When you hear Big Mike Aguirre play guitar, you know where he’s coming from: the East Side, where the blues isn’t for tourists, it’s for survivors. Big Mike is from Belleville, Illinois, and he sounds like he’s cut his teeth in every working-class juke-joint from Brooklyn to Wellston.
He began his career at the age of 19 playing under the tutelage of St. Louis blues legends David Dee, Big George Brock, and Boo Boo Davis. In 2010, he founded the Blu-City All-Stars, a world-class group comprised of St. Louis’s finest blues musicians. Now 31, he has recently teamed up with the Funky Butt Horns and together the Blu-City All Stars are taking St. Louis Blues to a whole new level.
A grinding and slashing player, he channels the overdrive of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Luther Allison, but also possesses a lyrical acuity that shows how closely he’s listened to Keith Richards and Magic Sam. While he has been known as a talented guitarist on the St. Louis scene for quite some time, his real secret weapon is his vocals. He is a gifted and soulful singer, one who continues to grow in talent and scope all the time. Whatever shape his blues take, the sound is scrappy and soulful.