By Sharon Merkel Prudhomme ~
I’m always amazed by the number of talented musicians at every turn! It certainly makes it a tough choice as to where to go & who to listen to. Of course for some of us aging Boomers….the time frame of the gig plays a MAJOR role in the decision-making. Let’s hope for more early evening time slots this summer? We were happy to catch an early show at Harrigan’s recently with The Mike Dalton Band.
Michael Dalton, born in Pt. Pleasant, a Brick resident & Rutger’s Grad is another popular musician to grace our area. Mike began his lifelong journey in the music world at the ripe ol’ age of 6. His musically inclined dad played an influential part in his sons’ love of music. In the early days Mike’s dad played sax and drums with the Stardust Boys during the 50’s. Although his mom didn’t play any instruments, Mike said mom was often singing throughout the house including harmonies without knowing she was. He feels she was also influential in many of his music loves today.
Mike says he was mostly self-taught, which I hear from many of our local guys. He recalls taking about 7 guitar lessons over the years, likewise for piano. His drumming began with a neighbor, Billy Wisner, whom he credits for teaching him in 1979. With this addition to his musical repertoire, he did a stint with his high school concert band in 1981. In addition to drums and guitar, Mike also plays bass, harmonica and mandolin.
Two of Mike’s favorite guitars at this time he says would be his electric Ibanez Artcore and his acoustic Takamine but he’ll still break out the Fender Telecaster or his Gibson 335 now & then. In 1986 he picked up a Yamaha acoustic which is what he usually writes with. As far as why the Artcore and Takamine come in as favorites, Mike explains, “just like people, they all have their reasons”.
Quite a few are said to be musical influences on Mike, with Beatles Paul McCartney and the Beach Boys ranking up there. He states that the list also includes: U2, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, & Ray Charles to name a few. All were inspirational to Mike, along with his favorite guitarists being Mark Knoffler of Dire Straits & David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. He lists his favorite bands as Beatles, Genesis and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
Although Mike plays with his group, The Mike Dalton Band, he will play solo if the situation calls for it. He’s an accomplished musician who’s used to playing for the patrons at a bar doing rock as well as opening for big timers like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. Mike had the awsome pleasure of singing the National Anthem at a NY Yankees game as well as the Stanley Cup winners-the New Jersey Devils! He took an award for the “Best Music Video” on CTN. He nailed the “Unsigned Heroes” contest held by 97.5WPST and was up for a “Daytime Emmy Award” after his songwriting endeavors with CBS soap, Guiding Light! His tunes have been listened to on air over 200 times via national TV shows such as As The World Turns, Guiding Light, Another World, & Passions. He’s also written and worked songs with Jim Babjak, guitarist for the Smithereen’s. Not only has Mike written & composed over 320 original songs, he’s also played guitar for two nationally televised commercials. Holy Cow! At one point he had run an Open Mic back in 2001 at JP Bailey’s in Pt. Pleasant. He enjoys playing originals often at his cover shows. The pleasure of playing he says is simply having fun while picking out songs, both original & covers and just playing tunes that moves not only him, but his band mates and audience. “It just feels good!” He plays for that reason…..and also for the money it “churns” up which is needed as this IS his job. In his “previous years” Mike wore many hats. From delivering papers, dishwashing, cooking, deli work, record store, camera store, food truck as well as telemarketing, Mike now enjoys his life’s passion fulltime.
Regarding requests, Mike says he will if he can. The Mike Dalton Band plays many Jersey Shore venues, anywhere they’ll listen and pay. Some past & present venues include: Jenkinson’s, Martell’s, Ralwiggie’s, Maggie’s, JP Bailey’s, Martinique, Village Inn, Idle Hour, Broadway, Bar Anticipation, Boathouse, Reggie’s, Jerry O’s, Tradewind’s, Razzle’s, Bermuda Club, Hollywood, Chatterbox, Club XS, Surf Club, Beach Club, Bamboo Bar, Aztec, Wine Cellar, Spicy, JR’s, Used to Be’s, Stone Pony, Fast Lane, Rock Hourse, T-Bird’s Café, Deck House, Legget’s, Osprey, Four Winds,Doc Donahue’s, O’Neill’s, Joe Pop’s, Tide’s Café, Public House, Back Bay Café, JoJo Player’s, Sandbar, Gilligan’s, LT’s, Jesie’s, Harbor Inn, Sparkle’s, Richard’s, Porch(now Spring Lake Tap House), Whisper’s, Murphy’s Law, Marz, Monmouth College, Sonny’s Wall Circle Inn, Atlantic Club, Norwood Inn, Column’s, Parker House…..heck, I’d go on but there’s OVER 360 to the list! Mike sure has gotten around!
Because of Mike’s amazingly extensive accomplishments, I’d have to publish a book to report them all! Ha! I truly advise all to check out his personal full bio on his website to check out this talented local musician!.
His talents are available for private parties, Grand openings, birthdays, anniversary, retirement, weddings, etc. Whatever the music need, from bars to corporate events give this band a listen, they may be just the ticket for your next club or Post event! Check them out on Facebook, give them a like and follow them….you’ll be glad you did!
MikeDaltonEvents.com for more info.