Mike Munson - Slide Guitar Player and Evangelist for the Blues
Mike Munson has established himself as an adept slide guitar player and a member of the next generation of bluesmen to carry on a tradition some feared was dying out. With his fourth release, Rose Hill (2018) Munson traced the tradition to its roots, recording at the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, MN on the Blue Front Record label.
Throughout his career Munson has continually sought out teachers and mentors, most significantly, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, the renowned owner of the oldest juke joint in North America, the Blue Front Cafe. Holmes is one of the last in a musical lineage referred to as the Bentonia Bluesmen who have made a name for the haunting and ethereal minor tunings used in this region of the state. The style and its purveyors have long captured the attention of Munson who has made many pilgrimages to the home state of the myriad of players who have influenced him, including Fred McDowell, Jack Owens and Jessie Mae Hemphill.
Munson has thrived under the mentorship of Holmes, building a body of work that blends his Midwestern roots with his Mississippi travels. From sad and somber slow tunes to swampy, caterwauling stompers, his music is a master class in creative blues composition and performance, often dark and heavy, yet lyrically compelling and altogether danceable. He never loses sight of his artform or the music’s roots while finding a voice that is distinctively his own.