Mike Aiken and I have known each other for many years. Most recently, Mike has been penning a column for Americana Rhythm called On The Road. What I find fascinating, and what I think many people don’t know about Mike, is that a good percentage of His life is, and has been, spent living on a boat. So we thought it would be fun to explore that life and it’s influence on his music.
Mike said he started out like many musicians, playing and touring in cover bands. However it took. what he calls, an “inner battle,” to set a new life course in motion. For Mike, the battle was over the “love of music, and the love of the ocean.”
“At one point, for the type of sailing I wanted to do,” Mike told me, “I had to resign from the band I was in. We put together a boat and set out to cross the oceans. I thought, ‘well, that’s going to be the end of my music career.”
Mike and his wife Amy left from Lake Eire, down the Erie Cannel, and out the Hudson River to the Atlantic Ocean. “We went down the Canadian Maritime, south,” he said. “The Music scene is so good in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, so we got immersed in that for a whole year. We went on to the Azores, and then mainland Portugal where we were based out of Spain for about three years. We moved on to Antigua for a few years, and then the Caribbean.”
Deep down, he really wondered if he had made the right move. “But the way it turned out,” he recalls, “it was the best move for my music; to disappear a little bit. It gave me a ton of time to write, and a ton of influence.”
Mike’s music today is seasoned with the salts of all those adventures, and filled with stories – not made up ones, but stories he and Amy have lived and experienced.
Check out Mike’s brand new CD, (his 7th) Wayward Troubadour. Mike blends his cool cowboy persona with his maritime lifestyle to paint up a delightfully fun summer time feel on this new project. No doubt, this will deliver a big dose of happy to all who listen.
Want to know more? Check out our expanded conversation with Mike on our podcast, Americana Music Profiles.
written by Greg Tutwiler