Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16: Mike Yanchak: Mike Why: One Man Band Without The Band

Chances are, if you have lived in Pittsburgh for any length of time (or if you have at least visited here), you have crossed paths with Mike Yanchak. Mike has been one of the great loves of my life since 1999, when I met him during my orientation at Duquesne University. As part of the orientation program, each student at Duquesne is given a "big brother" or "big sister", and Mike was my big brother. He took the role very seriously; in fact, I still have the letter he sent me before school started. Mike even went as far as to help me move in; something that none of my other friends experiences. Throughout my years at Duquesne and for many years since, Mike has been a best friend, a role model, and an inspiration to me. To put it simply, he is a man to love.
Mike and I on my 30th birthday
It comes as no surprise to me that Mike has been a champion supporter of my many adventures, including bel monili by l.marlane. For my birthday this year, Mike even gave me my web domain name and gave me suggestion for how I could use it to help my business. If you want to see someone who does what they love and excels at it, look no further than Mike Yanchak. Mike loves singing, ultimate frisbee, traveling, and being social, and at any given time, you will find him doing at least one of those things.
Mike Why's debut show at Shadow Lounge, August 11, 2011
Since 2006, Mike has served as the rhythm, backbeat, and foundation of Pittsburgh's Award-Winning All-Vocal Band, DoubleShot! (
In 2010, a Christmas present from his sisters (a looping kit) inspired Mike to take the microphone he loved to play and use it to create every sound he could make. At the same time. The results have been addictive: a combination of authentic drum sounds, rich bass, emulated instruments, and passionate vocals that present energetic, unique interpretations to his audience.

In August 2011, Mike began a one-man vocal live looping project -- Mike Why: One Man Band Without the Band.  He layers his voice live to create full songs onstage for the audience.  No effects or processing are used, only Mike's voice creates every sound and effect including the sound of drums, horns, harmonica, guitar, etc.   The project is new but doing very well and he is having a lot of fun with it!  I first had the opportunity to see Mike perform his "One Man Band Without the Band" show at Club Cafe in October 2011. I was there to support him and his new venture, but to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I had seen Mike perform with DoubleShot! a few times and knew that he was very talented, so I thought that this show would be similar. When the lights went down and the show started, I can honestly say I almost fell off of my stool. I saw Mike is a totally new light: he was confident, smooth, talented, and downright sexy singing up there on the stage all by himself. I could never accurately describe what it was he did, except to say that he used a little machine that made him sound like he was really 6 or 7 people singing and playing instruments.

Mike has become a regular part of the AcoustiCafe at Club Cafe (he'll be hosting this Monday, January 16th) and that included a featured performance at their stage at the August Wilson Center as part of Highmark First Night.  Mike will also be at The Smiling Moose on Saturday, January 21st opening for his friends Royal Benson

Make sure you visit Mike Why on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, see some of his performances on You Tube, and visit his website for the most up to date information on where he will be.

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