Sanchez on stage in 2007.
|Birth name||Jesus Miguel Sanchez|
17 February 1964 |
Hackney, North London, England
|Genres||Rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, boogie woogie, blues, rockabilly|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, guitar|
|Associated acts||The Rockets
Big Town Playboys
Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings
The Big Six
Jesus Miguel "Mike" Sanchez (born 17 February 1964) is a rhythm and blues singer, pianist and songwriter of Spanish-English heritage. Sanchez is known for his work with the Big Town Playboys and Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, and for his solo career. He is noted for his authenticity to the work of post-war blues shouters and piano players.
Sanchez was born in East London to Spanish parents Jesus Sanchez Diaz and Manola Bastida Gil. In 1975 when Sanchez was 11 his family moved to the Bewdley, Worcestershire area where he attended Bewdley High School and Kidderminster College. As a teenager Sanchez took up playing the guitar and formed a rockabilly trio, The Rockets. Sanchez developed a strong love for 1950s American roots music and also took up playing the piano.
Sanchez was introduced to former Savoy Brown, Steve Gibbons and Chicken Shack band member Andy Silvester through Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, and led to the 1984 formation of the Big Town Playboys.
Procol Harum pianist Gary Brooker, a fan of the Big Town Playboys, introduced Sanchez to Amen Corner's Andy Fairweather-Low and Eric Clapton. The band were soon opening up for Clapton on various tours and shows from 1987 onwards, including numerous shows at the Royal Albert Hall). Later in the mid-90s Fairweather-Low was recruited as the band's guitarist.
Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood also involved the Big Town Playboys in several visits to the USA during the late 80's and early 90's including a nationwide television appearance on The Pat Sajak show.
Sanchez and the Big Town Playboys headlined many European music festivals and worked with several noted blues musicians, such as Jimmy Nelson, Lowell Fulson, Carey Bell, Don and Dewey, Little Willie Littlefield and Joe Hughes.
Sanchez left the Big Town Playboys in December 1999 and pursued a solo career, although his debut solo album Just A Game was cut and released in 1997 while still with the Big Town Playboys. In 2001 Sanchez became a member of Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings (replacing pianist Gary Brooker).
By 2001 Sanchez had formed a seven-piece rhythm and blues outfit under his own name featuring guitarist Andy Silvester, bassist Al Gare, drummer Mark Morgan (also formerly of the Big Town Playboys, The Harlem Horns (Al Nicholls and Pete Cook), and Doo Wop vocal group The Extraordinaires. This line-up often featured Dublin born vocalist Imelda May who later launched a hugely successful worldwide solo career through Decca/Universal.
The Blues in Britain magazine named Mike Sanchez as UK Keyboard Player of the Year from 2000-2004.
Sanchez also collaborated with Swedish blues artists Knockout Greg and Blue Weather, recording an album based on jump blues and blues shouters such as Young Jessie, Roy Brown and Wynonie Harris. The album, along with his releases Blue Boy, You Better Dig It and 2003 DVD Release Red Hot...LIVE! was released on his own label, Doopin' Records.
Currently Sanchez is fronting a six-piece titled Mike Sanchez and his Band, featuring from Leicester based outfit Drugstore Cowboys bassist Nick Whitfield and guitarist Tom Bull, former Big Town Playboy Mark Morgan on drums, Martin Winning (Van Morrison) on tenor saxophone and baritone saxophonist Nick Lunt (Jools Holland's Rhythm & Blues Orchestra). He also regularly performs with his four-piece lineup "The Portions", as a soloist at International boogie woogie festivals and with several other bands across Europe most notably in France with the Drew Davies Rhythm Combo.
Throughout his career Sanchez was based in Bewdley and then Kidderminster in the West Midlands until January 2010 when his father died and Sanchez moved to the province of Avila in Central Spain to take care of his mother, an Alzeimers sufferer. Sanchez continues to remain busy every year with concerts across Europe whilst settling down in the Sierra Gredos with his English bride and their first child Louie (born 4 November 2012).
- Playboy Boogie, Big Town Playboys (1985 - Making Waves)
- Now Appearing, Big Town Playboys (1990 - Blue Horizon)
- Crazy Legs, Big Town Playboys with Jeff Beck (1993 - Epic)
- Hip Joint, Big Town Playboys (1994 - Blue Horizon)
- Ready to Rock, The Big Six (1995 - Vinyl Japan)
- Struttin' Our Stuff, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings (1997 - BMG/RCA)
- Just a Game (1997 - MS-001)
- Off the Clock...Live!, Big Town Playboys (1997 - Eagle)
- Six Pack, Big Town Playboys (1998 -BTP)
- Anyway the Wind Blows, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings (1998 - BMG/RCA)
- On the Road Again, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings (2002 - Ripple Records)
- Just Can't Afford It, Mike Sanchez (2000 - Doopin)
- Blue Boy, Mike Sanchez (2001 - Doopin)
- Women and Cadillacs, Mike Sanchez with Knock Out Greg & Blue Weather (2003 - Doopin)
- You Better Dig It, Mike Sanchez (2008 - Doopin)
- Babes and Buicks, Mike Sanchez with The Beat From Palookaville (2010 - Doopin)
- Almost Grown, Mike Sanchez featuring Imelda May (2012 - Doopin)