By jenjo on January 6, 2004
Checkerboard Records -2004
Michael Osborn is one of the most authentic blues guitarists today. His style goes straight to the heart of the blues and he’ll steal your show if you don’t watch out.” – Robben Ford
Destined to become John Lee Hooker’s bandleader and lead guitarist — and a guitar hero in his own right — Michael Osborn and the blues first made each other’s acquaintance when Michael was a young teen in the mid-1960s. Friends with eventual blues greats Robben and Patrick Ford, Michael took up the bass guitar and then rhythm guitar, playing with the Ford brothers in blues, rhythm & blues and soul bands from 1967 through 1969.
In the ‘70s, Mike recorded with the Charles Ford Band and Charlie Musselwhite, and built his chops in various blues bands with Gary Smith, Mark Ford, Mixed Nuts (featuring Bonnie Raitt\’s brother, David Raitt) and occasional Charles Ford Band reunions.
In June of 1981 Michael became lead guitarist for blues legend John Lee Hooker, and toured all over North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil with John Lee for more than a dozen years. During this time Mike backed such stars as Robert Cray, Elvin Bishop, Brownie McGee, Willie Dixon, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Sista Monica. Mike has also shared stages with such notables as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Johnson, Albert Collins, Ry Cooder, Carlos Santana, John Hammond, Etta James, Curtis Salgado, and The Nighthawks!
Michael is currently a member of Bill Rhoades and the Party Kings!
“It’s (Touch Tone) no-nonsense blues that features Osborn’s killer playing, classic tone and capable songwriting.” – Mark Whittington, San Jose Mercury News
“mesmerizing guitar” – Eric Thom, Blues Revue
“There is no lull found on Touch Tone.’ The album is complete from tracks one through 12. The only flaw is that it ends. I could go on listening to this CD endlessly.” – Greg Johnson, Cascade Blues Association
“Hard powerful album (Touch Tone) of traditional original Chicago blues , performed by two real representatives of this musical style such as singer and guitar player Michael Osborn and singer and harmonica player Bill Rhoades. Both musicians have decided to join forces, good qualities and skills to record an album that does not have a single bad track on it. Well conceived blues with no commercial concessions, conscientiously done with different brilliant moments full of love and passion for a music that they respectfully worship and which has musically united them. Fifties traditional blues lovers have reason s to celebrate this new release that will certainly satisfy them. GREAT.” – Vicente “Harmonica” Zumel, DustyBlues