Mike MacKenzie is a Canadian guitarist based out of Calgary, Alberta. He utilizes the guitar in several important aspects of his life, particularly performing, composing, recording and in his job teaching the instrument. Music and the guitar have been a dominating force and compelling passion for the majority of Mike's life and continue to grow in their vitality. He currently focuses most of his time on the development of his solo project, both in the performance and studio domains. Over time he has honed his own sound and voice on the instrument, generally classified as a diverse or progressive form of blues-rock.
Being part of multiple rock groups through the years has helped sculpt Mike's musical identity and fuel his always-increasing need to perform live. In 2006 Mike was accepted into Calgary's Mount Royal University Jazz Performance Program, boosting his musicianship and sealing his fate as a career musician. Under the guidance of a panel of first-rate jazz instructors and performers, he studied there until his graduation in the spring of 2008 and emerged with a well of knowledge he still draws from to this day. Writing and developing music daily, recording at home and staying active with performing groups has fostered a very musical environment which continues to challenge and inspire Mike. The debut Mike MacKenzie album "Natural Causes" was released in October 2014 and features 11 eclectic tracks. Mike wrote, produced and co-mixed the album in addition to performing guitar, bass and vocals, and enlisted some of Calgary's finest musicians to provide the remaining instruments.
His experience on stage and in musical interaction has led him to the desired instrumentation he now employs in his live group, which is himself on electric guitar and vocals with a skilled cast of musicians filling the roles of keyboards, bass and drums. The Mike MacKenzie Band frequently performs all over Western Canada and strives to continually put on dynamic, memorable shows. The blending and breeding of musical styles has continually been at the forefront of Mike's original sound but he has always had a thirst for rock music primarily, so this is what neatly ties everything together. Elements of blues, progressive, jazz, psychedelic and funk will also make their presence known in the concoction that yields their brand. A flexible, capable group with an emphasis on groove and strong delivery, they enjoy playing many types of gigs to new and old fans alike. In addition to the MMB, Mike's other current project is Swamp Music – a tribute to 70's era Lynyrd Skynyrd. He also offers guitar tracks/collaborations for recording projects, able to contribute from his home studio or in person at other studios – send him an email through the Contact Page if interested.
Mike's musical influences include Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Gov't Mule, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Opeth, Randy Rhoads, The Allman Brothers, Al Di Meola, Albert King, ZZ Top, Dire Straits and more.