Mike Blanchard and the Californios are a California Country, Americana band and unabashedly proud of their home state roots. As a founding member of the Tattooed Love Dogs, Blanchard released two CD’s, won three Sammies, and was entered into the Sacramento Music Hall of Fame. He's played shows or Festivals with Dave and Phil Alvin, Danny Gatton, Marshall Tucker Band, Beat Farmers, Leon Russell, John Kay & Steppenwolf, Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill, Big Sandy and the Fly Right Boys, Robert Gordon, and Chris Spedding, His music has been used in Soundtracks for the Play El Otro and the newly released feature film “Water and Power.”
Blanchard released a solo CD in 2008, entitled Mike Blanchard and the Whispering Chingaderas. He founded a band to support the CD and the name was changed to The Californios. Blanchard sings lead on vocals and acoustic guitar, but the heart of the band is the vocal duo of Blanchard and his wife LaurieAnne. They harmonize in that deceptively easy way that is the result of nearly two decades of singing together. The Californios feature Steven Schultz on accordion, Ian Worley on pedal steel, Rob Meyer on standup bass, and Eric Crownover on percussion.
Their new CD, “Gringo” tells stories of love and magic, of misunderstandings south of the border and dark moments of personal desperation with lost souls finding love and redemption. The songs are set in locations that range across the border to Los Angeles through the Salinas Valley up the Sacramento Delta to a full moon night on the American River. “Many country artists go out of their way to say they are from Nashville or Austin,” says Blanchard, “I am proud to be from California, born and bred.”
The Blanchard's also produce an online country music show on their YouTube Channel, called the Rabbits Foot Ramble. In the vein of the Marty Stuart Show, it features The Californios and other country acts from the Big Valley.