Long before they produced songs like "Can't Take Away," "Let the Waters Rise," "Someone Worth Dying For," and their newest "All For You" the guys from Mikeschair got their start in their dorm room at Nashville’s Belmont University during the first two weeks of the guys’ freshman year.
While lead singer Mike Grayson and a friend were writing a song, Mike's neighbor Jesse Hale (violin, keyboards) knocked on the door, introduced himself and asked if he could join in the fun.
A short time later, that very scenario happened again when Sam Tinnesz (lead guitar) walked by when Mike and Jesse were recording a song they’d been working on. After Sam joined the group, the guys reached out to a friend, bassist Jon Haire, to fill the final void that would make up Mikeschair.
The name "Mikeschair" was created to reflect the band's rugged beginnings. “The 'chair' was the central gathering point where we got our start,” shares Sam. “All of us lived on the same floor of our dorm at Belmont, except for Mike. But, since he was always hanging out with us on our floor, we decided to get him piece of furniture to make him feel a little more at home. The chair was his only piece of property on our floor. He wrote his name on it in big capital letters, and it kind of became his seat of inspiration for writing songs and being creative. The name is a reminder of our humble beginnings and how far God has brought us.”
Eventually graduating from practicing in a dorm room to a public stage when the guys submitted an application and demo for Belmont’s Christian Music Showcase, Mikeschair began using every free weekend, spring break and vacation to perform while also finishing their education.
With a considerable following (and college degrees in Music to their credit), the guys inked a record deal and recorded their self-titled debut that released in 2009. “Can’t Take Away” soon became the seventh most-played song on Christian radio in 2009 and was followed by “Let the Waters Rise.” Mikeschair's album, A Beautiful Life(August 2011), features "Someone Worth Dying For," a song that reaches people of all walks of life and reminds us just how valuable we are in God's eyes.
"The Lord has opened some really cool doors for us personally to continue to serve further. One particular effort that we have had the privilege of being part of has been a radio partnered shoe-drive where we helped collect thousands of pairs of shoes,” says Grayson. “We were able to personally take them over to orphanages in Peru, Guatemala and Honduras. We went to wash feet and put brand new shoes on those kids. That is the story of A Beautiful Life. While there, we saw situations that seem hopeless. There are desperate, poor children without families who were abandoned, yet we saw these kids smiling and we heard them sing about Jesus. That’s the picture of A Beautiful Life that we wanted to capture.”
With their passion for helping others, the band launched "Mikestable" to help nonprofits to make a lasting difference. “The music isn’t the full extent of our purpose,” says Jesse. “We are committing our time, effort and platform to helping those in need—making ourselves available to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We have a dedicated table at our shows called ‘Mikestable’ where everyone is welcomed and encouraged to step up and join with us and our partners—Food for the Hungry, International Justice Mission and Love 146. There’s something more here than just music; we’re presenting something that’s very precious to audiences and listeners. It’s the Gospel in action.”
Mikeschair is gearing up for the release of their new album featuring the song, "All I Can Do (Thank You)." The band will be on the road this spring with fellow artists Citizen Way and Big Daddy Weave.
Nicole C. Mullen
Scott & Kelli