Written by Eddie Ferranti
Nov 16, 2013 at 06:00 PM
ImageThey say good guys finish last, but in the case of Mr. Mike Stinson, I beg to differ.

Stinson has been calling Houston home for 4 years or so now and his non-stop playing in every nook and cranny from here to Austin and a lot of points in-between is paying off. He recently landed a gig for Happy Hour at McGonigels Mucky Duck and it has been well received.

His cracker jack, tight ass band rocks this venue major and this night was no different as a Saturday night ticketed gig. The boys had just had a nice run thru the midwest, especially Chicago area, touting the CD of the year to this reviewer, “Hell and Half Of Georgia”.

On this disc, Stinson kicks off the cowboy boots a bit and rocks it. Turning loose lead guitar sidekick of 4.5 years running, Lance Smith, has been a major part of the rockin’ goin’ on with this squad for sure. Solid bass and drum work handled by Mark Ridell and Matt Johnson fill out this foursome that seems to be clicking on all cylinders.

The almost full house was all decked out in Christmas trimmings and the band delivered an early gift in this non-stop buzz saw of a show! Mike doesn’t gab much at all during his stage time, but when he does it is always a dry sense of humor classic one liner or two. Back in Ohio, where I’m from, we’d describe Stinson’s smirks as a great “shit eatin’ grin” in a good way! Playing is what he does best and from the tune Dwight Yoakum covered, “Late Great Golden State”, the rockabilly roadhouse was in full swing.

“Late For My Funeral”,  “Other Side of the Blues”, low down and dirty “Got a Thing for You” and “Broken Record” had the place back on their collective heels. My favorite ‘reality’ hit home song, “Box I Take to Work”, is me in that I have a bag I take to work filled with things I “guess” I need like MS says. Classic.

The band leaned heavily on the new disc and rightfully so with “May Have to Do It”, H-Town anthem “Died and Gone to Houston”, classic lyrics in “This Year” especially be your ‘rub-dub-dubber and tender “Walking Home in the Rain” ruled. Can’t say enough about how far Lance Smith has progressed since his early days with the Sidehill Gougers way back when.

“She’s A Cadillac” and “Fast & Loose” burned white hot and the pairing of Smith & Stinson is a winner. If you have not caught these guys yet you are missing a great time. In my business of covering hard working artists nothing pleases you more than having a ‘slam dunk’ every time out and that is what Stinson and his mates bring to the table.

Texas Music Magazine touted MS as 2012’s Artist of the Year and that’s no small potatoes folks. Mike Stinson is the kind of down to earth gent who is sincere as all get out when you chat with him and never disappoints with his razor edge views about life in todays dog eat dog world. The music biz could use more people like him and we’re looking forward already to what direction Stinson will veer to on his next album.

Before the year ends the band will be at White Horse in Austin 11/22, always killer 1st Wednesday gig @ Under the Volcano in Houston 12/4, classic Ginny’s Little Longhorn in Austin and 12/13 at Boom Boom Room Houston.  Get on out and try this act on for size and tell ’em HMR sent ya by!

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you, too!!