NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

20 Years A Musician, Mike Flanigin Reflects On Firsts

Mike Flangin's debut album, <em>The Drifter</em>, comes out Aug. 21.
Ashley McCue
Courtesy of the artist
Mike Flangin's debut album, The Drifter, comes out Aug. 21.

Mike Flanigin has been a working musician for two decades. His first gig was at a Holiday Inn in Dallas, Texas, followed by a stint in the house band at Antone's in Austin. And for eight years he made his Hammond B3 organ growl and purr for the crowds at the Continental Club Gallery.

In that time, Flanigin has rubbed elbows with the likes of Kat Edmonson, Jimmy Vaughn, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Gary Clark, Jr., all of whom play on his upcoming debut album, The Drifter.

Most of the album is made up of Flanigin's original songs — like "Nina," which Edmonson sings and which is dedicated to his daughter.

"[My daughter] is the love of my life ... I'm hoping later in life she can put that record on and smile," Flanigin says.

There is one cover on the album: the title track, "The Drifter," which comes from the first blues record Flanigin ever owned.

"I went down to the little record shop that was next to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store, walked in and said, 'I'd like to buy a blues record,'" he says. "And they said, 'Well, we have one!' They just had one. I said, 'Well, I'll take it!'

"It was [Clarence] 'Gatemouth' Brown meets Roy Clark, and it was called Makin' Music. Well, I ran home and put that record on, and 'The Drifter' came on, with that intro. And it scared my pants off."

Flanigin spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about The Drifterand what it's like to make a debut record after 20 years of gigging. Hear the conversation at the audio link above.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.