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To look at the last few years of Mike McClure’s life is to understand that there has been a life-altering awakening. It’s been a time of reckoning, renewal and growth for the singer, songwriter, artist and producer — a five-year span that’s resulted in Looking Up, 10 tracks that find him getting sober, wrestling with insecurity, finding a new love for both himself and others, and working to understand the new light he’s found in discovering that the best moments in life come from being present.
Mike got his start in Stillwater, Oklahoma, playing at the notorious “Farm” with legendary artists including Bob Childers, Tom Skinner, Steve Ripley, and Jimmy LaFave, and later was a founding member of The Great Divide. The band signed to Atlantic Records in 1998, and “I’d Rather Have Nothing,” written by Mike and initially recorded by the band, was later recorded by Garth Brooks for his 2005 limited series box set, The Lost Sessions, which has sold over 2 million copies.
Mike was also the permanent producer for Red Dirt favorites Cross Canadian Ragweed, and “Fighting For,” written by Mike and Cody Canada reached number 39 on the Billboard Hot Country charts. He has also produced albums by other artists including the Turnpike Troubadours, Tom Skinner, Jason Boland & the Stragglers, and many others.
Two decades as a touring musician and nine albums of his own later, he’s taking a new route with Looking Up. He and his partner, Chrislyn Lawrence, created and produced the album on their own, at his Boohatch Studio in Ada, Oklahoma. It’s a different kind of collaboration for Mike, who worked closely with Joe Hardy, the famed ZZ Top producer and engineer, in the decade prior to Joe’s death in 2019.
Mike McClure was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame this year; His band The Great Divide has reunited and is releasing their first record in 20 years. PROVIDENCE will be released in October 2022. McClure’s other project, Crow and Gazelle, a duo with his wife Chrislyn Lawrence, will record and release its first album in 2023.