Mike Hart is a seasoned professional with enormous talent on the guitar and a romantic singing voice. He is a master of blues, funk, jazz and rock, at ease with nuances as well as the harder edge. He's a versatile and engaging performer with sophisticated talent and broad appeal. His approach to music betrays a fine art background. Most people take "seasoned professional" as a euphemism for "doesn't take chances anymore'. In Hart's case, not so. To Mike, it means having learned the elements of music to express oneself better. "I once heard a story about Howlin' Wolf shinnying up a stage curtain at 55", he says, "I wanna be like that!"
Mike, a prodigious songwriter, produced three critically acclaimed compact discs of original songs; The Bluesy "SHOWDOWN" album, and the more progressive "EVERYBODY"S HUMAN", and more recently, TOO MANY SECRETS.
Under the name of DECOY, he released two albums of original compositions; "Target Area", and "On the Level". Mike Hart has opened for Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.
"Shared the stage with...", sounds a little like "shared the highway with George Washington, Elvis and God", he says, but he's played the Jacksonville Jazz Festival three times along side many excellent musicians including; Tuck and Patti, Ramsey Lewis, Pat Metheny, Harry Connick Jr., Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, The Brecker Brothers, Dizzie Gillespie, George Benson, Richard Elliot, and others. Hart has also played in back-up bands for Percy Sledge, the Coasters, and the Platters.
Hart has had many bands, including "VILANO" and "ANIMAL WISDOM", which played, for lack of a better phrase, "my own brand of Jazz-Rock fusion", knowing that the word "fusion" has lousy connotations for a lot of people. "Weather Report was the only fusion band that lived up to its potential", he says. "ANIMAL WISDOM" played only the music of Mike Hart, and was pretty experimental. Some other bands were, "FIREFLIES", "DECOY" and "MIKE HART and the BONETONES."
Mike Hart offers a large and varied repertoire of songs from the 1,000 or so he's written, to the many interesting tunes he's chosen to cover; always an unexpected treat.
Called a cross between Freddie King, Bob Dylan and Miles Davis, he's not quite like anything you've ever heard, but once you do, you'll become a lifetime fan.
"A real physical power and yet a subtle sophistication at the same time"
- Allen Hood, Skylight Magazine
"compelling hooks and intelligent changes"
- Rick Grant, Southeast Entertainer
"Mike's songs say a lot. He is a master storyteller."
- Carol Elliot, St. Augustine Record
"Mike has a great voice for the Blues, rather rough hewn, like the music itself" - The Audiophile Voice
"Always a tough singer and a white-hot guitarist"
- Arvid Smith, Folio Weekly Magazine
"Honest slices of quirky life pie from the man with a Hart FULL 'o' soul, served up with a side of killin' turquoise 335 & the best mutton chops in the biz..."
- J.D. Foster, played bass for Dwight Yoakam and Patti Griffin, and produced both Marc Ribot & Los Cubanos Postizos albums (among many other projects)
FOR INFORMATION AND BOOKING CALL: 904-824-6035