Born in California (Nov. 1964) and raised in Arizona, Mike began his musical journey as a banjo and guitar player. Throughout his high school years, Mike honed his abilities playing bluegrass and country music in and around the Phoenix area as well as competing in picking contests throughout the Southwest. Having won and placed in many regional and national competitions, pursuing a career in music became his passion.
Upon graduation from high school in 1982 his next endeavor was to attend college in Levelland, Texas at South Plains College where the college provided a unique curriculum in Country and Bluegrass Music. This led to the formation of Weary Hearts, a bluegrass band formed with Ron Block (Alison Krauss), Eric Uglum and the late Butch Baldassari (Nashville Mandolin Ensemble). Through the years and miles the band became regionally popular and new guitarist Chris Jones (Artist & Sirius/XM DJ) inspired a move to Nashville. Mike and the band landed in Nashville in the fall of 1989. With the departure of Ron Block, Mike again concentrated on the banjo and guitar as his primary instruments. As Weary Hearts began to fade, a new opportunity arose and Bub returned to the bass to work with The Del McCoury Band.
With Del, he began a 13 year association with what was to become the most awarded band at the International Bluegrass Music Assoc. Awards. Racking up an unprecedented 9 Entertainer of the Year awards, 5 Bass Player of the Year awards as well as various Album, Instrumental and Song of the Year awards. While with Del McCoury, the band recorded the seminal album ‘The Mountain’ with Steve Earle, taking their brand of Bluegrass to a whole new audience. Del and the band were granted membership to the Grand Ole Opry as well as a Grammy award for the album ‘The Company We Keep’ for Best Bluegrass Album of 2005.
On the side, Bub performed weekly every Tuesday night at Nashville’s premier roots music venue The Station Inn with the Sidemen. A conglomeration of some of Nashville’s working Bluegrass musicians. The stint lasted 16 years and became a Nashville tradition on Tuesday nights and was celebrated in an album titled Almost Live At The Station Inn and an ensuing tour of Japan.
Since 2005, he has developed work as a session musician and producer (Steep Canyon Rangers/Town Mountain) as well as a go-to bass player for many artists. Recent years have seen Bub touring and performing with the likes of Vince Gill, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Quartet, Tim O’Brien, Shawn Camp, Dale Ann Bradley, Chris Scruggs, John Oates, David Peterson & 1946 and country artist Ashley Monroe. Recording credits include several projects that have won multiple awards in country and bluegrass as well as Grammy nominations and awards.
Some of these include This One’s For Him, A Tribute To Guy Clark, Unfinished Business by Wanda Jackson, Gone Away Backward by Robbie Fulks, Traveler by Jerry Douglas, Chicken & Egg by Tim O’Brien, Up On The Ridge by Dierks Bentley, Mountain Soul II by Patty Loveless, Tomorrow Is My Time, Rhiannon Giddens, These Days by Vince Gill and many others.
A long time resident of East Nashville, Mike is often found playing the local clubs with his talented friends and neighbors in the Nashville area. Currently, Mike plays every Monday with an all star line up of some of Nashville’s legendary writers, singers and players. The group calls themselves New Monday and features: Val Storey, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Aubrey Haynie, Doug Jernigan and Larry Atamanuik. Additionally, Bub is also a member of another stellar “super group”, 18 South with premiere hit songwriters Jon Randall Stewart, Jessi Alexander and Jimmy Wallace along with master telecaster player Guthrie Trapp and veteran drummer Larry Atamanuik.