka Alabama Mike was born January 31, 1964 in Talladega, Alabama. He, along with 6 siblings were, influenced by the gospel singing of his father.  Early on, his father encouraged the family to begin singing in the church choir.  Alabama Mike was the only sibling who decided to pursue and develop his vocal talent.  In 1983, he moved to California via a military hitch in the U.S. Navy which ultimately landed him in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Several years down the road, as he soaked up all that he could learn from his extensive blues record collection, local blues acts and other popular associates in the blues community, he started performing.  His first professional blues performance was in 1999.  From there, he was fortunate enough to form a record label, Jukehouse Records, working with Scott Silveira as co-founder.  From this label, his first record, “DAY TO DAY” was released.  This record was his official break-thru into the blues music scene.

Domestically and internationally known for his first rate tenor’ vocals and his witty plus ingenious song writing skills, he then followed with his sophomore offering in 2011 which he entitled “TAILOR MADE BLUES”.  Much fuss was caused around this record.  It garnered five star reviews in all the major blues magazines and received heavy airplay worldwide.
His band includes Anthony Paule (Guitar), Scot Brenton (Guitar/Harmonica), Kedar Roy (Bass), and Paul Revelli (Drums).  He recently formed a acoustic blues-trio calling the The Hound Kings, which includes himself, A. Paule and W.S. Brenton. The Hound Kings released their debut CD May 2013 titled “UNLEASHED”. The Hound Kings new release UNLEASHED CD was nominated by The Blues Foundation for a 2014 Blues Music Award in the Acoustic Album category. Alabama Mike performed at the 2014 Blues Music Awards with The Hound Kings and was rated one of the Top Ten Highlights of the show by the Blues Foundation.
Alabama Mike has shared the stage with such blues greats as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Steve Freund, Bobby Rush, Johnny Rawls, Fillmore Slim, R. J. Mischo, DeWayne Wiggins, Willie (Big Eyes) Smith and so many others.  He has also played several national festivals and concerts including the Poconos Blues Festival, Reno Blues Festival, among others and has toured internationally.
He has been recognized and previously awarded :
  • 2010 Blues New Artist Of The Year ~ Bay Area Blues Society
  • 2010 Nominee Blues Blast Magazine ~ Best New Artist Debut Recording
  • 2011 Nominee Blues Foundation ~ Category: Blues Music Award Traditional Blues ~ Male Artist Of The Year
Alabama Mike’s most recent 2016 release of blues/soul original compositions titled, “UPSET THE STATUS QUO”, already has blues lovers and listeners clamoring to get a copy.  “UPSET THE STATUS QUO” is his third solo project which was produced by Kid Anderson of Greaseland Music Services, San Francisco.  This body of work features the likes of Jim Pugh who played with Robert Cray for 25 years and before then played with Etta James’ and
Otis Rush’s bands on organ and piano.  In addition, Jerry Jemmott who played bass in King Curtis’ band in the 60’s, and they played on most of the Aretha Franklin, BB King, Freddie King and Otis Rush records during the 60″s time period.  There is also a host of other fine local bay area veteran blues artist featured such as Lil Jonny Lawton, Aki Kumar, Sid Morris, Kedar Roy, Robert Welsh and many others are accompanying him on the new release.

 

 

 

face book twitter myspace
friendfeed youtube Ning