By jenjo on September 1, 2007
Checkerboard Records -2007
This recording features John Moore on drums, Tom Szell on bass, harp master Bill Rhoades on harp, D.K. Stewart on piano and an old friend of Michael’s on guitar! All original songs!
What Goes Around offers a clinic in playing terrific blues guitar that doesn’t overwhelm the song. His contemporary-yet-traditional style, beholden to no single influence, is gritty yet sophisticated, with surprising flourishes, a great awareness of the pocket, and cool note choices. Osborn is pushed to excel partly by the presence of Robben Ford, who contributes his unmistakable guitar to five tracks. Bill Rhoades’ harmonica serves as a model not only of phrasing and tone but of when to lay out.
– Blues Revue
Blues guitar “veteran” Michael Osborn (John Lee Hooker, The Ford Band, Charlie Musselwhite) comes with a brand new album. Together with his friend Robben Ford who plays guitars on several tracks. Bill Rhoades on vocals on two tracks and on harmonica. I wrote “veteran” in the opening sentence: .. but Michael sounds as fresh as a young (blues) cat. Lots of energy and superb guitar licks, crystal clear vocals and very good song writing!
–Ton Wanten- Triple R Blues Radio
Michael is one of the limited group of guitarists around who know that less really means more. His technique is precise and his playing is imaginative but he never shows off. The blues he plays is traditional but sounds fresh and fun. Michael’s original material – it’s strong and can hold it’s own along classic blues songs. With “What Goes Around” I like what I hear, a lot!
– Przemek Draheim, Radio Sfera — www.sfera.umk.pl — in Torun (Poland)
If you love your Blues guitar aggressive, biting and inventive yet still anchored in B.B. & FREDDY, you’ll probably love Michael Osborn. There’s a whole lot of Power-driven fun mixed with a wealth of supreme talent on this disc. 5 Bottles for a CD that’ll surprise many and have all of Michael Osborn’s fans saying, “I told ya so!”
-Real Blues Magazine
For his sophomore release on his own Checkerboard label, Michael Osborn proves that the sensational guitar work found on “Touch Tone” was absolutely no fluke. The new recording, “What Goes Around,” delivers first rate Blues. No questions asked. It is a testimony on how Blues guitar should be played, with tone and craft that relies on no hand-speed flying across the frets to lay down as many notes as possible. Rather this a tastefully rendered example of creating exceptional music by stretching notes and little fills that hit the mark to perfection.
-Bluenotes, Cascade Blues Association
If you check your John Lee Hooker records from the Coast To Coast Band period, chances are you’ll see the name of guitarist Michael Osborn. Well, here he is in his own right, accompanied by guests Bill Rhoades and Robben Ford, and demonstrating why Hooker admired him so much.
– Juke Blues
When you see Michael’s name on the sleeve, you know you are going to hear some quality guitar work.
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