Mike Younger crashes the Cinema

(Photo by Amilia K Spicer)

We have a bonus music feature for our readers this week. We spoke to Rah Rah Rabbit about their Friday show at the Cinema Bar, and we also spoke to opener Mike Younger. Enjoy!

When did you start playing and performing? 

I started playing in high school, and over the years I’ve been in many bands. But my own journey as a creative has mostly outlived the various band configurations I have enjoyed. I have a line-up in my current band that has taken some time to assemble, over years. We are known as Mike Younger & The Tennessee Treehuggers. But in my upcoming L.A. show I’ll be joined by L.A. players. It’s expensive to fly the Treehuggers around. They fly first class.

Describe your sound/style?

I am a blues/roots/folk troubadour at heart. My sound is a hybrid of traditional American musical forms – rhythm and blues, country, gospel, soul…maybe even some elements of early jazz. Rock & Roll, basically. 

What are your career highlights so far?

I had the great honor of recording an album with some of my musical heroes (Levon Helm of The Band, Spooner Oldham and David Hood of the Muscle Shoals sound and legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson). The album got caught up in a bunch of label trouble and it took me almost 20 years to retrieve it but I was able to put it out in 2021 under the title Burning The Bigtop Down. That was definitely a magical moment for me. Recording my debut with Rodney Crowell was also a highlight, for sure. And touring with Nanci Griffith.

What recorded music is available — particularly the most recent?
I have released 5 records of my own music and they are available on my website(CDs, Vinyl, digital downloads, streaming) :

2001’s Somethin’ In The Air – produced by Rodney Crowell

2006’s Every Stone You Throw – self-produced

2009’s Hustled By Squares  – produced by Rob Clark

2016’s Little Folks Like You And Me – produced by Bob Britt

2021’s Burning The Bigtop Down – produced by Jim Dickinson

Have you performed at the Cinema Bar before?

I played at Cinema Bar last year about this time, co-billing with my friend Amilia K Spicer, a superfine songwriter/bandleader based in Los Angeles. She and her band and her friends/community gave me a wonderful welcome to the L.A. scene at Cinema Bar, and Rod asked me back for a second show at the end of the tour. It was a nice introduction to L.A.

What can the audience expect from the set this time?

Well, like I said, I’ll be performing with L.A. cats, so it will likely rock, and there will be tattooed ladies, warm fuzzy feelings and slight euphoria. They like country music at Cinema, and since I’m coming out from Nashville I will bring some.

What else do you have coming up?                                  

I have a couple SW shows on this run, then back to Nashville for a hometown show and then I have a couple PNW shows in November. I plan on recording a new project over the winter for release in the not-too-distant future. 

Mike Younger performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 20 at the Cinema Bar with Rah Rah Rabbit. Go to thecinemabar.com for more information about the show. 

Elsewhere this week

The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys, and Scotty Bramer. Go to culverhotel.com for more info.

Boulevard Music hosts Hot Lips and Fingertips at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21. Visit boulevardmusic.com for more info.