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Contact: Northwind Records email | 757-635-0240
HONEST TUNES & TALL TALES
Mike & Amy Aiken’s music definitely has an ocean view. Mike’s vast treasure chest of experiences and mastery of varied stringed instruments have contributed to a catalogue of music that cannot be defined by one genre or style. This Virginia wayward troubadour, songwriter and sea captain may have been born in the wrong century. Aiken has drawn tales – and hope – from trail riders, aging rodeo champs, sea captains, Rastafarians and outlaws, to craft tunes that draw the threads of these independent spirits together. Amy Aiken, Mike’s musical and adventuring partner from stage to sea, brings her own sincerity and personality to the duo, delivering sweet harmony vocals and tasty percussion. Each is a licensed US Coast Guard Captain, has sailed over 30,000 bluewater miles, and logged countless miles on the road performing in North America and Europe. Together they have also logged seven studio albums, one first-round Grammy nomination, #1 and #13 in Europe, five songs Top 25 US charts, in addition to founding the Aiken & Friends Fest, a music festival that benefits youth music education, running since 2005.
“There are hundreds of sailing shanties, and there’s Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” and Jimmy Buffett’s “Take It Back” (the best and perhaps only America’s Cup rooting song). But nobody sings about the nautical life better than Aiken, and this simple ode (Chesapeake) to being on the water explains the appeal.”-Greg Kelly-Sports Illustrated (The Ultimate Play List WHAT ARE THE BEST SPORTS SONGS OF ALL TIME? IT’S TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC)
The current album, Wayward Troubadour (2018), has co-writes with Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk) and shares guitar work with Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart). It follows the first-round Grammy-nominated Captains & Cowboys (2013), produced by Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites).
Mike’s stage setup speaks to the kind of musicality he delivers – acoustic guitars, mandolin, vintage Gretsch Tennessean, Danelectro baritone, harmonica. Amy, whose setup is also unique – snare and hi-hats, congas, rub-board, African gourd and assorted hand percussion. The full band consists of additional band members on upright bass, second guitar, and four-part harmony. Reviews have stated that ‘together they emit an aura of warmth and experience that transfers to the audience.’
Mike & Amy’s love for singing, songwriting and sailing has taken them all over the world. As a songwriter, Mike puts pen to paper and shares his colored and colorful life. As an artist who comes by his stories and Grammy nomination honestly, Aiken has definitely taken his place among well-respected songwriters and musicians.
“The audience hooped and hollered and stomped their feet! “ – Ross Ragland Theater
“His songs might be tales off the beaten path, but he zeroes in on the universal truth clearly and quickly. His storytelling is subtle and he captures the atmosphere perfectly in the world of each song he sings. He sings what he means, and he means what he sings. (And Amy Aiken’s accompanying vocals only make it all sound that much sweeter.)” – G Victor, Parcbench Live
“Mike is something of a floating John Prine crossed with Ry Cooder.” -C. Doane, Sail Magazine
“Dude reminds me of Willie Nelson…and that’s the ultimate compliment.” – M Greenblatt, Aquarian Weekly