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Michael Pickett

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Biography

At the age of four he sang for his grandmother who tossed him nickels and dimes while she sat at the kitchen table sipping her whiskey - laced tea. His mother bought him a harmonica when he was about 13. Shortly after that he saw Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on tv and he was hooked for life. The soul of this timeless genre is deeply rooted in his psyche and he continues to nurture this passion.

Pickett embraces the Blues with style, substance and musical integrity. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s he established himself as a musically ground-breaking, electrifying singer/songwriter/harmonica player, leading seminal bands Whiskey Howl, Wooden Teeth, and the Michael Pickett Band. Musically profound, they pushed the envelope for Blues and funky Roots music. He provided the direction for all three projects and surrounded himself with some of the top musicians in the country.

Whiskey Howl was always a great live band but what truly made it stand out were the undeniable abilities of the band’s two lead vocalists: Pickett, one of the world’s most accomplished ‘harp players’ and the late John Witmer, arguably one of Canada’s most gifted R&B singers. Whiskey Howl was signed by Warner Bros. in ‘72. The band toured coast to coast, from the late 60s to the early 80s, venturing into New York City to perform at The Village Gate and disbanded in ‘81 following their high profile reunion gig at the El Mocambo in Toronto. A recording of that night has been released on CD - ‘Whiskey Howl Big Band / Live at the El Mocambo’.

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