Mike Gentry’s love for music kicked in early in life. He credits Elvis Presley with being his first musical influence. Mike began playing guitar while attending Dexter High School and fronted the local bands Max and True Story. In 1986 he moved to Hollywood to study at the Guitar Institute of Technology/Musicians Institute, where he learned his craft first-hand from Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Paul Gilbert, Keith Wyatt, Tommy Tedesco, Howard Roberts, and other luminaries.
From 1989 until 1994, Mike worked at A&M Records in Hollywood. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, he moved back to Michigan to attend Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University, where he studied music education. In 2003 he and his band Shining Farmer released their self-titled CD. For a dozen years Mike was the director and guitar and drum instructor at the Ann Arbor branch of the National Music Workshop’s Day Jams program.
These days, Mike regularly performs as a singer-songwriter around the Ann Arbor area, appearing at the Ark, Acorn Theater, Trinity House Theater, Brewed Awakenings, Third Monk Brewing, Tri-City Brewing, and other venues.
“Singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Mike Gentry is among the very best Michigan-based musicians playing today. He’s brilliant at coffeehouse-approved acoustic music, blistering hard rock, and most styles in between. Mike is a superlative player, compelling singer, and brilliant songwriter. Best of all, audiences love the guy and his songs!”
– Jas Obrecht, Guitar Player magazine
“Gentry is a guitar-toting music freak who with his characteristic devil-may-care attitude, still does things his way and manages to get away with it.”
– Jo Mathis, Ann Arbor News
“Original music spans decades for Gentry, and he’s got a slew of originals to entertain the audience.”
– Pati LaLonde, Mlive.com