IN THE DARK featuring Mike Wheeler
It's now 2021, and concert venues have been silent for months. The echoes of cheering fans and loud amplifiers are all that remain in our memories of these once-packed halls.
We're doing what we can to change that. Back in December, we took over a historic Chicago hall, and invited several area musicians to rip it up on stage. No rules- just an empty venue, a camera crew, and the spotlight.
FRET12 proudly presents, the fourth episode of #InTheDark, at Pilsen's legendary Thalia Hall featuring Mike Wheeler - blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Chicago, IL.
Mike was born and raised on Chicago's south side, and remembers being attracted to music at a very young age thanks to his mother playing blues music all around the house. This love for music eventually blossomed into a more serious love for the guitar, where he ended up taking his brother's guitar and learning songs all on his own.
When asked about lessons and learning on his own:
During his teenage years, he began jamming around with other bands. He played his first gig in 1984 with Lovie Lee (Muddy Waters' pianist) at Lilly's, a bar in Chicago's Lincoln Park. This was the launching point that skyrocketed Wheeler's musical career into a long and illustrious one; eventually going on to release 8 studio albums and performing with some of the biggest names in music including Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, Jimmy Johnson, Son Seals, and Willie Kent.
Throughout his career, he has toured Europe, played the Chicago Blues Festival, is a staple performer at the legendary Kingston Mines, and was even inducted into the Chicago Blues Halls of Fame!
Mike's style is known for being bluesy, with a healthy infusion of jazz and funk. His sound lends itself to his powerful style of musical storytelling, along with his skilled singing voice. If you've enjoyed the sounds of players like Carl Weathersby and Jimmy Johnson, you'll find Mike's playing right up your alley as well.
So without further ado, feast your eyes on the one-and-only Mike Wheeler, bringing some of the very best sounds of Chicago blues music to our latest video, on-stage, and in the dark.