This powerhouse blues and rock n’ roll band from New York City is led by singer, songwriter, producer, and harp master, Mike Markowitz. The band is well-known for its flawless, high energy blues sound, modeled after the great Chicago bands of the 50’s.
They have played nearly every major metropolitan area in the United States and Canada, some of the toughest hangouts, as well as the most sophisticated stages in the world, never straying from their course of delivering hard back alley blues and rough rock and roll. Little Mike, is a mean harmonica player who cut his teeth in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s, backing up legendary Bluesmen Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, and Jimmy Rogers. He then moved to Florida, and continued to perform and record through to the early 2000’s.
After leading a series of bands as a teenager, Mike formed the Tornadoes in 1978. At age 22, Mike was leading one of the busiest and toughest blues bands in New York City. Whenever a visiting blues artist came to town and needed a band, Little Mike and the Tornadoes usually got the call, backing artists such as Perkins, Rogers, Sumlin, Louis Meyers, Walter Horton, Bo Diddley. Mike’s reputation led to the band touring and recording as the backing unit for blues legends such as Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, and Jimmy Rogers.
Little Mike’s discography is extensive, dating back to 1984 when he cut his first single on ElRob Records. From 1988-1996 Mike recorded four sessions with Blind Pig Records that included Perkins, Sumlin, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, and Big daddy Kinsey. All these recordings are still available today from Blind Pig Records. Then came Flynn’s Place in 1996 and Hot Shot in 1998. Later on Mike recorded movie soundtracks, TV and radio commercials, and continued touring. In 2012, Blind Pig released Heaven by Pinetop Perkins on which Little Mike performed and produced.
After a hiatus from music, during which he raised his family near Gainesville, FL., he’s playing high-energy blues again in U.S. and European clubs and festivals. Following on the heels of 2013’s very successful release “Forgive Me“,
2014 saw the release of Little Mike and the Tornadoes critically acclaimed “All The Right Moves“. Additionally, during the summers of 2014, 2015 & 2016 Little Mike is toured throughout the southeastern U.S. as well as touring Southern Europe.
How better to follow up on the acclaim and success of the back to back to back releases of “Live at the St. Augustine BLUZFEST” with special guest Zora Young; dovetailed with Zora Young with Little Mike and the Tornadoes “Friday Night”. Followed by “Genuine Blues Legends” with Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers, than to release the hard chargin’ “How Long?”, in August 2016. “”This recording includes original tunes as well as a few blues classics, with a nod toward the more modern approach as well. As usual, the songs are pure high energy as well as deep down in the alley. You can hear Pinetop Perkins in Mike’s piano playing and James Cotton in his harp playing”