Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Band Bio

Louisiana native Mike Dean's songs continue to give us a glimpse into the places and people around him.  Longtime bass player and friend Buck Verret puts it this way: "Nothing fancy, no gimmicks.  Just words and music from a man who has been there and done that.  When we have a show to do we plug in and get to work."  His original songs have become trademarks, bringing a host of fans locally and across the globe.  Live shows feature mostly Dean's works, with the occasional influential cover.  When discussing influences, he says "It's a deep well.  It feels like I've done a million shows by myself.  Some of these bars (playing) four hours it's just me and the acoustic guitar, and it feels like one long song.  When you strip a song down to it's bones, down to the chords and the lyrics, it's easy to see how they all come from the same place.  Don't matter if it's a Springsteen or a Waylon song, Tom Petty or George Jones, or one of mine, three chords and the truth is as far as you can fall."   Dean and his band (Buck Verret on bass, Travis Domingue on drums, Ken Veron and Brian Marshall on electric guitars, and Jason Valdetero on piano) have been regulars in the Acadiana music scene for over 10 years.   2012 marked the release of their 4th studio album, Middle Ground.  Dean's smoky vocals and distinctive phrasing are the common thread that Louisiana locals have come to expect from his projects. Fellow Lafayette troubadour Dege Legg once described Dean and the gang as "George Jones meets Crazy Horse."
Their energetic live shows fuse honky tonk with rock n roll, reminiscent of a roadhouse existence.  When asked about what's next, he again mentions a well known New Jersey songwriter: "I'm doing it, man.  Like the song (Badlands) says 'Talk about a dream, try to make it real.  Don't waste your time waiting.' I live with highs and lows, but this is what I do.  And I'm not waiting for anyone to tell me I can or I can't."
 In March 2015,  Dean self-released a complication album featuring fan favorites from the first 4 studio albums titled Muster.  A Live album and new studio album are on the horizon for 2016.

2015 Shows

10- Antler's in Broussard, La. (Solo-acoustic)- 6pm
11- Private Function
12- Silver Slipper- (solo-acoustic) - Leonville, La.- 6:30

For booking information please contact mikedeanla(at)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10,000 hours

       Reading up on the 10,000 hours of practice theory.  I think the book is titled Outliers.  The author's research suggests that those who have mastered a craft have put in 10,000 hours of practice, as opposed to those who are ok at the craft, who have practiced for around 4,000 hours.  And you don't have to posess a natural talent.  Just have to put the work in.  And what he found was those who put the 10,000 hours in enjoyed the practice.  It wasn't always a sacrifice.  That old saying "the harder I work, the luckier I get."  I get it.  3 hours a day for 10 years gives you 10,080 hours.  2 hours a day takes 15 years.  1 hour a day- 30 years.  Not a long time.  It's a fair trade if you ask me.  So just think about what you can accomplish if you start something new today.  In a couple years you'll be pretty good.  In 5 years you'll be damn good.  In 10 years you'll be one on the best.  My wife and I planted a Maple tree when we bought our house in 2012.  It was a twig.  It's now a nice sized tree, providing a little shade.  The birds land in it.  The cats climb it.  Before there was nothing.  I can't wait to see it at 10 years.  Glad we planted it.
       Interesting lately- Will it make the boat go faster?  A boat racing team years ago, English I think, were training for a race 4 years down the road.  Every decision they made for the next 4 years was prefaced by the question- Will it make the boat go faster?  In other words, before doing something, they'd ask- will this help us win?  If not, they didn't do it.  If so, they did.  They won.
       Podcasts have me these days.  Listen to people who are good at something talk about how and why they became good at something.  Or they tell stories.  I dig stories.  Tim Ferriss has a good one, the Spartan Up! Podcast is great, Soda Jerker on songwriting is nice, straight out of Liverpooooooool, and my favorite- by Otis Gibbs is called Thanks for Giving a Damn.
       Did you know the Mississippi River will one day turn? Probably take over the Atchafalaya.  It's held back now by locks and damns and levees.  But Mother Nature has way more time than we do.  Read all about that here:
       I'll be writing here more often.  According to the clicker here in the layout page, this site gets about 1000 views a month.  Which means most of you are checking this out but not giving me any feedback, which sucks.  Shoot me an email, follow me on Twitter and say hey.  Don't just be a creeper.  I like talking shop.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

From there to here...a short memoir.

In 1997 I met Buck Verret. We were stuck working a hot, tough job together.  We shared a love and rare devout interest in country music and it's characters.  Back then, country radio was pretty good.  Alan Jackson, young Gary Alan, Wade Hayes, Sammy Kershaw, Mark Chesnutt, guys like that.  George Jones even had a hit with "Choices".  Probably his last one.  It was the death rattle of country radio.  There's been the occasional gem since (Long Black Train by Josh Turner----what a song).  But Waylon and Willie were our favorites.  We were smart enough to go backwards.  Find out who whoever you're listening to listened to, and who he listened to, keep going.  Eventually you get to the blues.  Then work your way back and you find the guys under the radar.  Then do it again.  Digging.  We buried ourselves in it.  Buck knew all the chords and he wrote em down on a piece of paper for me.  I started learning chords and singing songs, mostly country stuff.  It wasn't long til I started playing solo gigs around town and Opry style shows here and in Texas.  I even won a talent search in Texas. At the same time I was breaking myself into performing, I was writing songs.  I went back to college,  skipped class and slept most of the day, while writing all night, every night for a few years.  In a rare class appearance I met guitar player Ken Veron, and we started playing A LOT.  He encouraged my originals.  He introduced me to other songwriters and musicians around Lafayette.  In 2004 we put together a cd.  We just went in a makeshift studio and threw 11 of my originals down.  When I put it out there a couple of local djs picked up on it and really liked it.  They started squeezing it in on the air when they could.  This sparked a buzz locally and more people started coming to the shows.  The djs I mentioned even played it for a couple of their contacts in Nashville.  A rep from Sony liked what he heard and he brought an A&R lady to a show.  It wasnt like what you see in the movies.  She stayed the whole show and was very nice, but left without any further interest.  I kind of figured that was that.  That was my shot and I missed.  Some people never get a shot.  This all happened really fast.....And then it got really quiet.......... I continued writing and releasing albums.  2006 the band and I recorded live in the studio.  Whiskey Brown came out of that session.  In 2008 I released a song called 7 and 7 that has become a local favorite. In 2012 I released an album called Middle Ground, filled with songs that I wrote on a short stint in Nashville.  Looking back I wasn't ready to play for reps from Sony.  It would've been a disaster if I'd gotten a deal.  It's a long long road from there to here.  I've been marinating in the bars and on the highway ever since.  I don't have any feelings left to hurt. People come in and out of your life because of music.  I've worked every job you can think of, but as soon as a job gets in the way of music I'm out of there.   I just keep doing all I know to do: writing, recording, and playing.  That is all there matter the level of success.  My love for this craft gets deeper as I get older.  We just bought a new van...... See ya down the road.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Whiskey Brown

My song Whiskey Brown inspired a race horse owner/trainer to give one of her colts the same name. He has moved on, and life seems to have imitated art.  Here's the article:

I've heard different stories on how songs of mine have inspired people in various ways.  Maybe I'll share them all here in a later post.  There is no way to express how humbling or beautiful this is to me.  Late one night in some apartment or rent house somewhere I pulled a story from the back of my mind and put it to melody.  Then it goes on to a life of its own.  I am thankful that I saw a Merle Haggard interview when I was very young.  He mentioned that singers come and go, but songs last forever.  I'm thankful for the gift of writing and to all of you who are influenced in some way by these songs. I hope there are many more to come. Thank you.