Soulful Country Folk from Montreal. - Mike McKenna Jr: High Ground
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posted 03 Jun 2020 by Krister Axel
Outlines the mental process of taking a moment to observe a thunderstorm, and in a larger sense, the redemptive value of self-reflection.

Mike McKenna Jr. is a soulful indie artist from Canada's East Coast who has captivated listeners in his native Maritimes and around the North American folk community with his powerful and gritty vocal delivery. "High Ground" is a roots confection that combines banjo, pedal steel, and guitar with live drums and a soothing message about the spiritual importance of exploring a connection with nature.

Mike discusses the process of recovery, either from addiction or from trauma, and the lyrics to "High Ground" outline the mental process of taking a moment to observe a thunderstorm, and in a larger sense, the redemptive value of self-reflection. There’s also a reference to the 'Land of the Living Sky,' aka the prairie province of Saskatchewan, a place of work for many Maritimers who headed west after the closure of the coal mines. Mike just released his sophomore album "At the Edge of the World," which was produced by 23-year-old Berklee graduate Quinn Bachand, mixed at the talented hands of Jon Anderson, and mastered by Philip Shaw Bova. In addition to touching on the folklore and history of Canada’s East Coast, Mike's new music pushes forward with a mix of Country and Canadiana sensibilities that continues to establish him as a master of folk storytelling. The subtle vibrato of his unique vocal mixes equal parts gravel and honey to deliver an authentic roots-balladry that could only have been born in the wide open spaces of Nova Scotia.

Oh it’s been a hard year
Hit me like a Mack truck
Thought my life was all planned out
‘til you said you had enough
I can feel the pain leavin’
After givin’ up the drink
It’s more about the air I’m breathing
and findin’ me a solemn space to think

Mike McKenna Jr. is originally from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, but now lives in Montreal. This song is featured on our Roots Collection playlist.

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About the Author

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Krister Bjornson Axel

Morristown, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.


Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist


Read my poetry here.