drums and vocals
Beginning in 1989, with a weekly gig at the famous Wise Fool's Pub in Chicago with legendary blues singer L.C. Walker, Mike Rodbard has been working steadily in the music "biz" since he was eighteen years old. With his hard-swinging shuffles and his dynamic and deep grooves, Mike has continuously played with some of the best musicians in Chicago, and the world.
For more than a decade (2001-2012), Mike was the drummer for the Lonnie Brooks Blues Band, international recording artist for Alligator Records and Blues Hall of Fame inductee. With a vigorous concert schedule, Mike was able to play on some of the greatest stages in the world, including the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival as the headline and closing act.
Other notable concert appearances with Lonnie included the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Telluride Blues Festival, the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, the Bagnols (FR) Blues Festival, the Pistoia (IT) Blues Festival, and the Koh Samui (Thailand) Blues Festival. The band was joined onstage regularly by such greats as Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, Shemekia Copeland, Mavis Staples, George Thorogood, Billy Branch, Kenny Neal, Henry Butler, Jimmie Johnson, Elvin Bishop and countless others.
But wait, there's more...
In 1999, along with bassist Chris Bernhardt and saxophonist Jay Moynihan (Buddy Guy Band from 1999-2006,) Mike co-founded the Chicago band BMR4. Mixing jazz, blues, roots, and funk, BMR4 has developed what can truly be called "the Chicago sound." With Neal Alger on guitar, the group has released 3 albums, and has played countless clubs and festivals, including Chicago's legendary Jazz Showcase, where the band performed John Coltrane's A Love Supreme in its entirety (they also played James Brown and Black Sabbath that night, but that's another story).
Mike's versatility has allowed him to do all kinds of things during his storied career. In the early '90s, Mike spent a few years playing in a Chicago-based zydeco band called Chideco Zydeco, doing nothing but New Orleans music. In 1997, he did his first European tour with singer Jan James and her band, playing flat-out rock and roll. He was part of the House band at Buddy Guy's Legends from 1997-2000. He's played at the infamous CBGB's in New York City.
He's even run away and joined the circus a few times, touring extensively with the Hamid Circus.
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