The Mike Goudreau Interview

Born in 1965 in Newport, Vermont into a musical family with an English mother and a French-Canadian father, Mike Goudreau picked up his first guitar at age 14 and hasn't stopped playing since. His early influences included the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and later, Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Powder Blues and Downchild - to name a few. Such diverse interests help to explain why Mike is comfortable in so many musical genres, especially jazz and blues.

Over the past 7 years, Mike's songs have been heard on such network TV shows as Everybody Hates Chris (CW), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC ), Army Wives (Lifetime), Kath & Kim (NBC), George Lopez Show (TBS), Justified (FX), Scoundrels (ABC), Let's Make A Deal (CBS), Friday Night Lights (ABC), Memphis Beat (TNT), Auction Kings (Discovery), Oddities (Discovery), Hung (HBO), Defiance (FX) and The Fosters (ABC Family) most notable.

In April 2013 – Mike’s original song ‘’Look For The Sunshine‘’ was featured in the Hollywood film ‘’West End”. Mike’s song ‘’Miss Wonderful‘’ was featured in the trailer for the French film ‘’Love Is In The Air’, and another of his compositions was used in the TV movie ‘’Bonnie & Clyde’’ on HBO.

taken from Mike Goudreau's Official Site:


The Mike Goudreau Interview

Guitarz Forever - Hi Mike, Thank you so much for taking the time out to do an interview w/ me and my Guitarz Forever.com site. Go ahead and introduce yourself to our readers and tell us what it is that you do in the way of music...

Mike - I picked up my first guitar at age 14 and havn't stopped playing since. Early influences included the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and later, Albert , B.B. And Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dutch Mason - to name a few. Such diverse interests help to explain why I'm comfortable in so many musical genres, especially jazz and blues. I've produced 18 Jazz & Blues albums since 1993 and have played well over 300 major Festivals & events across Canada and The USA. A regular performer at The Montreal International Jazz Festival (10 times since 1995) , most notable.

For the past 7 years, my songs have been heard on hundreds of network TV shows such as Everybody Hates Chris (CW), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC ), Army Wives  (Lifetime), Kath & Kim (NBC), George Lopez Show (TBS), Justified (FX), Scoundrels (ABC), Let's Make A Deal (CBS),  Friday Night Lights (ABC), Memphis Beat (TNT), Auction Kings (Discovery), Oddities (Discovery), Hung (HBO), Defiance (FX), The Fosters (ABC Family) and the TV movie North Pole (Hallmark Channel) just to name a few.

Guitarz Forever - Give our readers a short but descriptive label for your style of music.

Mike - The main style is Blues and Jazz, but I also do a lot of Rock, folk, World, Country, Xmas, Big Band and French Cabaret.

Guitarz Forever - Give all our loyal readers and peeps an update with what’s been going on with you in your musical world these days.

Mike - Performing at various Jazz & Blues Festivals and concert halls, mostly in Canada with my own music. I am also a freelance guitarist for the some famous French artists : Garou, Roch Voisine & Corneille who are preparing a tour for the fall of 2015 and winter of 2016 for 9 weeks across France, Belgium & Switzerland.

I am also always writing songs for licensing deals and for my upcoming Blues album (coming in January 2016 ) which will be comprised of mostly original songs in the Blues / Jazz genre. I continue to do licensing deals for Film & TV with sub-publishers in L.A., New York as well as Europe & the UK.    

Guitarz Forever - Where do you live and tell us some of the names of the venues you play in and around your area...

Mike - I live in Quebec, Canada. I play mainly Festivals and concert halls across Quebec. Some of the most notable places : Montreal International Jazz Festival ( 10 times ), Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival ( 17 times ), Maison Culture de Frontenac ( famous hall in Montreal where CBC records concerts that are broadcast coast to coast and worldwide via satellite radio ), Montreal Casino, Tremblant Casino, Hull Casino, Charlevoix casino as well as many corporate events and functions.

Guitarz Forever - What's the name of your current band?

Mike - Mike Goudreau & The Boppin Blues Band ( 7 piece band )

Mike Goudreau Band ( 4 to 7 musicians - Blues music ),

Mike Goudreau & Friends ( 3 to 8 piece band - Jazz/crooner)

Guitarz Forever - Please introduce the musicians and what instrument they play in your current line up.

Mike - Jonathan-Guillaume Boudreau : bass, upright bass
Jean-François Bégin : drums
Dany Roy : sax
Maxime St-Pierre : trumpet
Nino Fabi : keyboards
Serge Arsenault : trombone
Sylvain Daigneault : Piano
Roger Walls : Trumpet

Guitarz Forever - Do you tour and where have your toured throughout the years?

Mike - We play mostly in Quebec, Canada. But we've played in USA, Mexico, Europe

Guitarz Forever - What are some of the most memorable places?

Mike - Montreal International Jazz Festival ( 100,000 + people )

Tremblant International Blues Festival : Backing up harmonica legend Lee Oskar

Guitarz Forever - Ok, Now for your music … How many albums have you made over the years? What is the name of the latest Album? How did the music come about?

Mike - I have produced 18 Blues and Jazz albums since 1993....the most recent album released in march 2015 is a all original French vocal Blues album called '' Je reste accroché '' ( which means : '' I'm Still Hooked '' ...It has had rave reviews from blues critics from France, Canada and the USA as well !

I have written/produced over 200 songs created for Film & TV as well as multimedia licensing ( Xmas, World, French cabaret, Funk, Rock, Acoustic among others ) . I write many genres and I am passionate and interested about many genres.

Guitarz Forever - How do you come up with your songs?

Mike - When I'm walking, driving is when my songs come to me. I usually start with a title to get the creative juices going and then tweak it a few times....Sometimes songs come when I'm just noodling on the guitar too.I save my ideas on my phone which is also handy...Sometimes when I'm sleeping and I wake up with an idea , the phone is also handy in that case to save the idea.

Guitarz Forever - Is it one song writer or more of a collaborated effort with other musicians?

Mike -  I have many collaborators , especially for lyrics. I write mainly in English but I also have many of compositions that are either translated or adapted in French so I work with 2 main co-writers for the French lyrics. Writing in French is much more tricky than in English ( In French the tonic accents have to placed a certain way , contrary to English were there are no rules in regards to tonic accents, so it helps to have folks that are really well read in French to collaborate with which makes it sound authentic ) The music I write myself pretty much 90% on most songs.

Guitarz Forever - How often when you start an idea for song, does it actually get finished?

Mike - I'd say I finish 95% of what I start. It might take a bit longer on certain songs but I'm never trying to re-invent the wheel but rather just write songs with good grooves and hooky melodies and lyrics that everyone can get. 

Guitarz Forever - Please tell our readers what your high school years were like, what music did you and your friends listen to, and what the musical soundtrack (Favorite Album) would you recall to sum up your senior year in High school.

Mike - As a kid I listened to The Beatles religiously. Learned every Beatle tune I could. I also listened to a lot of Rolling Stones, CCR, Southern Rock bands, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Elvis ! My parents were huge country music fans so I was exposed to Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins. ( I didn't care for the country stuff until I got a little older though LOL ! )   

Guitarz Forever - What were your favorite recording artists and or bands as a teenager?

Mike - The Beatles, CCR, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Cars, Billy Joel, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis among others.   

Guitarz Forever - Has your taste changed over the years and if so, who are your favorite recording artists now?

Mike - Now I'm into Big Band and Jazz music a lot....Frank Sinatra ( the Capitol years especially ), Mel Torme, Harry Connick Jr., Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine, Hank Mobley, Jimmy Smith, John Patton, Jimmy McGriff, early George Benson. I also like World music ( Reggae, calypso, latin jazz, Affro beat, Cuban ) .     

Guitarz Forever - First big question… Why the Guitar?

Mike - It was a friend who played guitar and he taught me my first chords. I tried piano but it didn't click like the guitar did. I actually started out as a bass player the first 7 years then switched to guitar at age 22 and never turned back. I also realized that as the lead guitarist and singer it was easier to lead the band than when I played the bass so it was a natural progression....Plus don't guitar players get all the chicks ?  LOL !

Guitarz Forever - Are you a schooled guitar player or a self-taught guitar player?

Mike - I'm self taught, but over the years I have had the chance to play with many great pianists and sax players who taught me be-bop, jazz lines, modes and  also the names of the chords ( I played many chords for years thinking they sounded good but didn't know their names and how to apply them) ....So these fellow band mates were instrumental in my musical development in becoming the musician I am today.

Guitarz Forever - Did You develop your style by concept or by messing around on the neck playing what sounded cool to you?

Mike - I learned a lot from watching other guitar players, checking out the position where they played certain riffs. I started learning solos with 2 riffs : Chuck Berry's '' Johnny B. Goode '' and The Stones' '' Honky Tonk Woman '' ( which is a pedal steel triad ) . I messed around learning B.B. King and SRV's licks from there. I never was big on copying complete solos but rather would pick the licks that stood out to me and then made them my own and mashed up all the licks together to create my own style. When I got into Jazz I started learning Kenny Burrell licks as well as a lot of sax solos…I like picking sax riffs because they really make you play stuff in a less ''guitaristic'' manner and it helped set me apart from other guitar players in that way. I also play a lot of songs in less guitar friendly keys like Bb, F, C, Eb.    

Guitarz Forever - So, what type of guitars do you play and why?

Mike - I own a few guitars :

1) Gibson ES-175 mainly for Jazz and swing Blues. It's a beautiful blond with loads of curly maple on back and sides…A really awesome look as well as great tone !

2) Fender Custom Shop  '' Nocaster '' which I love for Blues, Country, Rock'n'Roll ….a real working man's guitar that has a very chunky neck and weighs only 6lbs…Awesome machine !

3) 57' Fender Stratocaster Reissue in Candy-Apple Red with a pearl pick guard (Japanese model from 1986). I put Jeff Beck Noiseless Pick-ups on it and changed the neck to a 40th anniversary Fender USA Maple neck because it was chunkier…this guitar sounds and plays better than most Strats I've played and is GREAT for rhythm especially.  

4) Gibson Les Paul 58' Custom Shop ( special Canadian edition which was made Canadian Maple …Only 75 of these made in a beautiful Cherry Sunburst ) It plays like butter and has a lot  more clarity than a regular Les Paul, especially the rhythm pick-up ( I never was a Les Paul fan until I player this one…A really great guitar for all styles of music !

5) A Guild acoustic I've had for 25+ years that sound great acoustic or plugged in.     

Guitarz Forever - What type of amps do you use? Do you use different amps for the studio vs live shows... If so, why?

Mike - I own 2 amps :

1) Fender Vibroking ( Cream colored model ) . KILLER amp that I only use for major gigs or the studio. It is very heavy to carry but The tone of these amps is just awesome. The best amp I've ever owned. Lots of head room for the clean tones and if the band gets too loud you can cut through …Only if needed…Which is rarely needed with the fine players I work with :) 

2) Fender Supersonic ( also cream colored model ) basically this a Fender Deluxe with a channel switch option…which I never use…to be honest I bought this amp for aesthetic reasons only but it sounds amazing for the price ! And I use it for 90% of my live gigs to lessen wear on the Vibroking…plus it weighs half of the Vibroking ! 

Guitarz Forever - Do you have any endorsement with instrument and gear companies?

Mike - No

Guitarz Forever - How did you first get into the music business?

Mike - Started out as a hobby in high school and then a part time job in my early teens and twenties and has been a full time job since 25 + years now.

Guitarz Forever -  Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

Mike - Beatles, Stones, Clapton, SRV, Albert King, BB King. Then as I got older and into Jazz and standards I listened to a lot of Sinatra, Kenny Burrell, Louis Armstrong, Grant Green, Wes Montgomery.  

Guitarz Forever - How has your guitar playing evolved over the years?

Mike - I started out playing a lot of Classic Rock, Blues and Country the first 10 years and then I was fortunate enough to play with some great piano players and saxophonists who were University taught who taught me be-bop licks, jazzy chords and learned many standards which helped evolve harmonically and actually helped me be a better Blues & Rock'n'Roll guitarist. 

Guitarz Forever - Where do you see the music business today?

Mike - I think it's easier for a musician to be successful as a indie artist than ever because of the internet and the ability to get your music in hands of key people…Weather it's for licensing or distribution.

Guitarz Forever - Do you have a dream car?

Mike - I have many …. 59 Cadillac, 57 Chevy among others.

Guitarz Forever - I also don't want to forget this... Tell us about any other things you may be in involved in or any special interest besides music that is close to your heart?

Mike - I've been licensing my music to Film & Tv since 2007. My songs have have been heard on hundreds of network TV shows such as Everybody Hates Chris (CW) ,  Dirty Sexy Money (ABC ), Army Wives (Lifetime) , Kath & Kim (NBC), George Lopez Show (TBS), Justified (FX),Scoundrels (ABC), Let's Make A Deal (CBS),  Friday Night Lights (ABC), Memphis Beat (TNT), Auction Kings (Discovery), Oddities (Discovery), Hung (HBO), Defiance (FX), The Fosters (ABC Family), the TV movie North Pole (Hallmark Channel) and Gotham (FOX)  just to name a few.

Guitarz Forever - Do you do social networking? If so, what are your facebook and twitter web addresses?

My fan Page : https://www.facebook.co/mikegoudreaufanpage

My website : www.mikegoudreau.com

Guitarz Forever - I would like to thank you for your time and candor with our loyal readers and keep on fighting the good fight to bring us some awesome music.

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