i keep putting off that Artist Spotlight i've been planning for Mike McClure, but to get some more of his music out to you guys, i'll highlight a couple of covers he regularly does. Both are covers of legendary artists and show both ends of the spectrum of Mike's style.
i consider Mike one the best songwriters around today. This may come as a surprise to some of you, only because you've never heard of him. But i've known about his poetic way with words since about '98 - back with The Great Divide. I didn't realize the genious in him until his first solo effort, Twelve Pieces, came out in '02. People who are great songwriters (and often know they are) normally have a hard time doing cover songs - if they do, they choose very wisely. That's exactly the case here with Mike. From the multitude of McClure bootlegs i've come across, i know he's a huge fan of Van Morrison. He finally put a cover of a Van song on an album with Into The Mystic on Camelot Falling:
Cover: Mike McClure Band - Into The Mystic
buy Camelot Falling (2005)
Mike (and band) stay very true to Van The Man's version with this cover - from the acoustic intro, to the unmistakable bassline, and even the heartfelt vocals when the chorus builds. A perfect example of if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Uncovered: Van Morrison - Into The Mystic <------ copyright issues...
buy Moondance (1970)
Most of the tracks i've posted from Mike show his singer-songwriter side, but if you have ever caught a concert of his, you know that's not all there is. Mike is a dork for 80's rock and when he plays live, he lets that kid in him that always dreamed of being in a hair-metal band come out - extended solos and amped up guitars. Mike was the frontman as well as lead guitarist for The Great Divide. When he first formed The Mike McClure Band in '03, he employed the help of lead-guitarist Rodney Pyeatt (former member of Selena's band). This bootleg is from a show when Pyeatt was still with the band, but Mike eventually felt the need to rip up solo's on his own again. The Mike McClure Band is currently a 3-piece (Mike, bassist Tom Skinner, and Eric Hansen on drums).
Cover: Mike McClure Band - Rockin' In The Free World (live)
A staple of his live (full band) shows, Mike gives Rockin' In The Free World a little twist both musically and by throwing in some slightly altered lines of his own.
Uncovered: Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World
buy Freedom (1989)