1998 was a banner year for Michael when he released his long anticipated and eagerly awaited debut CD, Blues Money (1998 WTCD001 Wooden Teeth Records). This original recording was nominated for a Juno and received the Jazz Report and Real Blues awards for Blues Album of the Year. Michael was also presented with the coveted Maple Blues Blues With A Feeling Award in recognition of his passion and commitment to the blues.
Conversation With The Blues (2000 WTCD002 Wooden Teeth Records) earned him another JUNO nomination and won the Canadian Indie Music Award for Blues Album of the Year. This extraordinary recording is an eclectic mix of ten original compositions comprised of blues, r&b, soul, jazz, delta, and gospel. In addition, "Night Comes" (Doug Riley/Molly Johnson) is a deliciously intimate ballad recorded live in the studio... Doug Riley on grand piano, Michael on vocal. "Mother Earth", an exquisite chestnut was also recorded live in the studio and given the big band treatment with backup singers, horns and the definitive three minute Pickett harp solo. And then there's the beautiful and haunting original title track, "Conversation With The Blues" featuring a live string quartet!
In the Spring of 2000, Michael revealed yet another layer of his seemingly endless reservoir of musical talents. His deep love of roots/blues music compelled him to pick up his Gibson guitar after a 30+ year hiatus. With focus and diligence, this musical transition transformed him into a formidable guitarist on the six-string, twelve-string, and National Steel Duolian. With exceptional award winning rack harmonica skills and remarkable vocals, he delivers performances that are charged with electricity and filled with passion, authenticity, substance, and a unique style. Whether putting his own spin on obscure tunes of legendary icons such as Robert Johnson, Sticks McGhee, Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt or respectfully re-interpreting the music of Tom Waits, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, or showcasing his own extraordinary eclectic material, Michael reveals a profound understanding of where this music comes from and why it stands the test of time. He's been known to share a story or two about some of the legends who have visited his life over the past three decades. It's no small wonder that his audiences repeatedly respond with standing ovations and demands for an encore.
Michael Pickett / Solo (WTCD003 Wooden Teeth Records) was released October 2002.
His career has included extensive recording, film, radio, and television credits. He has shared the stage with John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Koko Taylor, John Hammond, Sunnyland Slim, James Cotton, Tom Rush, T Graham Brown, Jeff Healey, Matt Minglewood, The Kentucky Headhunters and has opened for Taj Mahal, Muddy Waters, Son Seals, and James Cotton at venues ranging from Massey Hall to New York's Village Gate.
Real Blues (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
"Pickett...head and shoulders above the legion of harp-blowers out there, displaying uncanny power, taste and technique." "Blues Money is quite simply one of the very best blues CDs to ever come out of Canada." "...an exceptionally original, unique and talent-heavy offering from a truly gifted artist."
BluzHarp (Raleigh, NC, USA) [FULL REVIEW]
"Michael Pickett is a Blues Harmonica player from Canada that is seasoned and playing what I like to call, Dangerous Blues and Boogie. I give [Blues Money] a perfect score and highly recommend it!"
Blues On Stage (Minneapolis, MINN, USA) [FULL REVIEW]
[Blues Money] is a mature, confident work of the very highest caliber... a work of art... a life statement of a man who's been around long enough to dismiss frills and frippery, who's learned from hard experience what matters, and who has the skill and experience to translate that into music that's honest and true. Yes, it's that good. There's Chicago blues, there's jump blues and Texas blues, etc. ... and now there's [all original] Pickett blues. This is one for the ages!
Check out the artist's website:
1. World Gone Crazy
2. Blues Money
4. The Sweetest Sound
6. All of These Blues
7. Call Your Name
8. Work So Hard
11. I Won't Be Your Fool
12. My Mind's Made Up