If you regularly attend well-known live music houses like Fred's Cafe, Woodshed Smokehouse or Lola's Saloon, among many others, Big Mike Richardson is likely no stranger to you. The Denison native has long been one of the busiest musicians on the local music scene and continues to entertain scores of fans with a seemingly never-ending schedule of live gigs. As such a prominent member of Fort Worth's entertainment community, it only seemed right that we give our readers a glimpse into how he became what he is today.

 

 

Richardson attributes his early interest in music to his family. He has three older sisters ranging between 10 and 21 years older than him, and obtained hand-me-down records from the 60s, 70s and 80s from them, admittedly sometimes without their knowledge. He bolstered his collection, which he dragged around in a large suitcase as a kid, through his mother's keen eye for garage sale 45s.

 

After becoming interested in music, Mike began to take a liking to his own musical influences. He lists numerous classic rock bands as favorites of his growing up, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, among others. He added some twang to his repertoire through the many classic country musicians he observed through his parents' love for the famous WBAP radio station. 

 

Richardson graduated in 1990, but he had already been playing gigs north of the Metroplex four four years, and would continue doing so until '93. For the next three years he would reside in Austin, TX, but would still come back to Denison to play quite frequently. In '97 he moved back north to Fort Worth and has been playing here ever since, gigging in his hometown as well until '09.

 

His long and still flourishing music career has introduced him to many people and afforded him the opportunity to play at many hallowed venues, but some favorites still stand out in Big Mike's mind. His most prized memory of a gig came at the Granada Theater just over a month ago on Feb. 24, when he and his cohorts played the entirety of George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass' album, which he described as an out-of-body experience. Following a similar theme, he lists the current group of musicians he plays with in various combinations and formats, which includes Chris Holt, Matt Mabe, James Hinkle, Lee Allen, Justin Pate, Kevin Davis and Ginny Mac, as his favorite from over the years. 

 

Richardson just played a Chuck Berry tribute show at Key's Lounge and has already begun working on a tribute show for one of his childhood favorites, The Who, along with Paul Averitt. Additionally, the "Lennon/McCartney" show, which he is spearheading, is on the horizon early next year, which will include full performances of Lennon's 'Plastic Ono Band' and McCartney's 'Ram'. He will also be involved in His calendar includes regular appearances at Fred's Cafe, Fred's North, Woodshed Smokehouse, Oscar's Pub, Buffalo West, The Bucket, Lola's Saloon, Magnolia Motor Lounge, Common Table in Dallas and Tolbert's in Grapevine. 

 

Big Mike is truly a staple of the North Texas music scene, particularly around Fort Worth. If you haven't heard him perform yet, you should, and if you frequent any of the above music hot spots around the area, it is only a matter of time before you do, and you can find his full schedule right here

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