From Kokomo, Indiana, Mike began playing guitar in 1977 at age 6. Mike grew up hearing his father's soul-rock bands. As a boy, he traveled with them and the Drifters in the mid 1970's throughout the southern United States. He recieved his first guitar at age 5. He purchased his first electric guitar at age 10 with paper route money. His vocals and guitar have been called "gritty and soulful" and have been compare to many. He formed Steam Shovel in the Summer of 1993 and named the band after his favorite childrens book by Viginia Lee Burton, "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel". "My mom bought the book for me from a garage sale when I was a boy. Recently, I've contacted the author's children, who are in their 70's, and they were delighted to see what the band's been doing. They also put a copy of "All My Life" in the National Library of Congress along side their mother's books", Mike said.
Its seems that Mike writes music that is appreciated and enjoyed by all ages. You may catch him performing with the band or solo electric, acoustic 12 string, or National steel, at a Blues Sunday School, an elementary or high school, and then at a venue that night, always sharing the music...
Mike cites his father, "Big" Mike, Robert Cray, Howling Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall (1 and 2), Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Donny Hathaway Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and Collins.(get the picture?) as his mentors.
Mike formed Steam Shovel in the summer of 1993, and has performed with/opened for: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Cray (3x), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Buddy Guy(4x), Al Green, Tower of Power, Sam Lay, W.C. Clark, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Joe Bonamassa, Chris Duarte, BB King, Booker T Jones, Double Trouble(SRV 20th Anniversary memorial Concert. Nashville., TN), and was named "Best Blues Band in Indiana" in 2002 by the Crossroads Blues Society of Indiana!
In 2007, LIVE! and Timing is Everything CDs were picked up for national distribution by all Meijer and Best Buy stores and named "Top Selling Artist of 2008", by Audio Recon, MMSS’s digital distributor. Audio Recon is responsible for placing MMSS tunes on iTunes, Emusic, Rhapsody...
In 2012, Mike signed with Fender Guitars(FMIC) as Fender Artist!
"Mike plays with that indefinable, yet very real thing called soul, that thing about being real that one always knows when it’s there"
Snip of review from Buddy Guy show. INdy . 9-5-05 by George Fish
"Mike's so good I should've been carrying his sh*# !"
Funny quote from Tommy Shannon (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble). 8-28-2010
“We keep it simple, play from the heart, and reach out to those suffering and celebrating.”…Mike
Born January 15,1975, in Kokomo, Indiana, Shaun has been playing bass since 1990 and is one of the best players around. Shaun grew up with music all around in the Milligan family. Shaun has been "filling" in and "sitting" in with Steam Shovel since its formation in 1993 and officially joined in 2000.. He loves jamming with his little boy, Raven Patrick, who is one heck of a drummer for any age!
Shaun is not a "frustrated guitarist" who decided to play bass. He IS a bassist. It's his instrument of choice and expression (although he's one tough drummer and guitarist!). Shaun's playing style is solid, funky, and soulful. Shaun really admires Rocco Prestia, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, and Jaco Pastorius... (what bassist doesn't?!) Whether he's playing 4 string electric or acoustic bass, Shaun can really hold down the "groove" and make you move, and if you're not careful, "rattle the breading off of your corndog!".-says a vendor at the Indiana State Fair-2003!
Shaun plays Fender Jazz basses, Warwicks, and most often, his Fodera Vic Wooten model (pictured above). He uses Aguilar amps/cabs and SIT Strings.
Robert "Tiny" Cook
Robert “Tiny” Cook, from Connersville, Indiana, born March 6, 1967, has been involved in music all of his life.
In High School he was in Media communications for two years & in Band & Jazz Band for four years as a drummer with experience in both state & national competitions, including runner up for best drummer in the state of Indiana at the Ball state Jazz Festival in 1983.
He also has over ten years in the electronic engineering industry and spent four years in the army as a communications specialist & two years in electronics school at ITT Tech for which he received an AASEET (Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Engineering Technology). In the military, he spent one year in 7th Special Forces Group (a Green Beret unit) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina followed by two and a half years in Germany in the third infantry division from 1990 thru spring 1992. While in Germany, he attended the Roger Waters "The Wall Live in Berlin" concert at which 350,000 people were in attendance!
He spent July through December, 2003, as drummer for Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel, filling in for their regular drummer.
“The first thing I had to do with them is go on a ten day tour starting in Nashville Tennessee at the Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar which was voted Best Blues Club in 2000 & ending up in Austin Texas where we played at The Pier & The Saxon Pub, which are nationally recognized clubs as well, and where we met Stephen Doster, popular Austin songwriter (Double Trouble’s: Cry Sky, Skyscraper, Baby, There’s No One Like you...). We had stops in Memphis & Dallas along the way. In Dallas, we visited the grave of Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of our heroes and biggest influences, & played at Cutter Brandenburg’s club, who was the best friend of Stevie's from the age of fourteen. He loved us so much that he cut off a piece of Stevie's old power cord that he used to plug his amps into during the Texas Flood recording and tour & told me, "This is where Stevie got his power, now you have some of Stevie's power”. I was the first non-guitar player along with our bass player to receive such an honor. We also played some of the most prestigious blues clubs and festivals in the.Mid West. Our home turf though is down town Indianapolis, IN. I do not take steps backwards & Mike Milligan is a tough act to follow! “
Robert rejoined Steam Shovel (again, and for good!) March 4th, 2005. Full Steam Ahead!
Copyright 1993....today. Mojo Hut Records.
Sketch by world-famous rock n roll artists, Tom Noll
Scrapbook page about Mike's first and last day at at a certain day job! CLICK!