Photography by Mike Hari
Chicago is easily identifiable as a musical city. Without argument, the Second City has produced greats in every genre and discipline, and continues to do so without much sign of stopping. As of late, it seems as though every couple of months we are seeing a new act take off from the city and one act that has been making noise for awhile around the scene is finally looking primed to do just that. Mike Golden & Friends is a breath of fresh air in a musical landscape that is increasingly dominated by a sort of digital hoarding that has made the computer an instrument. While he brings in elements of electronic production to pair with the live instrumentality of the band, the core of Mike Golden & Friends is the pure, unadulterated organic sound that starts and ends with the jarringly poignant voice of Golden.
The 26-year-old Hammond, Ind., native was the first act to bring Kids These Days and Rockie Fresh down to the Eastern Illinois University for shows is the central figure to his namesake band and last week at the House of Blues for the band’s album release show for Utopia, Golden commanded the stage, rattling off a plethora of songs, returning for an extended encore. Over the past couple of years Chicago has re-established a reputation as increasingly younger artists have taken off. Mike Golden shows that there is still room to set a foundation, evolve and make great music while consistently taking things to a higher plane. I had a chance to talk to Mike Golden last week about the new album, hearing his music in video games and what the whole ride has been like thus far, check it all out below.