Mikey Ohlin
Mikey Ohlin profile pic
Genres
Rock, Indie
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Website
http://www.mikeyohli...
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Mikey Ohlin

Onstage, Mikey Ohlin becomes both a lion and a lamb.

Born and raised in Texas, Mikey Ohlin's music takes you on a journey to the Southwestern landscapes of Americana. Listening to his first full length, home-recorded album, Gypsy Witch Jeweler, you get a sense that the years of big sky, and dust blown plains he's called home have lent to his songs their sunburned grit and lonesome voice.

Expertly alternating the melodies of trembling, vulnerable verses with vehement choruses that swell into a howl; he breaks to drop and fade into the outro with a crumbling falsetto. It is as effortless as it is blatantly on display for all to bear witness - the violence of his conviction that you will not soon forget.

Discography

  • Discography Entry

Members

  • Mikey Ohlin
    Pic of Mikey Ohlin
    Role / Instrument:
    Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Bass, Bucket Drums, Harmonies, Percussion, Production and Effects
    Influences:
    Punk Rock, American Hardcore, Delta Blues, Folk, Soul, Americana, Rock and Roll, Bluegrass
    Favorite Bands:
    Otis Redding, TSOL, Agent Orange, Towns Van Zandt, Captain Beefheart, Todd Snider, Son House, Ralph Stanley, Monsters of Folk, Iron and Wine,
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Media

Photographs

  • Portrait by Brett Birdsong Photography
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Press

RAW:Tulsa alternative folk rock musician Mikey Ohlin's sound is gritty, glutted with distorted vocals and howls heavy enough to pull you in and then way, way down to where his harrowing emotive songs are felt the hardest. Hey, where's the whiskey? Ohlin speaks with us about his music. "I've always been into singing, reading and writing poetry," recalls Ohlin, "but I didn't actually start wanting to learn how to play until probably '05 or '06, when I broke my femur riding dirt bikes. I was laid up in bed for a good bit, had a guitar and a radio, so I guess I just started trying to play along." "Musically speaking, I am self 100% taught [...] I'm sure my approach is much more elementary and simple than someone who is more formally educated. In a lot of the -- nowadays considered -- standards and classics, those recordings were approached with what would be considered today, very simple techniques and equipment. That's what I use. Very simple techniques and equipment." Tracks like Ohlin's "Reclaimed by the Sea" and "Wrapped Around Her Finger" infuse traditional blues and folk styles and, spurred on by his fiery bellows, have incredible force. How does he describe his sound? "I would say experimental roots," says Ohlin. "You know, folk and blues elements, and not experimental in the sense that say, I'm going to blow up a car to get that sound on tape, but just that, in the moment, there are a lot of unexpected or should I say, planned, elements that surface, and often times those are my favorites, so I keep them." "There is definitely some old school punk rock spirit in my music, in that I don't like to hold back. Punk rock was that way for me and still is. It's not the anti-establishment part I'm talking about, but the energy behind it. The 'no punches pulled' part. Then there are the blues and folk sides of me. I just really enjoy the honesty behind that music." And that might just be the secret behind the potency of his tunes -- the honesty. After all, you can't just disingenuously sing things like "In the end ... we are all reclaimed by the sea," not mean it, and get away with it. No, Ohlin sort of takes you to a dark place with him, makes you hang out there and feel it all. "The driving force in my life is that I do it regardless. I've tried to quit. I can't. If I get a song in my head, if I don't at least write it down or hum the melody into my little phone recorder, I literally can't sleep. It sucks, but it's also really damn rewarding, so I've let it take the wheel." You can find Ohlin's latest album "Gypsy Witch Jeweler" on iTunes, Amazon, his web site, and Bandcamp.com

— Vy Pham, Rawartists.org (Mar 28, 2013)

"...the grittier "Wrapped Around Her Finger" starts out in Black Keys mode before running right past it and jumping into Zeppelin territory."

— G.K. Hizer, Urban Tulsa Weekly (Feb 6, 2013)

"[Mikey Ohlin] is quickly becoming one of our favorite artists."

— OklaVision (Jan 14, 2013)

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Gigography