Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Mike Vernon Steps Beyond the Blues Horizon

Legendary record producer Mike Vernon is stepping up to the microphone as Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo line up a series of dates throughout Europe from now until October with the release of their debut album Beyond the Blue Horizon due on September 7th through Manhaton Records.

Best known as the founder of the Blue Horizon record label, in 2013, he was awarded the BASCA Gold Badge Award in recognition of his unique contribution to music.

Vernon’s studio work has seen him work with some of the most famous artists in British rock and blues. These includes John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (featuring the likes of Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor as lead guitarists), David Bowie, Ten Years AfterSavoy BrownFleetwood Mac (with Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Christine McVie), Chicken ShackFocusFreddie King, Climax Blues Band, alongside the likes of Level 42 and Roachford.

Not so well-known his “other’ job” – that of vocalist. In the 1970s and early 1980s he was not only a member of The Olympic Runners but also the baritone singer with Rocky Sharpe & The Replays, and now he’s making that more of a priority in his creative life.

“To be fronting my own R&B outfit has always been a dream but the right moment to make that transition never appeared until now,” Vernon said of The Mighty Combo who features young Spanish guitarist Kid CarlosIan Jennings on upright bass, Matt Little on keyboards, Paul Tasker on saxophone and Mike Hellier on drums.

Taking a trip down memory lane, Vernon said: “The year is 1956 and Little Richard and his totally outrageous song ‘Tutti Frutti’ hit the #1 spot on the U.S. pop charts. Fats Domino had similar success with ‘When My Dreamboat Comes Home’ and ‘Blueberry Hill’ that same year whilst Chuck Berry introduced us to his unique rocking rhythm & blues style with ‘Roll Over Beethoven’. Four slabs of musical genius that were to totally change my life.

“Fast forward sixty-one years to 2018 and the ‘with my own band’ debut album Beyond The Blue Horizon features tough, energising and tuneful rocking slabs of R&B in the vein of Fats Domino, Wynonie Harris, Little Richard and Louis Jordan,” he continued. “Twelve titles in all including nine new self-penned originals and three covers from the catalogues of Brook Benton, Mose Allison and Clarence Henry.”

Tracks featured on Beyond The Blues Horizon are We’re Gonna Rock The Joint’, ‘Kiddio’, ‘Heart & Soul’, ‘I Can Fix It’, ‘(I Don’t Know Why I Love You) But I Do’, ‘Be On That Train’, ‘Your Mind Is On Vacation’, ‘Old Man Dreams’, ‘Jump Up’, ‘Red Letter Day’, ‘A Love Affair With The Blues’, and ‘Hate To Leave (Hate To Say Goodbye)’. The album can be pre-ordered by clicking here.

With a full-scale European tour also underway look for 100% goodtime music that’s intended to put smiles on faces from Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo.


Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival  Sunday 22 July

Old Bakery Studio, Truro  Friday 17 August

Blues at Broom Hill Festival  Saturday 18 August

The Hope Tavern, Market Rasen  Sunday 19 August

Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs  Tuesday 21 August

Haven Club at The Bulligdon, Oxford  Thursday 23 August

Bluefunk, Poynton  Friday 24 August

Darvel Music Festival  Saturday 25 August

Great British RnB Festival, Colne  Sunday 26 August

Venue 77, Ipswich  Friday 7 September

Market Lavington Music & Comedy Club, Devizes  Saturday 8 September

Borderline, London, Double Headline with Sari Schorr  Friday 14 September

Forest Arts Centre, New Milton  Saturday 15 September

Keighley Blues Live, Keighley  Friday 28 September

Carlisle Blues Rock Festival  Saturday 29 September

Discovery Centre, Winchester  Wednesday 3 October


Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Napalm Death at Download Fest

Dead Posey at Download Fest

Latest Articles