(photo Mary Kay Weir)
MIKE LANGLEY—outline of a life in music
--Mike started playing guitar at the age of 9, taught by his dad, Jack Langley (2005 recipient of the Danny Matousek Lifetime Achievement Award
and Inductee into The Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
Mom Sheila played piano and sang harmony with the family at home;
Mike's younger brother Jon followed the calling too, and became a singer, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, painter, photographer, graphic artist—a quintessential artist of rare mastery and beauty.
--Mike played his first gig at the age of 10 in a dirt-floor,
hole-in-the-wall joint in the Sioux City Stockyards.
--Through junior high and high school Mike played guitar and sang with Jack at a multitude of clubs from Sioux City to Nashville and back.
--Mike studied Linguistics, French and German at Morningside College from 1981-85, making friends with Austrian musicians; he made several trips across the pond before graduating Summa Cum Laude and making the move to Europe in '85.
--Mike lived and toured in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany,
France and the UK from '85-'97, developing a free-lance career
that ranged from performing on cobblestone streets to playing at international jazz and folk festivals; appearing in nightclubs to writing and recording movie soundtracks; working as a singer, instrumentalist and arranger in studios
to touring solo and with rock, folk and avant-garde groups.
--Toured in Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia and recorded
"European Reunion Tour" with Jack in 1990.
--Toured the US solo from New York City to San Francisco in '93.
--Mike hooked up with brother Jon in Europe in early 90's to form The Langley Brothers Band, recording "Upstairs In The Basement" in Vienna, Austria and touring Normandy, Brittany and the UK (including a lengthy stint as House Band with Rudi Strauss at the legendary Rock Garden club in London)
before returning to the US in '97.
--Mike formed independent record label, Orange Carpet Music in ’97, and played with Jon in The Langley Brothers Band, and with Jack and Jon as The Langleys.
-- Jon Langley passed away December 30, 1999; Mike has released Langley Brothers Archives records every Christmas in Jon's memory.
--Mike has produced 12 of his own records since returning to the US:
"Prehumous", "Langley Brothers Band", "Gnu Ewe", "Faves",
"Know What? Chicken Butt", "Westside Mikey & Westside Bobo: N. A. Blur", the "Dark Ones" series, "'67 Quarter", “Cheers, Love”, "Songs From The Future", "Sundry Plunder From The Wreck Of The Emdee VIII" and "History: A Thing Of The Past?",
as well as 4 records with Jack: "Portraits", "Looking Back", "Harleys In Heaven" and "Guitar Man"--which won the 2010 National Traditional Music Association's Songwriter Album of the Year Award.
--Mike and Jack were featured performing live on South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s television music showcase “No Cover No Minimum” in 2008, and in a video by Melissa Lanzourakis featuring Jack’s song, “The Mighty Muddy Mo” in 2011.
--Mike played bass guitar on occasion with longtime friends Jain Jeffer (Mindy Winchester, Ray McAvoy, Buckley Mills and the late Jerry Kessler, who passed away in June of 2011) and Wavelength (Jerry Kessler, Charlie Hoberg and Pat Miller).
--Mike continues to run Orange Carpet Music's independent record label R & G Records and recording studio The Guitarsenal, teaches guitar at Morningside College, and performs live either solo or with fellow music veterans Bob Larson, Jamie Bowers, Walt Peterson and Chad Stewart (Mike Langley Band/The Groovediggers) and with Jack Langley and Jamie Bowers (The Langleys Trio).
Mike was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association's Hall of Fame in September 2012.
--In recent years Mike has performed on tour in Ireland with life partner Mary Kay Weir.