Musical History - Mike Hounshell
Mike started playing bass guitar professionally in 1975 eleven days after playing the bass for the first time. After five days of practicing with the band, the other members of his first band invited some guys from one of the other local bands in the area to evaluate his playing. So that night the guitar player and drummer from the other band came to the practice. The drummer happened to be none other than a young undiscovered Steve Whiteman, who went on to became the lead singer of the legendary band "Kix". They said Hounshell played too many wrong notes but Mike went on to play that gig and many many more.
During his senior year in high school Hounshell was selected for the Maryland 1978 All-State Chorus. Hounshell graduated from high school with the "Outstanding Music Student Award" and an accompanying music scholarship($25).
After passing the vocal audition to become attended Frostburg State University Hounshell majored in music. There Hounshell played bass in the jazz ensemble, trombone in the marching band, and performed in many vocal ensembles. Hounshell engineered and was an artist on both student talent association albums, "Believe It", and "Plateau".
In 1981 Hounshell released a solo album, "Sometime, Somewhere". The single Hounshell put out was featured in the regular rotation on some radio stations. The album received generous airplay. Since the digital age, it has been made available for download on many web sites by fans of the record. The vinyl album is now a collectible. Was listed once for $354 on an auction web site.
In 1984 Hounshell's band "Ten Below" made it to the finale's of "DC101's Battle of the Bands". Hounshell sent in a demo of a song that had been getting regular airplay on the local rock station, WQZK in Keyser, WV. Out of hundreds of entries we were selected to compete in one of four of the semi final competitions at the Bayou (long gone now) in DC. Hounshell's band won the semi final round of the competion then went on to the finals to compete with 3 other bands at the Sylvan Theater in front of the Washington Monument in front of a crowd of 20 thousand people.
(Hounshell on the right, playing bass, facing the audience, left is Christopher Ogden, playing keyboards)
Later that year the band released a single with 2 of Hounshell's songs,
"Jealous Boy" A side, "Say What You Said" and got some airplay on local stations.
Hounshell won 3 awards for his songs in three Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contests (2 of the 3 awards are pictured below)
The contests were sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Washington.
In the eighties a TV station, WNVC-56, Fairfax, Va, had a show called the "Green Room" hosted by Mike Baker. The station had gotten a hold of Hounshell's solo album and asked him to be on the show.
Mike Baker, the host of "The Green Room", asked me questions about my solo album (Sometime, Somewhere), songwriting, copyrights, disco, and working with bands versus going solo. He played a song from Sometime, Somewhere called, "Give It All" live on the air.
Mike Baker also asked Hounshell to write and record a theme for "The Green Room". Hounshell wrote a reggae, Ska type theme song that was used as the intro/theme song for a while.
Mike was interviewed on the show 4 or 5 more times.
Hounshell formed another band called Third Heaven in the late 80's and kept recording and performing his original material around the DC/VA/MD area. His band Third Heaven, opened for national acts like Henry Lee Summer, at The Bayou in DC.
In 1991 Hounshell helped form a progressive rock band "Cathedral". The band entered a song in Musician Magazine's 4th "Best Unsigned Band Contest". Cathedral made it to the finals and had our band name listed in the magazine for being in the top 100 best unsigned bands. When weren't busy playing live in DC, VA, MD, and NJ, they were recording.
Later that year the members of Cathedral signed a recording contract with Kinesis, a progressive rock label. Cathedral's first CD, "Kingdom of Ends" was the first original CD the Kinesis label ever released. It was well received in the progressive rock world.
Cathedral was booked by Cellar Door Productions and opened for "Dream Theatre" at the Bayou in Washington, DC. They also headlined the Bayou several times.
During the 90's Cathedral(US Trademark 1991) was played on the "Don and Mike Show"(WJFK) everyday for years. They used they beginning line of Cathedral's "Existencial Crisis"
In what was called the "Cavalcade of Hits", the radio show played a spoken intro to one of Cathedral's songs from their 2nd CD. "Wheels are spinning in my mind" would play just after the line from the "Wizard of Oz", "What would you do with a brain if you had one".
After Cathedral released their second CD, "There in the Shadows" in 1993 the band broke up. Years later in a book about progressive rock, the band was hailed as "Pioneers of the neo-prog movement" by the author Jerry Lucky. The book is called "Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files".
Cathedral appears on a prog rock history chart in the back of the book with all of the big prog rock bands of all time like "Yes" and "Genesis".
Hounshell, Sisto, Copney, and Thompson formed a group called "Hip Omelette" that recorded and performed around DC, Maryland, and Virginia until 1995.
(Hip Omeltte playing the 14th Street Festival on a stage in the middle of 14th Street in Washington DC 1994)
Hounshell mainly concentrated on producing and engineering other bands material for the rest of 1990's. Ironically, he ended up mixing a post "Kix" Steve Whiteman band demo.
Mike got the chance to record with legendary guitarist Roger Fisher formerly from the band "Heart" in 1997. During the recording session Fisher asked Hounshell to record bass on the track they were recording on for a video.
(Mike Hounshell with Roger Fisher (of Heart) in 1997 at Sountrax Studio)
A big break came for Hounshell when he got the chance to co-produce and engineer the now legendary album "Review Your Choices" with Joe Hasslevander and Bobby Leibling of Pentagram in 1999.
This CD is listed on Wikipedia where Hounshell is credited as a producer. Mike also created a track called "Gila?" for the CD. That CD has been released and re-released in 5 different versions over the years. It's success changed the careers of Bobby, and Joe forever. Bobby Leibling had a documentary made about him called "Last Days Here".
In 2012 Hounshell remastered and released Cathedral's first CD, and "Kingdom of Ends 2012 Remaster" with the help of bandmate Todd Bravermen.
The CD was in the Amazons's top 10 progressive rock album charts for 24 weeks.
2012 Mike Hounshell joined joined the band "Ad Infinitum" . Hounshell is in the process of recording bass with Todd Braverman and Ad Infinitum for "Ad Infinitum 2".
Hounshell's Solo EP "Sometime Somewhere 2" EP was released September 2013. And is now available on iTunes.
Mike Hounshell's latest single "Seldom Seen" was released in Januray of 2014.