Mighty Mike Schermer
Blues In Good Hands
Mighty Mike Schermer was inspired by Albert Collins and T- Bone Walker. Schermer was the guitarist in The Soul Drivers with harp ace Andy Santana, drummer June Core and bassist Steve Ehrmann. They were a legendary bay area band that backed up Willie Dixon, Jimmy Rogers, and Billy Boy Arnold.
In 1998 The Soul Drivers became Angela Strehli’s touring band and Schermer became Strehli’s musical director. Strehli’s 1998 “Deja Blue” album featured Schermer on guitar. Schermer released his first album “1st Set” in 2000. His followup was 2005’s “Next Set” which contained his award winning song “My Big Sister’s Radio”. The song was later covered by Tommy Castro on his 2008 BMA winning “Painkiller” CD.
In 2006 Schermer was hired by Elvin Bishop and he appears on Bishop’s 2008 “The Blues Rolls On” CD on Delta Groove Records. 2007 saw the release of Schermer’s “Right Hand Man” on Fine Dog Records and in 2009 he followed up with “Live Set”. Schermer relocated to Austin, TX in 2009 to join Marcia Ball’s band and he appears on her 2011 “Roadside Attractions” album. Schermer’s last recording was 2013’s “Be Somebody”.
This is Schermer’s sixth recording overall. The band consists of Schermer, guitar and vocals; Paul Revelli, who also plays with The Bey Paule Band, drums; Steve Ehrmann, who also plays with Roy Rogers, bass; and Austin DeLone or Tony Stead, keyboards. All songs were either written or co-written by Schermer. The album was recorded at various studios. It was mixed by Kid Anderson.
The album opens with “Baby Don’t Stop”. This is the only track with both keyboardists; Stead is on organ, while DeLone plays piano. Terry Hanck is added on the saxophone. Shelly King and Carolyn Wonderland are the backup vocalists. Schermer’s guitar and vocal are right on the money.
“Heaven’s On The Other Side” and “It’s A Pleasure” further showcase Schermer’s abilities. The former features Stead on organ and a commanding guitar solo from Schermer. The later is an especially sensitive and beautiful song; DeLone is featured on piano.
“One Tear at A Time” is an infectious reggae tune that reminds me of how much I miss that back beat. The harmony at the end reminds me of The Heptones. Schermer excels on the Ernie Ranglin type guitar lead.
On “World Gone Crazy” Nancy Wright sits in on sax. Wright also plays in the Bey Paule Band and in The Elvin Bishop Band.
The title track “Blues in Good Hands” is the story of how Albert Collins influenced Schermer’s music. The personnel on this track are the same as on the opener but without DeLone.
“Wait On Me Woman” and “Take My Hand” feature a different lineup including Greg Izor, harmonica; Johnny Bradley, bass; and Damien Llanes, drums.
“Most People” features great solos from DeLone, piano; and Schermer, guitar. The rhythm section of Revilli, drums; and Ehrmann, bass are rock solid.
“Barkin’ Up The Wrong Tree” features pianists DeLone and guest Marcia Ball. The background vocalists are Angela Strehli and Vicki Randle.
“Stop Crying” features Llanes, drums; and some nice bass from Bradley. Guitarist Tommy Castro guests on this track.
“Baby Be Kind” features John Nemeth on harp; with Schermer, Revelli, Ehrmann and DeLone.
“Before I “Hear You Call Him Baby”, one more time…” is another great song. It closes out this fine album.
This is the album that should ignite Schermer’s career. Known primarily as a “go to” guitarist; “Blues In Good Hands” should further establish Schermer as an exciting songwriter, vocalist, and bandleader. What a band! This is highly recommended listening.