Mike Aiken Releases Sixth Studio Album CAPTAINS & COWBOYS April 22


Mike Aiken Releases Sixth Studio Album CAPTAINS & COWBOYS April 22

Well-Traveled Virginia Troubadour Brings Chivalric Code To Wide Open Spaces And The High Seas
Aiken cover 
Produced by Dan Baird, Ben Strano, Mike Aiken  


Norfolk, VA  — Well-traveled Virginia troubadour Mike Aiken may well have been born in the wrong century.  An inner sense of chivalry oozes from every track on CAPTAINS & COWBOYS, his sixth studio album on Northwind Records, which issues April 22.  As the title track says, “Save
the babies, kiss the ladies, having drinks with my friends” is a code
Mike lives by.  Aiken also addresses global environmental issues, love,
loss and personal freedom in this conceptualized offering.
Aiken has
drawn tales – and hope – from “trail riders, aging rodeo champs, sea
captains, Rastafarians and outlaws on the lamb” and crafted a disc that
draws the threads of these independent spirits together.  This is the
first effort on which Aiken opted for outside production assistance,
drawing upon the talents of Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) and
Ben Strano (Jack Sundrud/Poco).  The result gives the listener a remarkably clear vision of Mike as an artist.
“Dan and Ben really ‘got’ the appeal that old
silver screen heroes, singing cowboys and swashbuckling sailors have
always held for me,” Mike notes.  “That gave me the freedom to focus on
the songs,” he adds.  It also allowed him to “gel” with the other
pickers on the project.  Players like Dan Dugmore on pedal steel (James
Taylor, Little Big Town), Tammy Rogers on fiddle and mandolin
(Grammy-nominated SteelDrivers), the multi-talented Michael Webb on
accordion, bass, B3 (Poco) and Michael Grando on drums (Todd Snider,
Chris Knight) left their comfort zones behind and played fearlessly
without a net.  Aiken brought his signature acoustic, awesome electric
slide and his rich baritone guitar to the mix.
With the
warmth of Lightfoot, the earthiness of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and
the unerring timing of Billy Joe Shaver, Aiken’s vocals are uninhibited
on his own sweetly vibrant “Virginia” and Country Joe McDonald’s poignant lament “Save The Whales.”  The title track crackles with a longing for the old West and the open sea, while the earth-shattering “Coal Train” 
(Mike Aiken, Larry Berwald) sadly outlines the destruction of our shrinking Appalachian mountains.  “Get Down River” (Brian Henneman)
highlights the challenges of living hand-in-hand with Mother Nature, while Aiken’s “Bring Out The Bourbon”
recalls late night communions with ex-pats found around the globe. 
Other writers contributing to the project include: Tim Buppert, Michael
Burton, Austin Cunningham, Brad Davis and Steve Williams.
“There’s not a song on this project that doesn’t fit,” Aiken explains.  “The
album was two years in the making.  I’d written many tunes during that
time but not many made it onto this record.  They weren’t bad, but the
fit wasn’t right,” he adds.
A writer of enormous depth, Mike knows whereof he speaks: he
has lived on a sailboat for the past 20 years, sailed across oceans as a
USCG-licensed captain, raised horses and made his living as a farrier. 
His inspirations and talent come together on this
seminal
CD that should move Mike to the forefront of the Americana/Roots
movement.  So saddle up, put sail to the wind and enjoy this ride with
him.

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