a man and his guitar

Mike Stewart-Lawrence

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Hello there!

Music has had a strong influence on my life, especially the guitar - as shown by my ever growing guitar collection.   They say music can touch your soul and that is certainly the case for me - whether electric or acoustic, I love (and play) them all.  

It seemed only natural that I would start to write music and perform.  In the late 60's and early 70's I was lead singer and lead guitarist with Birmingham rock band "The Phantoms". When the band parted ways, I continued to get my guitar fix whilst playing with several rock and blues bands.

Those were the days! Playing 7 nights a week, sometimes twice in one night, I was getting through a Fender Stratocaster every three months or so and living out of an old Austin van which seemed to breakdown almost every day.  It's amazing I'm still in one piece!

I took a short break from playing in bands (although never from playing the guitar and songwriting) to go back to college and became a psychologist - it seemed like a good idea at the time! But music would always be my first love and it wasn't long before I formed my own acoustic band "Cenotaph Corner" with fellow singer Louise Heslop and guitarist Lindsay Warren.  It was a great opportunity to play my own music and songs, and we produced 4 successful albums, one of which "Ups and Downs" was produced by folk singer and good friend John Golding.

It was a fabulous experience - I love the acoustic guitar but I could hear the electric guitar calling to me and knew it was time for a change.  Two more bands followed - rock bands "Midnite Blue" and "Out of the Storm". Storm has the dubious honour of being the only band ever to be told to "turn it down" at The Railway in Birmingham. Playing in this band was my good friend Mike Beard who is now the keyboard player with "Union Gap" ("Young Girl"). Mike also played keyboards for me on my third solo album "Blue Skies from now on".

Even after all these years, music still remains my one true love and I finally found my sound - not rock, not country, not blues, but possibly a combination of them all and more, creating my own unique music.  I established my own music label and recording studio where I now produce all my albums.

I am privileged to have two bands, one in the USA and one over here. My English band line-up includes drummer Roger Allen, guitarist Steve Franklin, bassist Stuart Jeffs, and backing vocalist Louise Purser (nee Heslop) - all talented musicians in their own right and people I am proud to call my friends.

Originally from Skipton, Yorkshire, I now live in Solihull with my two German Shepherd dogs (mucky, wet, soggy, sticky up eared furry bath buns!). I fondly imagine that I am looking after them, but I suspect the dogs know the truth!!

     Mike  :[: