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Mike Maves: Bio

Canada has long been one of the world's prime breeding grounds for great songwriters. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Fred Eaglesmith, Ron Sexsmith are just a few that spring to mind. Perhaps it's just part of the Canadian makeup, or the proximity to the United States, or maybe it's just something in the water, but whatever it is Canadian songwriters somehow consistently manage to be able to say it straight and say it to the world. With the release of This Side of Town, Canada now introduces singer-songwriter Mike Maves. Born and raised in a Canadian border town, Maves' song writing inspiration comes from such places as the lives and deaths of musicians and from his own musings on North American history, social and environmental issues and everyday life. The tunes take their form from his strong desire to tackle dark and complex topics with deceptively simple songs.

Maves' music comes from a deep well of influences, ranging from obligatory hard rock to folk, roots and country oriented artists like Van Morrison, The Band, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard and Neil Young. The variety of influences shows in the range of styles that stream from his debut album "This Side of Town" released in July 2005. Songs range from the nearly one man show "Death Row Lament", an ode churned out in first person from an entirely remorseless death row inmate, to the full-on, full band rocking country of songs like "Went to Memphis", complete with some huge piano, dirt in your mouth harmonica and ripping slide guitar.

In some cases you're drawn through the lyrics and left reeling on the other side. The environment conscious "Our Hour Now" is 400 years of social and environmental history in under 4 minutes. If that's too heavy, the liquor fuelled, honky tonk of songs like "Hot Damned" are sure to bring you back up for a minute of air.

As you listen to this album you may be left wondering how low this guy can go, and how much anguish he has endured. There are very few happy teeth and silver linings here. Just stone cold reality and at times when it looks like things can't go any lower Maves can somehow push it through the floor again.

A peak at the music already in the cue for the next 2 albums brings further excitement about Maves' potential to make an impact. Uncut gems like "Ashes", "Never Had a Daddy" and "Empty Bottles" are already flooring fans at live acoustic performances.

Look for more from Mike Maves before the year is out.