Mike Is Camping (Mike in the Woods)

There’s an interesting story behind this song, but you probably don’t care.

Back in the early 90’s, my friend Mike was really into 4-wheeling and camping in the mountains… as well as drinking lots of beer and shooting guns.  My friend Chris and I were pretty much city boys, but we would go on many wheeling trips with Mike.  Chris and I wrote the lyrics to this song in ’92, and the original version of the song (at that time called “Mike in the Woods”) was born.

I played the guitar and bass, programmed the drum machine and sang the lead vocals… Chris, well.. he pretty much just drank beer and shouted out a few background vocals.

In late 2014, I was sitting in my studio and I decided to remake the song.  Chris didn’t participate this time, so I was able to redo the whole thing in about 2 hours.  After you’ve watched this lyric video of the “new” version here, check out the original audio version of the song below it.

And 2 decades earlier… here’s the original 1992 version of “Mike in the Woods (Mike is Camping)”:


Original – Doesn’t Matter

Here is an original song that I wrote in 1995.  Having been influenced by Dream Theater for 3 years at this point, my own music started to take on a more progressive feel… more complicated chord progressions, more intricate drum tracks, and I was breaking away from the old “verse, chorus, verse chorus, solo, chorus, fade out” paradigm of songs I grew up with.

While the guitars and vocals were performed by myself, my friend Mike Fermer played the keyboards and programmed the drum tracks.  Yes, that is a drum machine.  Mike is amazing at programming drum tracks!

Another thing to note: I was much more of a guitarist at this time of my life than a vocalist, so…  😛

Vocals recorded with my Shure SM-58 mic. I was playing my 1986 Charvel Model 3 strat guitar through a portable Zoom effects processor.  The keyboard is an Ensoniq SQ-1.

Vocal Cover – The Silent Man (Dream Theater)

Anyone that knows me is aware that I’ve been a Dream Theater fanatic since the first time I heard “Pull Me Under” in 1992.  While the guitarist in me is most impressed by the the guitar god John Petrucci, I also appreciate the phenomenal skill and talent the other members (past and present) possess.

“The Silent Man” has easy to sing vocals since it doesn’t use James LaBrie’s wide vocal range, and it’s just such a beautiful song.  Now, as a guitarist I can actually play this song quite well, but as a fairly lazy musician it is much easier to find a backing track on the Internet that somebody else has already created… so I did that instead.

These vocals were recorded with my Neumann TLM-103 mic.