Ohio, United States
Christian HipHop / Rap / Christian Pop / Rock
Mike Calhoun, a versatile songwriter and guitar player was influenced by many stellar rock guitar players that came out of the late sixties/early seventies such as Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Clapton, Phil Keaggy (Glass Harp) and Joe Walsh (James Gang). This musical influence equipped Mike Calhoun to be a founding father of the Grammy Award-Winning Dazz Band.
The group's unique blend of R&B, Jazz, Pop and Funk dazzled audiences across the country from 1978 to 1987. Originally Kinsman Dazz signed with Twentieth Century Fox Records where Mike was mentored by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Phillip Bailey (Earth Wind & Fire). The Group eventually moved to Motown Records where Mike had the experience of working with Stevie Wonder and other great talents that were part of the Motown stable. While Mike's guitar playing has always stood out, he was also one of the primary songwriters for the Dazz Band. He wrote hits like "Invitation to Love", co-wrote "Knock Knock", "Shake it Up" and "Freaky Loving" and continued to pump out quality material over the years.
Mike Calhoun left the Dazz Band before their breakup to sign with MCA Records but was still being managed by Joe Simone (Dazz Band's manager) until Joe's death. In 1985 Joe Bendo, Tim LaRose and George Cappellini helped Mike sign a deal along with lead singer Juan Lively forming the group Voyeur. Michael & Ike Wiley (from the Dazz Band) joined him on the album. When Juan fell ill, the contract ended after one album.
Mike Calhoun did return to the Dazz Band for one more album "Joy Stick and then went on to tour with the group Identity which was a reggae band signed with Mango Island Records. Mike toured with Identity for three years.
Mike Calhoun returned to Cleveland in 1992 to write and help produce an album for Cozette Morgan (R&B, Pop) that got rave reviews in Europe and Asia. In 1997, Mike then toured with The Travis Haddix Blues Band for two years.
Mike Calhoun was presented with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Platinum Membership in 1994 at the opening of the facility and played in the "Allstar" band formed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the "topping off" ceremony. He was awarded for his song writing & playing with the Dazz Band.
Mike Calhoun left Cleveland and was showcased in a club in Louisville, Ky. owned by Jerry Green. He was inspired during this time to start his own band. So in 2002 he returned back to Cleveland where he wrote and produced his first solo CD "In Blue" "In Blue" is an electric project with elements of rock, funk, rap, jazz, blues and even a few gospel tunes that give tribute to his spiritual roots. "In Blue" was released on Little Fish Records (Larry Koval, CEO) in 2007. He was also featured on Soul-Patrol's historic album that also has appearances by Public Enemy, the Dells and Chico Hamilton. Bob Davis (CEO of Soul-Patrol) calls Mike a funk pioneer.
In 2007 Mike Calhoun co-produced the hip-hop/rock album "My Animal Self" by up and coming Cleveland artist E&J. Mike is also working on the hip-hop album "Father& Son" with his son Malik. Mike is currently working on an Inspirational project that will be released soon and he can currently be heard every Sunday night playing lead guitar in the Reggae Funk Hip Hop Band, The Flex Crew. With the help of Mike they are recording a new album to be released this year. Mike Calhoun has plans on working with his cousin, Will Calhoun of Living Colour on a special project in the near future.