Mike Munson (MN)
“The only complaint I ever have about his sets is that they come to an end. Mike (the man and musician) exudes quality.” – Ed Hoffman, owner of Ed’s No-Name Bar, Winona, MN
Mike Munson makes his home in Winona, Minnesota, a town sandwiched between the Mississippi River and the bluffs, with train tracks cutting through its middle. Well known for playing outstanding slide guitar blues, the driving rhythms in his songs are reminiscent of the trains that barrel through his neighbourhood. He’s a humble fellow who loves making food and playing guitar and singing. We can vouch that he does the last two very, very well.
Munson’s blues influences include Fred McDowell, Jack Owens, and Jesse Mae Hemphill – who all hailed from areas of rural Mississippi that Munson visits often. (His upcoming album, “Rose Hill”, was recorded in Bentonia, MS at the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi (and owned by fellow 2018 VFMF artist, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes).) From sad and somber slow tunes to swampy, caterwauling stompers, his music is a master class in creative blues composition and performance, lyrically compelling, full of unique turns and twists, yet never losing sight of his art form and the music’s roots.
When not making music, Munson tends a large garden, canning gallons of salsa and hot sauce, and cooking meals for anyone who stops over. He makes regular appearances through the Midwest and is currently working on his third album release, mentioned above, following a debut studio recording and his acclaimed “Live at Ed’s” 2014 release. He was also chosen for a much sought-after NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Word is getting out about Mike Munson. It’s a rare treat to have this “too-good-to-be-true” slide guitar virtuoso at the VFMF. If you know the style, here is a master of the form. If you don’t, come and be amazed.