I met Mike Aiken, via email, back in 2007 when he’d released Just Add Salt. He was as Jimmy Buffett once suggested “living his life like a song” staying aboard a sailboat, stopping at various ports, playing shows and occasionally cutting a new record.
My son-in-law, Scott Stone, and I were both fans of Buffett and liked artists who concocted tales played out in the sun and sand so we started listening to Mike. Fast forward to 2018, and another friend Mark Pucci, with Mark Pucci Media, is currently running publicity for Mike so everything fell into place when his latest CD Wayward Troubadour landed on my desk.
Mike is well traveled having sailed over 30,000 bluewater miles on his own sailboats and has performed from coast to coast in North America and Europe. Wayward, by definition, is unpredictable and Mike knew it would have to be that and more after his last release Captains & Cowboys was Grammy nominated.
“I had a very clear sound in my head for this album, one I’ve always wanted to capture,” Mike said. “At this point in my career I choose to work with folks who believe in the music 110%. These are the folks I want to write, record and perform with.”
He put together a band on a mission — David Roe on bass (Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash), Kenny Vaughan on electric and acoustic guitars (Marty Stuart), and guest writers/ vocalists Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk, Henry Paul Band) and Chris P James (Burrito Brothers). Other musicians on the sessions are Aiken’s wife, Amy - vocals, rubboard, African gourd, congas, tambourine and assorted noisemakers; Tom Hurst – drums; Michael Webb - Hammond B3 organ; Ben Probus – fiddle; Skip DeRupa - guiro, jaw harp; Randall Thomas - background vocals; and Tim Buppert - guest vocals.
This is great Americana roots blues music that will have you toe-tapping and swinging out to sea.