Guitarist Mike Seal first caught my attention at the end of 2014 as part of the Jeff Sipe Trio. At that time I described him as an extraordinarily talented young musician, an assessment shared by many, including the legendary dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas. This summer the three time winner of the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year award invited Mike Seal to join his band. At the beginning of this exciting new chapter in his musical journey, it seemed like an ideal time to speak with him.
He has been active on the Southern music scene for over ten years, touring with The Jeff Sipe Trio, The Black Lillies, The Jeff Coffin Mu'tet, and sharing the stage with musicians such as Kofi Burbridge, Oteil Burbridge, Col. Bruce Hampton, a.m.m.
His grandfather was a gifted self taught gospel guitarist in rural Virginia, and his older brother, Rob Seal, is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar/mandolin/violin/banjo) who is active on the bluegrass music scene. He is married to Megan Lovell who is a very accomplished lap steel and dobro player. She and her sister Rebecca front the popular Americana roots band Larkin Poe. The band frequently tours with Elvis Costello, and has opened for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
During the interview he solves the mystery of his unique technique, talks about his influences, and his trial by fire initiation into the Jerry Douglas Band at the Bluegrass Festival this past summer in Telluride, Colorado, a.m.m. There are several audio clips which showcase his remarkable musicianship and the breadth of his musical interestsjazz, bluegrass, and even two classical pieces. I'm eagerly anticipating an album from this extraordinarily talented musician.
Photo credit: Frank Zipperer
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.