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Mike Shannon | Indie Artists are Over Shadowed With Big Money and Big Corporations

My name is Mike Shannon. This is my journey…

Music has been everything to me; it is a part of me. I even wore a Beatle wig and lip-synced in grade school. Looking back, I can’t believe I did that. I had my first band when I was nine or ten. I played the drums, sang and did my first song writing. We did no covers.

Mike Shannon

In middle school we played a battle of the bands live on the radio. My entire school was there. The band tied with us, who played Beatle tunes, pulled the main electrical plug on us during our set. All you heard were the drums. I seriously thought about quitting school. I'm excited to be a part of the Music Talks family and to share some of my more recent journey with you.

My current band is Big Bus Dream. Yes, an odd name. So, what Is A Big Bus Dream?? Well I figure everybody wants to be on the Big Bus. Everyone has a Big Dream...well, most everyone. Big Bus Dream music is not for everyone. I mean some people are deaf of heart and spirit. My lyrics/ message is for those of us who persevere, forever climbing the steps on up the Big Bus - undeterred because you would rather fail at something great than succeed at nothing.

It is for day dreamers like me who plan to leave a piece of themselves behind for others to trip over down the road. This Big Bus is about inner drive despite (you can fill in your struggle here).

Big Bus Dream, like my band 4th Ward before, has always been about the distinctiveness of the song, the arrangement, the colors. I've been told by fans that when they hear my tunes they immediately know it's me; that's what original music should be about, originality. "The sound is original without being trendy", wrote Creative Loafing. C’mon, we all know trends are short lived. One quote from a review I especially loved: Music Dish/Muses Muse wrote, "Big Bus Dream is a thinker’s vacation." Love it.

I am foremost a singer/songwriter. But I also play guitar, keys, percussion and programming. I founded 4th Ward in 2000 and Big Bus Dream in 2006. Over the years I have been influenced by The Beatles, The Kinks, Harry Chapin, Eagles, Talking Heads, Bob Dylan and many more. In the 1980s, I quit the music business to make money and to raise my kids. Time well spent.

In 2000 I re-entered music but was behind the eight ball: age, money & a very different music business. I was frustrated but not defeated. 4th ward's self-titled release debuted #20 on the National CMJ Top 200 charts.

Also, Celebrity Cafe awarded the release, "Album of the day!".

My group spent 4 years playing the circuit opening for the likes of Angie Aparo, Hootie and The Blowfish, even on a bill with Dylan before regrouping as Big Bus Dream.

Chick Tsikouras climbed on board as main electric guitarist soon after the initial 4th Ward release. Along with contributing his songwriting abilities on later releases, his diverse guitar styling - ranging from stints with Pat Metheny and the Mamas and Papas - helped fuel follow up releases.

Big Bus Dream's 2006 self-titled debut earned Editor's Pick by CD Baby and 8 of 10 stars by Americana UK, as well as topping the main European music site charts.

Several tracks found their way onto MTV's Pimp My Ride as well as film (MY life as Abraham Lincoln) and TV (WBTV documentaries).

The Jesters of Xmas Town (2008) continued the band's songwriting and recording success: Absolute Power Pop wrote, "This is one bus you'll want to catch." I thought this review was very clever. But I was surprised by this one: observed, "Shannon's a dead ringer for Mr. E (Eels) himself..." Huh, I never intended to be a dead ringer to anyone.

My first solo release, the current My Dream My Fantasy has been called: "one of the top 3 albums of 2017", by Russell Trunk, Exclusive Magazine.

Well that’s a snapshot of my journey. I have to conclude with a most important note: Indie artists are over shadowed by big money and big corporations. Van Morrison once said: “Music is Spiritual, the business of music is not." He’s right.

For this reason, a big THANK YOU to Tracey Arbon and Music Talks for being a friend, a supporter of Indie music.


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