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Mike Rayburn
About   |   Multimedia   |   News & Reviews   |   Routines
About Mike Rayburn

     
     

He was born breech with six fingers on his left hand. Mike’s parents, being from a long line of glove salesmen, never saw the potential. They had the finger removed. However, what the scalpel couldn’t change was Mike’s fate to be a little odd and work with his hands. (It’s all true but the glove salesmen part).

Now, fulfilling his birthright Mike has actually been called, “The World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso.” (He’d settle for Cleveland’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso but... whatever). Mike currently performs over 120 shows per year and cuts from his “Mike Rayburn at Carnegie Hall” CD are in current rotation on XM Comedy, Sirius Comedy, and on countless morning radio shows nationwide.

Concert promoter Mark Johnson described him like this: “If Victor Borge played guitar (and drank too much coffee), he’d sound like Mike.” The Aspen Daily News raves, “A comic genius... enough wit and talent to jumpstart a pacemaker.”

First of all, Mike is an hilarious stand-up comic. His “Questions” bit and self-effacing commentaries are funny and wonderfully-warped. But what sets him apart is his masterful guitar work. Mike is also known for combining musical artists and styles in ways God never intended. “Bob Marley sings Garth Brooks.” “Led Zeppelin sings Dr. Seuss.” “Dan Fogelberg sings AC/DC,” “Bruce Springsteen sings Green Acres,” etc.

Putting his guitar skills to work, Mike is taking on a new challenge: instrumental comedy. His first piece in this genre appears on his live “Mike Rayburn at Carnegie Hall” CD. Entitled “Hang The Jury,” it is a piece said to have been performed for his classical guitar juries (final exams) in college, just to find out if his music professors were really listening click here. Mike’s latest is a convoluted version of “Dueling Banjo’s”. Mike performs both the guitar and banjo parts as if the banjo player is from the middle east (Arabian Bluegrass?). As Mike says of these pieces, “Nothing like a joke no one can steal.”

Mike has recently been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Billboard, Gig, American Entertainment, and Campus Activities Today magazines. He has performed at Carnegie Hall eight times and performed more than 4,000 shows worldwide. In the 90’s and early 2000’s Mike was voted “America’s Campus Entertainer of the Year” three times in four years.

Some of you may have seen Mike at a conference as a keynote artist. That is because in 2001 Mike successfully transitioned his career from the college entertainment scene to the corporate market, as well as select theater engagements. Mike does afterdinner and award-show entertainment as well as opening/closing keynotes, using his unique guitar skills and hilarious songs to illustrate three tools attendees can use to step beyond perceived limitations. It is a keynote presentation unlike any you’ve ever seen. Mike teaches the tools which as he says, “...took me from playing for seven people in a bar to Carnegie Hall.”

The big news is that Mike is putting the finishing touches on a a much-requested live DVD entitled, “Classically Trained, Comically Derailed.” It was filmed on November 30, 2006 at the Ford Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN and will be in stores nationwide on Comedy String/Sony Red later this year.

In addition to the “Classically Trained, Comically Derailed..” DVD Mike has recorded five CDs. Having spent time in the 90’s as a staff songwriter for Sony Music, the first three, Eleven, Better Days, and Unstoppable, feature Mike and his band playing Mike’s acoustic rock/Americana songs. His most recent “Mike Rayburn at Carnegie Hall” live CD is Mike’s full show of comedy and guitar. Soon to be released will be two solo instrumental guitar recordings.
Multimedia: Videos, MP3s, etc.

Mike Rayburn - World's Funniest Guitar Virtuoso
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