|Mike Downing - THE ALCHEMIST|
Growing up on the magical island of Trinidad, Mike Downing had plenty of brushes with rhythm, voodoo and song. As a kid he sang at Pentecostal tent meetings, free styled lyrics, break danced and fueled his imagination with all the delights of the fertile Caribbean sun.
Between age 13 and 17 he moved from Toronto, to New York City, to Thunder Bay, to Cambridge, picking up the bass along the way. Spending countless nights and days composing in his room full of amps, guitars and cheap mics he would document his creations on a Tascam four track. By 17 he'd honed his skills enough to begin playing and touring North America with funk/rock outfit Soul'd Out and African suenga drummer Youfu Dara.
In the mid 90's Mike saw blues great Buddy Guy perform and was blown away by his power and magnetic stage presence. "As far as I was concerned, the standard for a live show was set right there." Whether rocking out, unleashing hip-hop lyrics or belting out a blues classic, Mike never forgets the standard set that night. His captivating persona, partly Caribbean soul, partly his well-traveled youth, has made Downing an onstage force to rival his hero.
In 1997 when he met Jason Walsh and joined the Stone Prophets the stage was set for the world to witness his unique brand of alchemy.
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