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About Mike

I am a bullet point kind of guy so here's the deal:

 

  • I am very grateful to be able to play, write and record music for a living.
  • I only cover songs that I like and can perform in my own style.
  • I have no interest in covering other people's music, trying to sound like them.
  • I record all of my backing tracks one instrument at a time. No sequencing or downloading anything, ever. 
  • Although I don't always choose to use them, using my customized backing tracks allows me a much greater range of live energy performance. 
  • I'm very grateful to have been booked as often as I have. I've played everything from street festivals to clubs, private shows, corporate shows, leadership conferences, book release events.
  • I've had the great honor of playing at John O'Leary's St. Louis events over the past 5 years. Recently I had the honor of performing at John's event at the Sheldon Theatre. 
  • I am grateful to call John O'Leary my friend and look forward to being interviewed for his wildy popular podcast. Stay tuned in 2018.
  • Things I like: Real instruments played by real musicians, Adriana's on The Hill, chocolate covered almonds, ice cream, the truth, a good nap, iced tea, tator chips, golf, tennis, St. Louie Blues Hockey, America, polite and respectful people, seeing my wife and kids smile and laugh...
  • Things I Do Not Like: PC Culture, drunk idiots, rude people, when the Blues lose, when I am out of chocolate covered almonds, taking breaks at my shows, writer's block, virtue signaling, faux outrage...

 That is enough about me for now. Now read about my friend...

 282

A lot of people have asked what the “282″ on my guitar strap is all about so here it is…

282 is the badge number for the late law enforcement officer Tom “Fritz” Ballman. Tom was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 7th, 2008 in the tragic and senseless Kirkwood City Hall shootings.

I am proud to say that Tom Ballman was my friend. We had gone to school together since 6th grade. The very first time I ever performed music in front of anyone was in Tom’s basement during a party he hosted in 8th grade. I remember Tom being so supportive and enthusiastic about us performing at his party despite the fact that we were just starting to learn our instruments and were not very proficient, to say the least. We were brutal, yet Tom was always complimenting us. I will never forget that. I wear my “282″ strap as a way of making sure that Tom is never forgotten. Folks always come up to me at shows and ask what the 282 means and I get the pleasure of telling them all about a guy who was worth talking about. Tom “Fritz” Ballman will never be forgotten.

Tom’s wife, Cindy, has established “The Fritz Foundation” as a way of keeping Tom’s memory alive and continuing his life’s work of helping others. Please visit www.thefritzfoundation.org for more information.

Growth, Peace & Gratitude,

Mike