B.B. King once said that playing the Blues was like having to be black twice. “Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed,” he concluded. The same can be said of Mike Reilly, who’s played with both B.B. King and Stevie Ray. Mike may not be black, but he knows the Blues, and he’s been playing them for a long time. Like Muddy Waters–another legend Mike’s shared the stage with–he’s still delivering ’cause he’s got a long memory.
Mike Reilly grew up in Fullerton, California during the sixties and seventies. He remembers the night his father, Robert, a Fullerton cop (and guitarist who used to jam with Django Reinhardt), accidentally busting up his drum kit. To replace the drums, his dad bought his nine year-old son a trombone. Musically precocious, in no time Mike was second chair in the school orchestra.
Mike remembers his first Rock album–The Allman Brothers Band (’69). And he remembers when, the following year, he bought an album that totally changed his life–Freddy King’s Getting Ready. Mike, now thirteen, wasready-ready to play the Blues. (Mike was sitting in with the likes of Joe Cocker and The Pointer Sisters
before he was old enough to be in a club.)