Mike Shannon got a late start into the world of playing music professionally. It was 1989, he was recently divorced, his construction business went bankrupt, and he had just started playing harmonica. He formed his group, Dan Electro & the Silvertones in Sarasota, Florida and gigged in the Tampa Bay area and Orlando.
Luckily, they were playing mostly Jump Blues and were able to ride the Swing Craze cycle that swept the nation in the 90’s. He put out two CDs, Mr. Smooth in 1997, and Reason to Lie in 1999, both received great reviews from local and national press and brought them better gigs and they played major festivals throughout the Southeast and Eastern Seaboard states.
Mike had the opportunity to jam or work with a lot of great musicians like; Pinetop Perkins, they were his back-up band for the 1995 Sarasota Blues Festival, Brian Setzer joined them on stage at the Atlantic City Ball Room in Orlando for a version of Jump, Jive & Wail, and when the song was finished Brian shouted to the audience, “these guys are players!”, Jeff Healey felt impelled to play a few tunes with his group when he was in the Tampa Bay area for a blues festival, and Brian Johnson from AC/DC asked him to play harp on one of his solo projects. In addition, he has had great musician friends work in his group like Danny and Frankie Toler from D***ie Bett’s Great Southern Band, Matt Epps from Gov’t Mule, and Billy Ashbaugh from N’SYNC. Plus, being from a very rich musical area he has jammed with Gregg Allman, Gary Primich, Lucky Peterson, and Mark Hummel.
Mike immigrated to Europe in June 2001, and after tours to Norway and Italy settled in Barcelona, Spain. He was deeply influenced by an Antonio Gaudi quote, “originality consists of returning to the origin” and so his originals include country, and early rock as well as blues, all flavored by musical memories of the 50’s and 60’s. Over the next several years his group has played many blues festivals and fiestas mayors throughout Spain; Antequera, Córdoba, Cerdanyola, Reus (2 times), Almería, Roses, the Ritmo y Blues festivals in Zaragoza, Tereul, and Huesca, and the fiesta mayor of Manresa.
Mike produced a new CD, January 2008, called What You’re Looking For, with a friend and extraordinary guitarist from Florida who now lives in France, Tom Cat Blake. They recorded in a tiny village studio near Besançon, called Cube Recording with Tom’s rhythm section; Jack Gouré on bass and Stéphane Mignot on drums. His director friend, Freddy Lucas of evenmen.com was so taken by the song, Heart as Cold as Ice, that he insisted they make a music video and used his considerable talent and creativity to make an excellent clip that is included on the new CD.