"This should be our state song."
-Paul Shugrue, NPR - WHRV, Norfolk, VA
With the warmth of Lightfoot, the earthiness of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the unerring timing of Billy Joe Shaver, Aiken's vocals are uninhibited on the self-penned, sweetly vibrant "Virginia." "It's a love affair," Aiken admits. "This is my home and a special place to me. She's beautiful, but just beneath the surface lies the story of a troubled past. Look a little deeper and you can see and feel the pain of the Civil War's blue and gray; black and white. It's part of what makes Virginia what she is. It always sets my soul free to get back home," Mike adds.
The video was shot in a variety of locations, from graveyards to mountaintops to coastal beaches, but the Civil War cemeteries left a lasting impression on Mike and the crew. "It was the first time I'd ever filmed in that type of location," Aiken reflects. "When I looked at the tombstones, saw the names and where the soldiers were from, I felt their souls reaching out to me. It gave me chills and inspired a sense of awe that I'd never felt before."
A well-traveled troubadour, Mike has always felt the pull of the past - and he admits that he sometimes feels as if he were born in the wrong century. An inner sense of chivalry oozes from every track on CAPTAINS & COWBOYS. A writer of enormous depth, Aiken knows whereof he speaks: he has lived on a sailboat for the past 20 years, sailed across oceans as a USCG-licensed captain, raised horses and made his living as a farrier.
Mike's upcoming CD, WAYWARD TROUBADOR, will be released this summer. In the meantime, fans can follow his musical journey at MikeAikenMusic.com.