Written by Karen Anderson             

Guitarist Mike Hamilton delivers a repertoire so vast and varied, it’s no surprise he’s one of the steadiest-working solo artists on the nightclub circuit. Easy to admire and hard to categorize, Hamilton’s inspired musicianship prompted Coaster magazine to call him “one of the more valued gems of the Orange Coast.”  


A Southern California native, Hamilton is a consummate guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer. His inventive performances escort audiences through a sonic travelogue of diverse styles-from jazz fusion, jazz standards and classical-to blues, R&B, country, pop and rock’n’roll. Switching from electric, nylon string and synthesizer guitars to piano, Mike plays with instinctive fluidity and versatility, enhanced by his own smooth vocals. Within this framework, he simultaneously plays keyboard-bass pedals for additional harmonic  and rhythmic  variations.


No stranger to the spotlight, Hamilton has performed, toured and/or recorded with Jay Ferguson, Sting, Peter Kater, Bette Midler, Jack Tempchin, Michael Steele (of the Bangles), Jennifer Warnes,                         Jesse Colin Young, Gary Wright, Mario Frangoulis, Andrej Sifrer, jazz-bassist/composer Max Bennett,       Bob Stewart, Brahm Wenger, Eric Drew Feldman, Rick Roberts (of Firefall), Sherwood Ball, Karen Hammack, Craig Buhler, Will Brady, Beth Fitchet Wood, Steve Wood, Mick Fleetwood, and Pure Prairie League - with whom he performed several of his own original songs. He also toured internationally with Kenny Loggins, recording on seven of Ken’s gold and platinum Sony/Columbia albums: “Nightwatch” (which included the hit “Whenever I Call You Friend” with Stevie Nicks), “Keep the Fire”(“This Is It” with Michael McDonald), “Alive,” “Caddyshack”(I’m Alright),“High Adventure”(“Don’t Fight It”with Steve Perry and Neil Giraldo on which Mike played the bass guitar and “Heart to Heart”), “The Essential Kenny Loggins” and “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow - The Greatest Hits of Kenny Loggins”. 

During Mike’s stint as lead guitarist and background singer for the Loggins Band, Kenny and his musicians collaborated in recording studios and on concert stages with an impressive group of music artists including: Bruce Botnick, Tom Dowd, Bob James, Roy Thomas Baker, David Foster, Phil Ramone, Michael McDonald, Stevie Nicks, Dave Mason, Michael Jackson,  Jim Messina, Steve Perry, Richard Page, Milt Holland, Paulinho da Costa, Michael Brecker, Fred Tackett, David Sanborn, Nathan East, Steve Lukather, Richard Stekol, James Newton Howard, Neil Giraldo, Steve Khan, Max Gronenthal, and Andy Johns.

On the road, Kenny Loggins and Band shared the concert bill with Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger,

Chick Corea/Stanley Clarke, Dave Mason (featuring Mark Stein from Vanilla Fudge), Hall and Oates,

Al di Meola, Firefall (featuring Mark Andes on bass and vocals from Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne and Mike Clarke on drums from the original Byrds), Larry Carlton, Seals and Crofts, America, Jack Tempchin, Richard Belzer, Bob Saget (sometimes comedians would open the show), Toto, Leo Kottke, Tom Johnston and many others. Mike enjoyed meeting, traveling with, and often jamming with many of these inspirational musicians. When Larry Carlton was opening the shows with Loggins for a few months in 1978/79, Mike and Larry would sometimes warm up their guitars and guitar playing together in one of the tuning rooms before a concert - jamming on some standards and blues changes.


His collaborations with producers/composers Steve Wood and Phil Marshall have led to many acclaimed soundtracks for television and movies. Working with Steve Wood, Mike’s guitar is featured on the Academy Award-nominated movie “Dolphins”(with Sting) and other MacGillivray  Freeman’s IMax films including “The Living Sea”(with Sting), “Adventures in Wild California”(with Lindsay Buckingham),

Amazing Caves” (with Justin Hayward and The Moody Blues), “Coral Reef Adventure” (with Crosby, Stills & Nash), “Everest” (with George Harrison), and most recently the Steve Wood/Stefan Lessard/Dave Matthews Band CD and Movie Score collaboration for “Grand Canyon Adventure - River at Risk”.


His guitar work is also showcased on Phil Marshall’s classic soundtrack for “Endless Summer II,”  as well as on the Disney Channel movies “Johnny Tsunami,” “Horse Sense,” “Ready to Run,” and “Jumping Ship.”

Hamilton continues to work on assorted projects, including his own compositions and recordings, which are always in progress. He has released 3 solo albums: “Songs And Sounds The Same”, “Anthology

and “Liv The Dig”.

As a solo performer, Mike has played countless nightclub and concert stages from San Diego to  British Columbia. He has opened for Spyro Gyra, Jerry Jeff Walker, Asleep at the Wheel, Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo and others. In addition to his one man band format, Hamilton gathers some of the finest musicians in the business for two - or three-piece ensembles in various styles.

Whether he’s in the studio, on the touring stage or performing at clubs throughout the West Coast, the ultimate reward for Mike Hamilton is that his audiences eagerly absorb whatever musical excursions he sends their way.  In the words of the Spokane Chronicle, “A trip out to hear him is guaranteed worthwhile.”

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