Mike Dawes is a 23 year old English virtuoso Fingerstyle guitar player known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument. He is influenced heavily by folk, pop and rock music as well as other fingerstyle players such as Michael Hedges, Pierre Bensusan and Jon Gomm. He has released numerous recordings both independently and with CandyRat Records, notably a viral virtuoso arrangement of Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye that gained over 1.2 million hits in its first week of release. He has received strong critical acclaim from the international press and musical community. He is also lead guitar player for Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues for Justin's USA tours.
Mike began his musical adventure aged four, when his parents introduced him to The Blues Brothers. In his early childhood he experimented with keyboards before picking up his first electric guitar at age twelve. Mike switched to Steel-string acoustic guitar in 2008 but suffered with tendinitis for eight months.
From late 2008 to late 2011 Mike performed hundreds of instrumental concerts at venues and festivals throughout the United Kingdom both solo, and with a Concert harp player. He has performed alongside and shared the bill with a large selection of well known musicians including Seth Lakeman, Tommy Emmanuel and Newton Faulkner. In this time he released an independent EP titled 'Reflections', as well as gaining features on two discs in the AGF (Acoustic Guitar Forum) franchise.
In 2012 Mike signed with Wisconsin based CandyRat Records, the popular guitar label home to many of Mike's influences (Including Andy McKee and Don Ross (guitarist)) He released a unique and technically virtuosic arrangement of Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye on June 19 that went instantly viral, gaining acclaim from the international music community. The likes of MSN News and Reddit all featured him on the front page of their websites. A headline on the US MSN browser spawned a huge influx of American fans whilst Gotye (Walter De Backer himself publicly praised the arrangement in numerous international publications:
It's a really beautiful piece of music. It's wonderfully arranged. It's just a fantastic piece of music. I also like the instrumental interpretation because it gives a different perspective on the musical arrangement. It's not about how somebody's voice transmits the story of the relationship.
Mike's next release was another Candyrat single, this time duel released with an independent collaborative remix featuring Helsinki-based guitarist Petteri Sariola and Adam 'Nolly' Getgood from the US band Periphery. This unique release was typical of Mike's experimental approach to the constantly changing music industry. 10% of the proceeds of all independent releases are currently going to FAB Projects, a Kenyan charity providing Food, Aid and Building in the region. Mike is scheduled to perform the world's first concert at the top of Mount Kenya in August 2013 with FAB Projects, to which he is an ambassador. Other stops on his 2013 tour schedule will see him perform throughout Europe and Asia.
Mike frequently lectures at Universities and specialist Guitar Academies between concerts. His masterclasses cover everything from extended techniques to overcoming and understanding the modern music industry. During summer 2013 he will spend 2 weeks in Turracher Höhe Pass, Austria, teaching alongside fellow percussive guitarists Thomas Leeb and Jon Gomm.
He is currently endorsing Nick Benjamin guitars and plays them exclusively. Mike owns and performs with #100 and #138.