Myke Rock moves back to the US, hometown Columbus, Ohio
After nearly two and a half years living in Belgium, Myke Rock is repatriating to the USA, back to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The veteran bassist arrived in Belgium in late January 2018 and has since performed with some of Belgium's top musicians, bands and recording artists, as well as US bands touring Europe, with bar shows, concerts and festival appearances throughout Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
Not long after the hop across the pond, Rock began working with top soul/funk drummer and fellow expat originally from Macon, Georgia, Jamal Thomas (who had long tenures with Gold record artists SOS Band and Maceo Parker, among others), playing numerous shows together. A renowned Belpop underground artist, guitarist Kloot Per W first added Rock to several art gallery and small club improvisational performances and later included the American bass man in the Belgian tour of December 2019 with hot rotation recording artists Per W/Pawlowski (which included the essential Mauro Pawlowski, formerly of dEUS) and in the original line-up of the Kloot Per W Group. Rock was bassist on the 2018 European tour of 26-time Grammy nominee, number one Billboard Blues charting, Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee Bobby Messano, along with Brussels drummer Koen Mertens. Even more (and multiple) shows with artists like Marino Noppe, Pancrase Vandelannoite, Marcus Weymaere and many others, added to providing a musicians life-line of shows for the better part of 3 years.
However, what was set to be the most prolific year to date, 2020, was spoiled by a not so little thing called COVID-19 and it's subsequent lockdown measures. 3 confirmed, structured European tours (and the likelihood of more), an additional 29 shows (from one-off gigs and small groupings of dates, including festivals) and at a time when confirmations for previously "penciled-in" engagements were due to solidify -adding yet more engagements-, the life-long (40-plus year professional) bassist was forced to sit, think and recalibrate. This inner debate concluded with a hard, but ultimately singular decision to return to America.
"I have so much to say and have so many people in and around Belgium I want to thank and soooo many I will indeed miss. But, here, I'll only mention a few of them... Certainly my main man Jamal Thomas. He, along with his lovely wife Nadine, was the first person, outside of Vera's family, to invite me to his home for dinner, drinks and chillin'. And that was early on. I have the greatest respect for that man, not only for his incredible abilities and experiences and expertise as a drummer, but -I guess you could say- as a mentor and someone who has become a great friend, indeed, and I am proud to call him one... Kloot Per W, the unique individual that he is, gave me my first actual club gig in Belgium. He also brought me into a tour and even gave me some excellent pieces of advice and perspective. This man is a living encyclopedia of music history, for real."
Rock continued, "Pancrase Vandelannoite was always throwing gigs my way and I have come to call him a good friend, too. In fact, he arranged a farewell party/jam for me, with, of course, the proper social distancing and all. And that is amazing to me... Bram Thienpondt and his wonderful wife Desiree, just wonderfully earthy people. Bram, I've played his awesome blues joint, Comptoir Des Arts in Brugge, so many times I can't keep count. And he's always been a straight-forward, honest and very insightful guy that I have come to really dig. Anything he says or if he needs a hand? I'm listening and I'm giving... So many more to mention, but I would have to write a book... I have to say THANK YOU to all those beautiful people who came to help with donations on my fundraiser, and I mean FAST. It literally made my knees buckle and touched me so much I can't describe the feeling as much as I try... Last, but certainly not least, is Vera Moock. Thank you baby for all the times you drove me to all those gigs and rehearsals! Whew, man now that's supporting a musician. All the meals, lovin' and ... well, I'm going to stop there for public consumption... Belgium, I will be back sometime, somehow, likely on a tour in 2021, but I'll definitely let you know. Until then, see you on Facebook or feel free to send a message any time!"
As of today (Jun 21, 2020), Rock has booked his flight, returning to Columbus, Ohio USA on Tuesday, June 30, flying out of Brussels International Airport on a morning flight. If all goes as scheduled, he will land in Columbus in the early evening, stepping foot on American soil for the first time in years.
On May 25, 2020, a Facebook Fundraiser was started (https://www.facebook.com/donate/551686109054822) to help raise money for the big move and within 24 hours, the initial goal was met. The goal was then raised in hopes of covering more than the bare bones costs of repatriating and re-establishing in the US. Though the Facebook Fundraiser will end on June 23, the page will remain a place for updates. If anyone would like to still contribute after June 23, you can still donate with PayPal to Michael Nixon, (PayPal email) firstname.lastname@example.org (or visit paypal.me/MykeRockMichaelNixon), contact Myke Rock directly at email@example.com or via a private message by way of his personal Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/myke.rock) to use Visa, Master Card, Bancontact/IBAN... Considering Rock's expression of "surprise" at the "Excess Baggage" fees, any additional support, he says is "greatly appreciated". Alternatively, one can always buy a digital download of the 17-Song album "In Front Of Insomnia" (Myke Rock Band) via https://www.mykerock.com/myke-rock-songs-orig or the brand new release of the 10-Song "Myke Punk Rock - The Punk Years" (Myke Rock, and with Screaming Urge, The Loonies, Big Foot Nixon...) at https://www.mykerock.com/punk. Listening is free.