“As a teenager during the time when vinyl records were still around, I treasured every cover and read with relish the credits of every album I had the opportunity to get hold of. Since I started buying blues records from a very early age, I noticed that the name MIKE VERNON kept on appearing regularly on the back of many of my most cherished LPs. Having no Wikipedia to check who the guy was, I was sure that someone who had produced John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After and Dr.Feelgood must definitely be someone to be taken into account!
I first saw Mike Vernon at the ’99 Bishopstock Blues Festival in England, a non-stop three-day event that brought together the best blues artists in the world: Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Duke Robillard, Keb Mo’, Carey Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, Shemekia Copeland, Anson Funderburgh & Sam Myers … to name just a few. Mike was acting as M.C. and it was then that I could put a face to his name.
Not even in my wildest dreams did I expect that some ten years later I would meet him personally, that he and I would end up working and writing songs together and that he would be the driving force behind Q & THE MOONSTONES! I was playing at the ’09 Mijas International Blues Festival (Malaga – Spain) with Mingo & the Blues Intruders when the front man of the band, Mingo Balaguer, introduced me to Mike and his wife Natalie. Our conversation naturally revolved around his musical career and the artists he had worked with. For a blues fan like me, not many things can compare to the chance of listening to a firsthand and detailed account of how some of your favourite albums were recorded, seasoned with the most interesting and funny trivia about the biggest blues names around. By then he had met the guys from Cambayá Records in Malaga (near where he is currently living) and agreed to produce a live album (“Fun to Visit”) we were going to record with them.
We became friends, visited each other a few times, shared our passions for the blues and music in general and exchanged lots of emails and phone conversations. I told him about the band (still unnamed) I was trying to put together. I had started working with singer Vicky Luna and I was looking for the right musicians to make my own band and play the music I had always wanted to. I played Mike some demos and he must have liked what he heard because he decided to help me to get things going. Since then, we have written songs together, he has been at the studio producing our songs, found a name for the band and offered invaluable advice. I am deeply indebted to him and consider myself exceptionally lucky for having the chance to work with one of the greatest blues producers of all time.”