Greetings from Chicago! Yesterday morning, I woke up in Lincoln, Nebraska after my show at Duffy’s Tavern the night before and out-drove Winter Storm Q to Omaha. After checking the weather reports, I decided that driving to Chicago while the roads were clear made the most sense (especially since I’m playing two shows in Chicago this weekend). I felt horrible canceling my set last night but found out later in the afternoon that Barley Street Tavern canceled Thursday night’s show altogether because of the weather. I hope to play at Barley Street Tavern in late April or early May on my way back from the west coast!

Although Barley Street Tavern definitely made the right choice in canceling last night’s show, I was really looking forward to playing with Orion Walsh, Dear Rabbit, and Michael Todd. Click on their names to visit their Bandcamp pages and listen/buy their music!

Tonight, I’m excited to play at my good friend Benjamin Ezra’s 32nd Birthday Party in Chicago! If you’re in the area and can’t make it to my 11pm set at Uncommon Ground tomorrow night, come to tonight’s house show! Here’s the show/event poster:


Wishing you warm feet and crackling fireplaces! Spring’s right around the corner, right?

Don’t Give Up (Even If It Breaks Your Heart)

In late 2012, after 13 years of playing music “on the side” and taking inventory of what I should be doing with my life, I decided to pursue music full-time. To take a risk and follow my heart. To choose happiness over financial stability.

Once that decision was made, I began planning my next moves, putting some money aside, and getting my to-do lists in order. Honestly, it was shocking how well things started falling into place. Before I knew it, I had 7 shows booked for December and 16 for January. I was able to work out a practical budget for 2013, invest a few hundred dollars into the car I’d be using to tour, and bought a new MacBook to use for booking shows, promotional correspondence, photo editing, web/graphic design, and recording.

Then life happened.

In early December, on the first day of being a self-employed independent musician, my computer was stolen in a public library while I stepped away to get a drink of water. Eventually coming to terms with the fact that I didn’t have time to hold a grudge with the universe, I decided to move on. My new computer was gone, and it wouldn’t be coming back. However, that whole experience really showed me how many people had my back. Several people offered financial assistance, others offered used computers, and a group of friends in Lafayette even offered to help replace my computer through a benefit event that I ultimately turned down. Although December was a challenging month, I came out stronger in the end and had a great January.

Then life happened. Again.

Earlier this week, on February 4, I was involved in a no-fault car accident on the Interstate that totaled my ’98 Toyota Camry. This was the vehicle that logged 1,553 miles during January 2013 to get me to all 16 shows I played throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Because my car was paid off and not worth that much, I only had liability coverage at the time of the accident. Translation: total loss. Although my airbags deployed and my front-end was completely smashed, neither the passenger in the other vehicle nor I suffered any cuts, bruises, bloody noses, or broken bones. Here’s a picture of the damage:

Mike Reeb's '98 Toyota Camry

Here’s a short video that also shows the inside of the vehicle:

So I’m now a full-time touring musician. Without a touring vehicle. And without enough funds to buy another car. If you were in my shoes and had a similar past three months, what would you do? I asked that very question on Facebook and Twitter, and here are the responses I received from friends, fans, and family members:

  • Persevere!! I want to see you play more!!
  • So glad you are okay. Definitely not karma.
  • I know for sure there is a message. I think you will know what it is if you really listen. Good luck Mike. The times when life has been screaming something at me have been hard also. Hugs.
  • Don’t give up, Mike!
  • The world needs more music, you just need new wheels!!
  • Totes nay to Karma, yea to play! Stay Well!
  • I’m sorry to hear this happened and that you are alright Mike! Keep positive and strong… it’s just the challenges that life likes to keep throwing at us even when we do things we desire.
  • Keep your head up, BRAH!
  • It’s life making sure you are positive this is what you want, and I think it is. Time to kick some ass.
  • Persevere! One day you will write a great book about your road to success.
  • You had beginners luck, this is a test if you want it
  • A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it
  • Things happen for a reason to get us to pause and reflect. Your music is beautiful! Don’t ever forget that you are blessed with a gift to share. This too shall pass…
  • Nobody writes good songs when everything is going their way!
  • You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me, Mike. Damn it. Glad your okay…but damn it.
  • Keep going!! You are too talented to quit!!
  • #perservere
  • Quite possibly Karma’s way of telling you, “If you really want this, you’re going to have to endure some hardships…but I’ll reward you for doing so–big time–if you hang in there!”
  • What it is: Another thing you can claim as sacrificed for the success. A loss, as all the more reason to keep going. If not, the car was totaled for nothing.
  • Follow your dreams. It gets easier. ❤

My friend Adam Ollendorff played electric guitar and pedal steel on my 2010 album, Breaking. Adam now plays and tours with Will Hoge, who co-wrote the 2013 Grammy-nominated song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” The lyrics seem to be speaking to my current situation:

“Gotta keep believing if you wanna know for sure… Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart… Keep on dreaming, don’t let it break your heart.”

Don’t worry, I’m not giving up on my dream. I’ve picked up the pieces and am already moving on.

Share My Music! Seriously.

Back in 2004, I recorded and mixed my first solo album, The Canvas EP, entirely on a Tascam 388. The 200 copies that I originally pressed have been sold-out for a while. However, all of my albums- including The Canvas EP- are available through my Bandcamp Page on a “Pay What You Want” scale. Want to pay $10? Cool. Want to pay $0. Cool.

Also, please remember that I am TOTALLY FINE with you sharing my music with your friends and family! If you want to introduce someone to my music, burn them a physical CD or give them an album or two on a USB drive. Seriously! As a solo, independent musician, it’s important for new audiences to be introduced to my music through their friends and family. Happy sharing!


In A City So Bright

Of all the songs I’ve released over the years, I believe that “In A City So Bright” from my 2011 EP Turn Your Ear is the most interesting and unusual for a few different reasons. The arrangement is unique, there’s a time-change, I added a harmony vocal part throughout the entire song, and I will probably never play it live. That being said, here it is. But please, PLEASE- if you choose to listen to it, listen on decent headphones or through a good stereo system. None of that iPhone or laptop shiz. Ain’t nobody got time for that!