ARTIST NAME: Mike Goudreau
SONG TITLE: Tell Mama I’m OK
ALBUM TITLE: Acoustic Sessions
RELEASE DATE: February 15th, 2019
Born in 1965 in Newport, Vermont into a musical family with an English mother and a French-Canadian father, Mike Goudreau picked up his first guitar at age 14 and hasn’t stopped playing since.
His early influences included the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and later, Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Powder Blues, and Downchild – to name a few. Such diverse interests help to explain why Mike is comfortable in so many musical genres, especially jazz and blues.
Since 2007, Mike’s songs have been heard on hundreds of network TV shows and films, such as the Universal Pictures film ”Dark Waters” (in theaters November 22, 2019), the Hollywood film ”The Banker”, starring Samuel Jackson (in theaters in 2020), City On The Hill (Showtime), The Flash (CW), The Neighborhood (CBS), NCIS Los Angeles (CBS), Chicago PD (NBC), Shameless (Showtime), Life In Pieces (CBS), Bloodline ( Netflix), Gotham (FOX), the Hollywood film “Passengers” (2016), the TV movie North Pole (Hallmark Channel), The Fosters (ABC Family), Defiance (FX), Hung (HBO), Memphis Beat (TNT), Friday Night Lights (ABC), Let’s Make A Deal (CBS), Scoundrels (ABC), Justified (FX), George Lopez Show (TBS), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC ), Army Wives (Lifetime), Kath & Kim (NBC), Auction Kings (Discovery), Oddities (Discovery), Duck Dynasty (Discovery) and Everybody hates Chris (CW) just to name a few.
Mike is also highly in demand as a sideman and has backed up many international artists such as harmonica legend Lee Oskar, Garou, Roch Voisine, Corneille, Robert Charlebois, John Primer, Diunna Greenleaf, John Hammond, Linda ”Chocolate Thunder” Rodney, and the Prime Minister of the Blues Dutch Mason just to name a few and he has toured in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, USA, Mexico, and Eastern Canada.
When asked why he plays both jazz and blues Mike replies: “I get bored doing just one type of music. I love jazz for its beautiful melodies, chords, and improvisation. I love blues for its energy, soul, and milking its three-chord structure. I enjoy playing rock ‘n roll too. But no matter what music I play it must SWING.
Mike’s produced 20 Albums (1994-2019)
In the early 90s, Mike formed the Boppin Blues Band. Taking its name (and some of its style) from Vancouver’s Powder Blues Band, the BBB blew into the Canadian music scene with their first independently produced CD in 1994 and since then, Mike’s produced a total of 20 albums and more than 150 other songs in various genres for his ever-growing Film/TV and Advertising licensing partners.
Acoustic Sessions (2019) For this project, Mike revisits his musical roots with an all-acoustic themed soundtrack that features various influences from the past 30 years of being a professional musician, producer, and songwriter.
Comprised of 10 brand new original songs and 4 revamped compositions, this recording showcases the versatility and eclecticism of the Townships musician. With instrumentation that includes acoustic guitars, upright bass, Dobro slide guitar, banjo, harmonica, cello, drums & percussions and accordion, this delightful organic blend of Blues, Americana, Country, Gospel, Singer/Songwriter and even a Manouche Jazz inspired song displays the many musical influences that Goudreau grew up listening to.
Alternate Takes – Vol 1 (2018) Mike Goudreau presents his 19th album: “Alternate Takes – Vol 1”. A collection of unreleased and reworked original tracks that were recorded and produced in various studios between 1999 and 2017. Most of these songs were produced mainly for licensing on network TV and film projects for the many TV/Film contacts Mike has made in the USA, UK, and Europe since 2007.
This recording features 16 tracks in a wide variety of Blues stylings: Blues Rock, Country Blues, Swing, Funk, Jazz, Chicago Blues, Boogie Woogie, Reggae, and even a Manouche Swing inspired song! Accompanied by a great line-up of musicians and long-time collaborators help make this album a great showcase of the many eclectic musical genres and influences of Goudreau in numerous variations of the Blue note!
Sweet Blues (2016) Mike Goudreau & The Boppin Band present their 6th release (This being Mike’s 18th album since 1993).
Now in their 25th year of performing and recording their brand of blues, this album features a dynamic mix of Swing, Rock, Soul, Gospel, and Jazzy Blues that they have become well known for with accolades from their peers as well as blues media and aficionados!
12 brand new original songs, all written and sung by guitarist Mike Goudreau who’s accompanied by an all-star band featuring the stellar horns of tenor saxophonist Dany Roy and trumpet player and arranger Maxime St-Pierre.
Also, onboard is legendary bassist Norman Lachapelle, pianist John Sadowy, drummer Alain Bourgeois, bass trombonist Olivier Lizotte, organist, and co-songwriter Lorrie Goodman and keyboardist Steve Soucy.
Recorded and mixed by one of Canada’s top recording engineers Dany Legendre and mastered by Steve Corrao in Nashville, Tennessee, this album will keep blues fans swinging and snapping their fingers from track one to twelve! Get ready to Bop Till You Drop!
Je reste accroché (2015) Mike Goudreau presents his 17th album: “Je reste accroché,” featuring 12 new original songs, 11 of which are sung in French!
With “Je reste accroché,” you’ll discover a good-timing mix of contemporary Blues and traditional Blues with diverse influences: Chicago Blues, Swing, Jazz, Rock, R&B, Country, and even Reggae!
His 16th album, “T.G.I.F.” (Thank God It’s Friday), comprising 12 new compositions from the Eastern Townships blues and jazzman.
For the occasion, Goudreau sings, plays bass, guitars, and 6-string banjo, as well as being the composer and writer on all 12 tracks.
He’s accompanied by long-time cronies, brilliant saxophonist Dany Roy (Garou, Bet.e & Stef, Susie Arioli), Maxime St Pierre on trumpet (Michel Cusson, Alain Caron, Pagliaro ), Serge Arsenault on trombone, Stéphane Jetté on drums and the fleet-fingered Nino Fabi on keyboards.
Time For Messin’ Around (2013) the 15th album for Mike Goudreau, comprising 11 songs with 8 new compositions and 3 covers from the Eastern Townships blues and jazzman.
For the occasion, Goudreau is accompanied by long-time cronies Jonathan-Guillaume Boudreau on bass, Jean-François Bégin on drums, and the saxophonist David Élias on one song.
Also appearing as a special guest is Pascal “Per’’ Veillette, a unique and talented harmonicist who brings a particular exotic flair with his participation in two songs. This is a “party” vibe album, with the first track that sets the tone immediately, right on to the last one. A few funk rhythms, Texas shuffle, country blues, blues rock, Southern rock vibes that’ll make you want to dance your blues away! Also, a sizzling authentic and soulful slow blues sung “en Français”, which has been one of Mike’s trademarks for the past 20 years and counting.
20 Years of Bop & Blues (2012) with Mike Goudreau & The Boppin Blues Band: The album features 13 new original songs ranging from swinging to funky, from New Orleans to blues-rock, with some southern soul & gospel thrown in for good measure! This latest Boppin’ offering features Mike Goudreau on vocals and guitar, Jonathan Boudreau on bass, Jean-François Bégin on drums, David Élias on tenor and baritone sax, Serge Arsenault on trombone, and Maxime St-Pierre on trumpet. The BBB is joined by guests Lorrie Goodman on the B3 organ, and special guest Pierre Lacocque, of the Chicago band Mississippi Heat, on harmonica.
Live at The Haskell Opera House (2011) recorded live at this one of a kind venue which was inaugurated in 1903, the Haskell Opera House is situated on the border of Mike’s hometown of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby-Line Vermont. Mike with his long-time cronies play a mix of Jazz standards as well as a few blues favorites and some original compositions.
Dancing Shoes (2011); Mike with organist Lorrie Goodman form ” The Goodmen Band ” with drummer Stéphane Jetté. The album features a great mix of Blues, Funk, Southern Soul, New Orleans, and Jazzy original material which was well received by blues media and fans alike.
Look for The Sunshine (2010); 17 tracks featuring 12 brand new original songs and 5 jazz classics, not to mention one song in French, ”La Gentille Fille,” co-written with Michel Aubin. Whether it’s a Sinatra-style crooner, groovy instrumental, dreamy bossa-nova, romantic ballad, New Orleans-style Dixieland, or a finger snappin’ blues, everyone from the most particular connoisseur to the jazz newbie will be enchanted with this eclectic mix of jazz.
Blues Et Cetera (2009) with 15 new original songs. The works include various styles and grooves such as reggae, singer/songwriter, rock country, and world music influences as well as Texas, Chicago, funk, and swing blues.
Boppin 15 (2007); 15 cuts with 11 originals and 4 covers. Over the years some of the band members have changed but this album, as with all the previous, still boasts some of the best rhythm and brass musicians in Quebec along with some very special guests including Peter Brown on piano, Didier Dumoutier on accordion, and the great Harmonica Zeke on harmonica.
The Grass Ain’t Greener (2006); Mike moved away from the big band style that characterized the Boppin Blues Band. The Mike Goudreau Band stripped down to guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, and some great wailing harp and slide guitar from Harmonica Zeke. You get a great mix of Rockin, swinging, up-tempo blues – 8 of the 12 songs are originals!
My Favourite Time of The Year (2004) is a sweet, personalized collection of original and classic Christmas tunes featuring silky smooth vocals, great horns, clarinet, piano, cello, and jazzy guitar work guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit.
Thank You, Louis (2002) a tribute to the great Louis Armstrong. It was and still is, very popular in Quebec garnering him numerous interviews with Radio-Canada, CBC Radio/TV, and sell-out live shows.
“Nous avions Rendez-vous” (2001) Mike received a Research and Creation Grant from the Quebec Arts Council and produced ”Nous avions Rendez-vous”, on the Montreal based Bros label …
12 original blues tunes all sung in French! They were invited to the ” Francofolies ” in Montreal as well as a live recording captured by CBC’s ” Silence on Jazz ” broadcast coast to coast.
Stardust Memories (2000) Mike indulged his passion for his other favorite musical genre – jazz – when he released Stardust Memories, a compilation of 14 classics including Route 66, The Lady is a Tramp, and Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.
Happy Go Lucky (1999) with 9 of 13 songs originals. More accolades: Real Blues Magazine called it one of the 5 best CDs of the Year and named the Boppin Blues Band as Best Swing Band and Best Unsigned Band in Canada. It was also nominated by Maple Blues for Best Album.
I Dig My Job (1996) featured mostly original tunes including a couple of en français, which was unique. Real Blues Magazine continued its love affair with the band rating it as one of the 5 best blues CDs in Canada that year and named them Best Group in Eastern Canada for 1996-97.
They were also nominated as Best New Artist at Canada’s Maple Blues Awards in 1997. A California radio station (KKUP FM) placed I Dig My Job in the Top 25 Blues CDs for that year!
Sold Out (1994) with 10 songs running the gamut from solid Chicago blues to jazz-influenced 40s & 50s swing/jump/shuffle and a few country and gospel tunes thrown in for good measure. It showcases superb guitar work and vocals from Mike with a great backline of drums, bass, piano, horns, and harp. Upon hearing it, Andy “Blues Boy” Grigg of Real Blues Magazine called them one of the most talented bands in Canada.
Over the past two decades, Mike has performed at some of the most prestigious Jazz & Blues Festivals in Canada including 10 times at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, 17 times at the Tremblant International Blues Festival, 7 appearances at the Edmundson Jazz and Blues Festival, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Rimouski, 3 times at the Maximum Blues de Carleton, Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Saint John Jazz Festival and Festival by the Sea.
Mike was featured at the ” Playing with Fire ” Blues Festival in Omaha Nebraska accompanied by members of Chicago’s ” Mississippi Heat ” and had raving reviews for their performance.
With well over 450 major concerts under his belt, he’s earned the respect from his peers for his work ethic, love of music, and professionalism.
What some of the blues media have to say about Mike Goudreau:
“A hearty vocalist and effective guitarist who plays snarling tightly wound leads…A highly enjoyable set”
– Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine, USA.
“Listening to his music it almost seems he is searching for the musical Holy Grail but in actuality, he is the musical Holy Grail. He is already there – but he just doesn’t let up on his drive to do more, write better songs, record more, play live more.”
– Sandy Graham – Cashbox Canada
“Du Mike Goudreau en français, cela représente pour moi un style en soi ou la qualité à tous les niveaux s’avère toujours indédiable! Bonne écoute!”
– Pierre Jobin – Québec Audio & Vidéo
“Aussi bon en spectacle que sur disque, Mike Goudreau saura vous faire apprécier un blues savoureux avec un son différent grâce à une excellente section de cuivres. Une fois qu’on commence à écouter du Mike Goudreau, on ne peut plus arrêter, vous aussi direz comme moi, JE RESTE ACCROCHÉ et j’aime ça!”
– Pierre Lamontagne – Le Net Blues
“Je reste accroché , vous propose non pas un remède à la morosité ambiante, mais LE remède miracle pour non seulement effacer vos soucis mais faire briller le soleil dans vos yeux, tant il est rempli de bonnes choses, joué non seulement avec le coeur mais aussi avec l’âme.”
– Arol Rouchon – BCR La Revue, France
“Un titre approprié d’album, puisqu’effectivement on reste accroché par ce blues qui rock et swing en français et qui nous parle de la vraie vie. Ce prolifique auteur-compositeur-guitariste et producteur estrien nous offre un beau mélange de blues contemporain et traditionnel avec des influences: Blues, Swing, Jazz, Rock, R & B, Country et même Reggae. -” Marie-Josée Boucher – Info-Culture.biz
“Mike Goudreau a encore trouvé le moyen de nous surprendre et de nous convaincre qu’il est un indispensable membre de la famille blues du Québec. Il a accompli le tour de force de présenter un album tout en français sans tomber dans les clichés, sans faire folklorique et en gardant l’intérêt de l’auditeur par la variété des styles comme des thèmes abordés. Oui, moi aussi ‘ Je reste accroché”
– Michel Dubois – RUE D’AUTEUIL, CKRL 89.1 Québec
“Well, if Mike Goudreau and his boys were looking for the sunshine with their new album, they certainly found it! Lay the sunscreen heavy ‘cause this one is a real scorcher!”
– Dan Behrman, Producer/Host, Espace Musique / Radio-Canada
“I love Mike’s easy-going, confident approach to music. Backed by sympathetic players, that approach results in a cool effortless swing whatever the groove. He shows his ‘big picture’ love and understanding of the blues in his guitar playing and songwriting. I’m happy to help spread the word by playing his music on CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Blues and on Galaxie.”
– Holger Petersen, host Saturday Night Blues (CBC)
“Goudreau plays lead guitar with the tone and taste of greats like Otis Rush and Albert King, and writes compelling, original songs.”
– Jeremy Loome, Edmonton Sun
“Quality Canadian blues…solid and unpretentious…swings with snappy sincerity and crisp energy”
– Hal Horowitz, Blues Revue Magazine, USA Oct/Nov 2006 Issue
“Undiluted blues from one of the purest players on the Canadian scene”
– Al Kirkcaldy, CFFF 92.7 FM, Peterborough, ON “
“A rockin’, rompin’, stompin’ good time…. solid, creamy, tight, and tasty licks executed with precision and class”
Billie Lucas, CHLY 101.7 FM, Nanaimo BC
“Goudreau is a natural. He leads a great band with exciting original songs that dare you to sit still”
– John Valenteyn, Maple Blues, Toronto Blues Society
“The Grass Ain’t Greener ” est un de ces albums racés qui font figure de référence dans une carrière, aussi riche et chargée soit elle!”
– Fred Delforge, zicazic.com, France
Tell us your name, country of birth, and childhood experience.
Mike Goudreau, born in Newport, Vermont, USA but I have lived most of my life in a small town called Stanstead, Quebec, Canada, situated on the border of Vermont and Quebec.
My dad is a French Canadian and my mom an English Canadian and although we spoke English at home, I attended French school so today I speak (and sing) in English and in French. I started playing guitar when I was 14 and have been a professional musician since I was 17. Today I’m 54.
Tell us how you discover Americana.
My parents listened to Country and Oldies Rock ‘n’ Roll mostly, and I grew up listening to various Roots music so I’ve always been exposed to what you would call Americana.
Brief us your experience creating your first song.
I had been playing in cover bands for about 10 years when I wrote my first song in 1991. It was a Stevie Ray Vaughn influenced Blues Shuffle titled “I Had Me A Woman.”
We put it on our first album with my blues band The Boppin Blues Band, and it was the song that got the most airplay and the best reviews, so it encouraged me to keep writing my own songs from that point on.
List the name of the artists that have influenced you.
Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, BB King, James Taylor, America, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Merle Haggard, ZZ Top, Brian Setzer…Just to name a few.
Discuss the difference between the old school songs and new school songs.
I think old school songs didn’t have gimmicks. It was just a great melody, lyrics that were simple, organic instrumentation, and honest recordings (I mean not doctored up with software like most recordings today) so they had to be tight in the studio to get it right.
Today with the new music business and shorter attention spans of some of the audience, new artists rely on a video presentation, appearance, visual presentation, and especially tons of money for promo and airplay to get the word out to the masses.
Discuss the evolution in the sound of Americana.
Like most modern music, it has added different instrumentation, and sometimes grittier perhaps than it did 10 years ago.
Presentation and promo are the main changes in today’s market to present your music although, with the help of the internet and social media, it’s possible for an independent band to break out.
List the name of your favorite Americana artists and state your reason.
I can’t say that I have a favorite, but I do like Ray Lamontagne, Mumford & Sons, Bob Schneider, and the older influences like The Band, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson.
To be honest, I’m all over the place musically but on this last release, my 20th album ”Acoustic Sessions” I wrote a bunch of Americana themes and influences. I wanted to produce some rootsy music on this one and it was a great experience returning to my roots.
Explain what you understand by Americana genre of music to the best of your knowledge.
To me, it’s a mash-up of Folk, Country, Blues, and Pop.
Discuss Americana in detail.
I think it’s music that many people can identify with, that tells stories about real life and real people with often acoustic and organic sounding instruments.
List the name of Americana’s greatest songwriters and state your reason.
Bob Dylan, The Band, The Band, Ray Lamontagne, Bob Schneider, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Mumford & Sons, Ry Cooder.
Their music just touches me, and they are also great singers and musicians, and songwriters…
List the name of Americana’s greatest artists and state your reason.
I think The Band perhaps, but Ray Lamontagne might be my favorite because I love his voice and his eclectic style and brilliant songwriting, I am not sure he’s actually qualified as an Americana artist but he certainly has songs in the genre.
Tell us how you compose or write lyrics.
I often write when I’m driving. I often start with a subject or a title for a song and elaborate from there.
I don’t have a set method, sometimes songs come to me very quickly and other times it’s over the course of a few hours. I’m never trying to re-invent the wheel, just trying to write lyrics that folks can relate to and cool and groovy music in a simple, honest way. I try to make them as accessible as possible.
I license a lot of music for TV and Film, so I try to keep the themes as universal and general as possible so the songs can be used in a variety of ways in scenes and themes.
Tell us how you make the instrumentation.
I play guitar, bass, banjo, and harmonica, but I have some great collaborators and I try to add the instruments that will enhance each song and reach the audience with that choice of instrumentation, and course, make it fun.
On this last recording, we have a harmonica, banjo, acoustic and resonator guitars, dobro slide, cello, accordion, glockenspiel, upright bass, drums, percussion, and handclaps so it’s got many vibes and nuances.
Brief us on your recording experience in the studio.
I’ve been recording and producing music for 28 years and have recorded many styles of music: Blues, Jazz, Rock, Country, Folk, Christmas, Big Band, French Cabaret, World music, and Americana.
Through the years and working with some great people who taught me the ropes, I have learned how to mix music, produce and organize sessions after literally spending hundreds of hours in the studio.
To date, I’ve produced 20 albums of my own and dozens for other artists. I’ve also written about 350 songs and counting for my licensing and publishing business in multiple genres.
Tell us how you get involved in music.
I always loved singing as a kid and would sing in front of the record player for hours, singing along to my favorite songs.
When I was 15, I had a best friend with who I played hockey and attended school. He played guitar and he taught me my first chords and we practiced together and learned how to sing harmonies and learned many songs. Soon after we were playing in school events and the local community center and it was a great way for a shy kid like me to make friends and help me have greater confidence in myself.
Soon after I started playing in bands and I was consumed with music and wanted to better my playing and singing skills and progress as a musician.
Tell us your gain and loss as an artist.
The gain is doing what you love for a living.
The loss is many things: It’s a difficult way to make a living, especially today since live music is under-appreciated often and underpaid.
It also can be tough on family life if you are too often away from home.
I’ve been very fortunate since I have toured a bit but was able to make a decent living being always close enough to home most of the time.
Tell us the piece of advice you will give to a new artist.
Be versatile, if you can play many styles, you’ll have a better chance of working regularly and you’ll be a better musician, I think. Be honest to yourself that this is a tough business and you’re going to deal with rejection and failure at times despite hard work. Do it because you love it and not just to be a star or to get rich.
Discuss the music industry.
I’ve always been an unsigned independent artist. We have had some help from agents with bookings and cd promo a bit but it’s harder with very little budget for a real promo like with a major label.
In the end, though for myself as an artist it has been a good thing because I manage my career, play live about 150-200 gigs a year, and I’ve been licensing music for network TV shows and a few Films since 2007, via contacts, mostly in the USA, I’ve made through many hours of research and figuring it out on my own.
Today the industry is having difficulty with the hyper-fast development of technology and how it has affected the way people purchase music and it has really changed the way the business works.
Independent musicians are numerous nowadays and some of them have figured out how to have many fans and be successful via social media and other ways as never before. Some independent bands are huge and that just didn’t happen before or rarely.
State your future goal.
My goal is to continue to produce as much music as I can in all the styles I love and have a good knowledge of how to create and produce those genres whether it’s Blues, Americana, Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country, World, etc.
I’m 54 now, so I’m thinking for the future and my plan is to continue working hard to build my library of music and continue to get my songs published and placed on TV, Films, Advertising, etc, to help me generate more revenue so I can produce even more music and hire more musicians too. This could also enable me to play live gigs a little less and keep only the fun and valorizing gigs rather than taking so much more work only because you got to pay those bills!
Discuss the process involved in making this song.
I was visiting my dad last winter in Florida and while driving through the Everglades I had the melody hook and the main idea for a song subject (Tell mama I’m ok).
I wrote it in 15 minutes, it came so fast and I just sang it on my phone while driving. It doesn’t always happen that fast but sometimes the inspiration is there and it’s a beautiful thing! It’s a simple song, not rocket science but I think it can appeal to a lot of folks. Everybody has a mama lol.
Tell us everything we need to know about the song.
It’s a two-step basically with a happy feel-good vibe even though the song lyrically is about a guy who had a break-up and moved away to another city to forget that girl he loved, and this guy is telling a friend to tell his mama he’s ok. In the end, he’s feeling better and on his way to a brand-new day.
There’s a fine dobro slide guitar track from a nice session player from the UK I met online, Toby Wilson, and my regular bandmates Jonathan Boudreau playing upright bass, Jean-François Bégin on drums, and I’m singing and playing acoustic guitar.