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Mike Gordon Biography

Home > Music > G > Gordon, Mike > Biography

Born: 1965/06/03
Birth Place: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Years Active: 1982–present
Genres: Rock, Bluegrass, Folk

Mike Gordon (born Michael Eliot Gordon, June 3, 1965) is a bass guitar player and vocalist most recognized as a founding member and bassist for the rock band Phish. In addition to bass, Gordon is an accomplished banjo player, and is proficient at piano, and guitar. He is also a filmmaker and author.

Gordon met Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman and Jeff Holdsworth while attending college at University of Vermont, where the rock band Phish formed in 1983.

Musically, Gordon's influence is the most obvious in Phish's many different renditions of various bluegrass, calypso and even traditional Jewish songs (Gordon is Jewish). He also contributed by singing, as well as writing off-beat lyrics to amusing but thought-provoking songs.

Gordon has played in several side-projects apart from Phish, including Grappa Boom with Jamie Masefield of the Jazz Mandolin Project, The Chieftains with Rosanne Cash, and Doug Perkins of Smokin' Grass.

In 2002, Gordon recorded the critically acclaimed “Clone” album with acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke. The duo reunited in 2005 for “Sixty Six Steps,” followed by a supporting tour.

Gordon formed his own solo band featuring Josh Roseman, Scott Murawski, Julee Avallone, James Harvey, Gordon Stone, Jeannie Hill and Doug Belote in 2003.

He released his first solo album outside of Phish in 2003, entitled “Inside In.”

In summer 2004 Gordon produced musician Joey Arkenstat's first album, “Bane.” Gordon is also credited with providing vocals and shofar accompaniment.

Also in 2004, Gordon performed with The Benevento-Russo Duo for several shows benefiting Headcount, a voter registration organization. The trio played a number of dates in late 2004 and 2005 including the Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2005 and a New Year's Eve series of shows in Florida and the northeastern United States.

In December 2005, Gordon formed SerialPod with Anastasio and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The group debuted at the 17th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in Asheville, North Carolina.

In early 2006, Gordon teamed up with his mother, artist Marjorie Minkin, to present “Another Side of In” — a visual and audio art show featuring interactive sculptures created by Minkin and set to the music of “Inside In.” The interactive show appeared at the Boston Children's Museum beginning in January 2010.

In summer 2006, Gordon, along with Phish bandmate Trey Anastasio, again joined the Benevento-Russo Duo for a co-headlining tour with Phil Lesh and Friends, before finishing the final leg of the tour on their own. The group performed various songs from each members' catalog, as well as a handful of brand new originals.

In August 2006, Gordon joined the Rhythm Devils – a group featuring Kreutzmann, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, guitarist Steve Kimock and a host of backup players.

Later in 2006, Gordon formed a honky-tonk band called Ramble Dove, consisting of himself, Brett Hughes, Neil Cleary, Marie Claire and Scott Murawski. The band came into fruition after Gordon's long-time stint as bass guitar player in a honky-tonk band led by Brett Hughes that performed each Tuesday night at the Burlington, Vermont, club, Radio Bean. The group performs a number of classic country songs and a few Gordon originals

In January 2007, Gordon appeared with a group billed as The House Band containing many former members of The Grateful Dead playing at a party in honor of the new leadership of the United States House of Representatives hosted by Nancy Pelosi. The group included Warren Haynes and Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby.

Gordon released his second solo album, entitled “The Green Sparrow,” on Rounder Records in August 2008.

Gordon finished writing and recording his next solo album, “Moss,” at his home studio in Vermont in May 2010. The album was released by Rounder Records in October of that year.

His touring band (and longest running touring project), includes Scott Murawski on guitar, Brooklyn drummer Todd Isler, keyboard player Tom Cleary and percussionist Craig Myers. The band played a small handful of dates in New England in November and December 2011, including a show at The Egg in Albany, New York that ended up being the focus of a live album Gordon released in 2013, simply called “The Egg.”

Gordon’s fourth solo studio album, “Overstep,” was released on Megaplum/ATO Records in February 2014. Gordon and Scott Murawski penned the songs for “Overstep” during a series of writing retreats in New England. He turned over the producing reins to Paul Q. Kolderie and invited a few new players into the studio, including drummer Matt Chamberlain.