Mike Goudreau Still Boppin’ the Blues

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Reading the bio on Mike Goudreau’s website it says he was born in Newport, Vermont and that he was raised in Stanstead, Quebec, population 2500. So how did that happen? ‘Years ago, the closest hospital for people to go to was in Newport, so babies were born there and brought home to Quebec. I had a Francophone Dad and an Anglo Mom and ended up with dual citizenship. Pretty cool actually !’

Music was always part of the mosaic in the Goudreau home. ’My parents were huge music fans. They loved country music; Conway Twitty, Hank Williams were two of their favourites. They even went to Nashville for holidays.  Rock ‘n’ Roll was also on the turntable at home – Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Bill Haley and the Comets. I grew up on it all and I am a better musician for it.’

Then Beatlemania hit and the young Mike was completely taken in by the music. ‘The Beatles influenced me so much. From the age of 14-17 I grabbed onto every Beatle tune I could learn. I was hooked. Guitar was the first instrument I every played and it changed my life. Although I started playing guitar at age  14, I actually began in bands as a bass player for the first 7 years of my career in country bands, backed-up a famous Quebec Country duo '' Jerry & Joanne '' for a year and  we opened for Johnny Cash when I was 18 years old. I also backed up and the was band leader for a few Quebec artists in Florida for 2 winter seasons such as Johnny Farago, Gilles Girard ( Les Classels), Dino L'Espérance (César et les Romains ), to name  but a few. Afterwards, played in  many  Rock'n'Roll bar bands before switching to lead guitar at age 22. Got into the Blues and then started writing my own songs in 1993.’

Je Reste AccrocheJe Reste AccrocheSo 17 albums later - meet Mike Goudreau. His other influences are Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and later, Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Powder Blues and Downchild - to name a few. Such diverse interests help to explain why Mike is comfortable in so many musical genres, especially jazz and blues.

Over the past 7 years, Mike's songs have been heard on such network TV shows as Everybody Hates Chris (CW) , Dirty Sexy Money (ABC ), Army Wives (Lifetime) ,Kath & Kim (NBC), George Lopez Show (TBS), Justified (FX) ,Scoundrels (ABC) ,Let's Make A Deal (CBS), Friday Night Lights (ABC), Memphis Beat (TNT), Auction Kings (Discovery), Oddities (Discovery), Hung (HBO), Defiance (FX) , The Fosters (ABC Family) and the TV movie North Pole (Hallmark Channel)  most notable. In April 2013 Mike’s original song ‘’ Look For the Sunshine ‘’ was featured in the Hollywood film ‘’West End”. Mike’s song ‘’ Miss Wonderful ‘’ was featured in the trailer for the French film ‘’Love Is In The Air’’, and another of his compositions was used in the TV movie ‘’Bonnie & Clyde’’ on HBO.

So with all that being said some of you have not heard of Mike Goudreau yet? His latest CD, Je Reste Accroché shows off this talented singer/songwriter and could be his best yet. The really cool part is the CD does a great job of ‘crossing borders’;  not to be taken wrong but you don’t even realize he is singing in French, the vocals, production and delivery are so solid. With a total of 12 songs, it is truly a pleasure to listen to from start to finish.The first tune, ‘Envoie Ma Belle’ has a long intro that actually sounds like the blues swing greats of old with B3 and all,  title track ‘Je Reste Accroché’ shows off this artist’s great vocals, with all the slang joual words to show his background and the guitar solos definitely tell of the rock influence in his playing, and leaves you remaining ‘hooked’. ‘Arrête De Boire’ is a musician’s anthem about quitting drinking (or maybe not) and solid keys holding the song together.

Mike GoudreauMike Goudreau‘Melon D’eau Boogaloo’ (Watermelon Boogaloo), an instrumental shows off the percussion and drums and as always, the guitar skills of Goudreau, B3 and sax….shows off the great talent on this recording.

Back to the basic blues feel ‘Ils Vont Passer Les Mauvais Jours’  knowing the bad days are going to hit no matter what you do, with a growly vocal that shows off the vocal delivery, while ‘Affreuse Jalousie’ is all about the awful jealousy that comes along with love and life.  ‘Mon Coeur Brisé’ (My Broken Heart) slides nicely into ‘Joyeux Anniversaire’ then ‘Les Gens Tristes’ is more rhythmic based and keeps the CD humming along with a great running order taking you into ‘Le Cimetière Me Court Aprés’ brings you back into the swing feel. ‘L’Herbe Est Pas Plus Verte’ telling the age old story about the grass and greener and that old saying. Closing track is ‘C’était Un Peu Trop Beau’, saying it was all a little too beautiful, summing it all up to once more come back to Goudreau’s roots of true blues.

The musician lineup on the CD is stellar as well:
Mike Goudreau – Vocals, guitars
Jonathan-Guillaume Boudreau – Bass
Jean-François Bégin – Drums, percussions
Nino Carlo Fabi – Keyboards
Maxine St-Pierre – Trumpet
Dany Roy – Tenor sax

Tenacity and talent. A great combination. ‘My grandfather had a 3rd Grade Education but he built a successful business in Stanstead. He never gave up, I think I inherited some of that from him. I come from good solid stock for sure.’

Having said that, Goudreau is still waiting for the next big break in his career. Listening to his music it is almost seems he is searching for the musical Holy Grail but in actuality he is the musical Holy Grail. He is already there – but he just doesn’t let up on his drive to do more, write better songs, record more, play live more.

“I am working on two new projects right now. One is a collection of worldbeat songs; something new and unique. The other is a jazz/crooner idea; I love all those guys, Darin, Sinatra, so I can’t wait to start that recording that one. The thing I have learned over the years is you have to love doing music and to do it for yourself first. Don’t let the down times get to your heart and stay true to your music. And love your family and friends. My girlfriend, my children, my family are something I am grateful for every day of my life.’

With a very busy summer ahead, filled with festival bookings and special events, keep on eye out for Mike Goudreau and the Boppin’ Blues Band. Try to see him and his band if he is playing anywhere near you in your summer travels. Buy Mike Goudreau’s music – you will be glad you did.  Je Reste Accroché is on repeat on my CD player – it should be on yours as well.

For more visit www.mikegoudreau.com