Trabue started writing music at age twelve. Since then he has penned over 150 musical compositions. Much to the dismay of his mother, an academic musician and teacher, he is a non-academic self taught composer and musician. His mother’s disapproval over this disparity caused him much trouble growing up. “Mom wouldn't let me play piano until I could read music. I could barely read English much less sheet music. Consequently, I never played piano until I left home. Little did anyone know that I had extreme dyslexia. It wasn't even heard of back then. She also thought that pop music, especially guitar, was the work of the devil and forbade me to play the guitar. I used to sneak my oldest sister’s guitar and then finally got one of my own but she kept taking it away from me. It was a constant struggle between us.”
At age 12, Trabue began his apprenticeship at King’s Recording Studio. Owner, Don King, recognized Trabue’s musical talent and took him under his wing. King believed in Trabue and worked diligently for many years to record and promote him during his apprenticeship. “Don was more of a father to me than my own dad which wasn't really too difficult. He listened to me so, naturally, I listened to him and he taught me a lot about life and . He believed in me and that was big especially w the constant turmoil at home. He was a great guy and I miss him.”
At age 13, Trabue built an electric guitar for his 8th grade shop project. “Well, our teacher said we could make anything we wanted and I wanted an electric guitar so bad that I opted to make one as my term project. It never occurred to me that I couldn't do it so I did.” At the end of the term, he had produced a beautifully designed and perfectly working electric guitar for which he received an A-. The guitar is still in his possession.
At age 16, Trabue apprenticed for luthier, Peter Hud. Peter was most noted for the fine instruments he made for Andres Segovia. During his apprenticeship, he assisted Hud in making fine classical style guitars. He also took lessons from Hud for a short period of time. “He was a hard task master. He stood over me with a wooden ruler and if I didn't hold the guitar just right he’d smack my knuckles with it. (laughing) I lasted about three weeks. I just didn't have the discipline.”
In 1971, Trabue teamed with Kevin Sterner and Dennis Neff to form Gentry, Neff and Sterner. Like all musicians, they performed in all the local venues. “I hated playing out. I much prefer working in the studio. That’s where the magic happens.”
In 1977, Bruce Bolin, then marketing Director for Gibson Guitar Company, arranged a meeting for Trabue and Kevin with music producer, Pete Drake (George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Kenny Rogers and many more). Trabue and Kevin played for Pete in his Nashville office and after three songs Pete offered to produce the duo. The first studio time, album date and tour was set on that day. This day would dramatically change Trabue’s life.
Three days after the meeting with Drake, Trabue received a phone call from Kevin that would dramatically change his life again. Kevin definitively told Trabue that he would be unable to go through with the record deal for personal reasons. In 1979, Trabue and Kevin finally parted ways over yet another issue. Disappointed over the lost opportunity with Drake and the lost friendship with Kevin, Trabue quit music entirely and satisfied his need for creativity in other ways.
In 2006, Trabue saw “Fleetwood Mac Live In Boston” on PBS’ Sound Stage. Watching Lindsey Buckingham perform inspired him to reunite with his music. “I was blown away. I mean, just because the Drake thing fell through…well it was stupid. I have all this material that nobody’s heard. I figured if Lindsey, who was like 56 at the time, if he could still do it, then I can too.” With that, after a 26 year hiatus from music, Trabue quickly merged himself back into music.
In 2009, Trabue achieved one of his proudest accomplishments. After 35 years he was able to complete his musical composition “Lost In The Wax”. This musical piece was originally written and recorded by Trabue in 1974. Unfortunately, the recording was devoid of the style of lead guitar he wanted which simply wasn't available to him at the time so he shelved the project indefinitely.
Trabue heard Russian composer and musician, Michael Krizanovski, on OurStage.com. “I contacted Miki and asked him if he would be interested in working with me to finish the song. Miki agreed and 35 years later he allowed me to complete the piece with his award-winning guitar work. To my knowledge, this sort of collaboration had never been done before and I really enjoy doing things like that.”
This milestone in music history was a complicated undertaking since Krizanovski lives in Krasnodar Russia and neither of the two artists spoke each other’s languages. The collaboration was done via the internet. Krizanovski’s part was recorded in Russia. Additional compliments and the final mix were performed in the U.S. by Trabue. Had It not been for the advent of the internet and the fall of the Iron Curtain this project never would have happened. Trabue and Michael have begun work on new projects together.
He has since collaborated with Alesya Frolova from Moscow Russia on Trabue’s “Tell Me Why (Still, I Love You)“, a euro style remake of his solo “Still I Love You“. Alesya proposed a duet. Her producer and arranger, Victor Sopelcin, did an incredible job. His revision was fantastic.”
Many listeners have compared Trabue’s music to The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Marillion, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Triangle Fire, Jim Croce, James Taylor, Bread, Jethro Tull and Michael Gira and Jarboe. In his online comment on MySpace, Mikle Krizanovski had this to say about Trabue’s style “I have long thought what it is like? But it’s like nothing on earth. You (are) original! This songs style (is) named TRABUE !!!!!!”