Get this crazy baby off my head!


Michael Osborn

Michael Osborn - Touch Tone - 2004 - Checkerboard Records

Mike released his first solo album in 1988, "Cold Hearted Girl"; on Blue Rock'It Records. But for a long time before that he was strongly involved with the blues. The great blues brothers Robben and Patrick Ford were friends of Mike, and played with Mike in various bands in the late sixties. In 1970, Mike Osborn was one of the founders of the great Charles Ford Band. In 1981, he became lead guitarist for John Lee Hooker, and toured all over the world with the great man for over 12 years. During this time Mike backed great bluesmen like Robert Cray, Brownie McGee, Willie Dixon, and Charlie Musselwhite. Mike has also been onstage stages with Bonnie Raitt, Albert Collins, Ry Cooder, Carlos Santana,, and Etta James. Mike has also played with the legendary John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band, and with other bands, including his own -- at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, The Hammersmith Odeon in London and The Monterey Jazz & Blues Festivals. Mike continually tours, all over the globe. He is regarded as one of today'sblues guitar greats. "Touch Tone" features some good songs, and brilliant guitar work by Mike, and he is backed by great musicians of the calibre of the blues harmonica marvel, Bill Rhoades, Ron E. Beck (Tower of Power), Dewayne Pate (Robben Ford Band), and Gabe Ford (Ford Blues Band). This album was recorded between 1999 - 2004 in Portland, Oregon & Barcley, California, but obviously, great care was taken to ensure that the great West Coast blues guitarist came up with something really good after a three year recording drought. This album has a touch of class about it. Buy his great "What Goes Around" album, featuring Robben Ford. Check it out first @ M.OSB/WGA


01. Sidetracked 4:46 - Michael Osborn
02. Checkerboard Blues 4:10 - Michael Osborn
03. My Babe 3:50 - Willie Dixon
04. T.S. Boogie 4:34 - Michael Osborn
05. Home at Last (Country Girl) 5:24 - Rudolph Toombs
06. Mean Mistreater 7:20 - Leroy Carr
07. It Ain't Right 4:27 - Walter Jacobs
08. I Had My Fun 3:34 - James Burton
09. Baker Shake 4:38 - Michael Osborn
10. The Way I Feel About You 3:58 - Michael Osborn
11. Touch Tone 4:00 - Michael Osborn
12. Fender Bender 4:05 - Michael Osborn


Michael Osborn - Vocals (3,7,8,10) & Guitar
Bill Rhoades - Vocals (5,6) & Harmonica
Tommy Szell - Bass (3,4,5,6,7,8,10)
Dewayne Pate - Bass (1,2,11)
Steve Hazlewood - Bass (9,12)
Johnny Moore - Drums (3,4,5,6,7,Cool
Ron E. Beck - Drums (1,2,11)
Gary James - Drums (9)
Gabriel Ford - Drums (12)


Michael Osborn is no stranger when it comes to working his way around a fretboard. He’s been playing a guitar almost his entire life and has had the distinct fortune to work with many of the finest Blues musicians the West Coast has had to offer, including a lengthy stint behind the legendary John Lee Hooker. During his career, he has also released a handful of worthy recordings, three of which can be found on California’s Blue Rock’It label. But, it has been far too long a period since that last album came out in 1996 and you just knew that Michael had to be bursting at the seams with some incredible music wanting to be heard. The wait was well worth it, believe me. “Touch Tone” ends an eight-year drought without any new Michael Osborn material. Not that he hasn’t been laying down some tracks over those years, some appearing on this latest self-produced CD first placed onto tape back in 1999. Those three numbers were recorded while he was still residing in Northern California and feature a handful of time-tested musicians including Dewayne Pate, Steve Hazelwood, Ron E. Beck and Gabriel Ford. All are instrumentals and Osborn originals. Michael’s guitar soars with extremely rich tone that leaves you hanging with him on every tasty note. Most of the album, though, has been pieced together over the past two years. Michael had moved to Portland in late 2001 and sat back watching the local Blues scene. He made an acquaintance with harmonica master Bill Rhoades that developed into a professional relationship and paired the guitarist with perhaps the perfect foil for his music. Joining Rhoades’ band, The Party Kings, placed Michael in one of the tightest outfits working in Portland today. On this solo outing he has brought all of the members on board and you just cannot expect any better than what you hear. It’s brilliant! Johnny Moore’s drums and Tom Szell’s bass provide essential backbeat while Michael and Bill trade vocals and instrumental bursts. This is not a band, it’s an ensemble. All equal parts combining for a heavy dose of some of the most refreshing Blues heard yet this year. There is no lull found on “Touch Tone.” The album is complete from tracks one through 12. The only flaw is that it ends. I could go on listening to this CD endlessly. Hope we do not have to wait another eight years for the next one. © 2004 Cascade Blues Association


During the mid-60's Michael Osborn was introduced to blues music through his friendship with Robben and Patrick Ford. Out of this association, Michael began playing bass guitar with the Ford brothers in various blues, rhythm & blues bands over a three-year period, from 1967 thiough 1969. In 1970, Michael (having switched to playing rhythm guitar, joined the first incarnation of the Charles Ford Band featuring Gary Smith on harmonica and Lou Bottoni on bass guitar. After many months of club dates, Pat and Robben left the band to join Charlie Musselwhite. (The Charles Ford Band disbanded until Pat and Robben reformed the following year as a quartet with Mark Ford on Harmonica and Stan Poplin on bass.) In the early 1970's, Michael recorded wlth the Charles Ford Band and Charlie Musselwhite. He also continued to build his guitar chops through the 70's while performing in various blues bands with Gary Smith, Mark Ford, Mixed Nuts (featuring Bonnie Raitt's brother, David Raitt) and an occasional Charles Ford Band reunion. In June of 1981 Michael became lead guitarist for the great John Lee Hooker. He toured all over North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil with John Lee for the next 13 years. During this same period, he backed such people as Robert Cray, Elvin Bishop, Brownie McGee, Willie Dixon, Jarnes Cotton and Charlie Musselwhite. He has also played on stage with such notables as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Johnson, Albert Collins, Ry Cooder, Carlos Santana, John Hammond, Etta James, Curtis Salgado, and The Nighthawks. Michael has performed at many prestigious venues in the United States and Europe such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, The Hammersmith Odeon in London, The Monterey blues Festival,etc. Since he left John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band, Michael fronts his own band and also performs with blues singing sensation Sista Monica. He was one of the headliners at the Mountain Winery Summer Series blues Festival '94, and has toured Europe several times, playing festivals and clubs throughout, including Djurs Bluesland Festival in Denmark. He has toured Western Canada, the Pacific Northwest and various Northern California venues (including the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Sacramento Blues Festival) with great success. © Blue Rock'It Records 2001-2007