• Mike 'Sugar' Cahen

Born and raised in London.

 

  • Instruments

Guitar, bass and Mohan Veena (Indian instrument with 21 strings)

 

  • Music

 Music was always 'there' for me. From distant hazy memories of black and white T.V sets, the Shadows playing 'Apache' with their dance step routine to the present. Hissing valve radio sets and pirate radio stations. London's swinging Sixties' provided an inventive and creative auditive overload with the added visual kudos of hotpants hitting Carnaby Street.

Like many other kids in England, I was a choirboy at the Holy Trinity church, Richmond, Surrey.

 

  • Learning the guitar

Vers, Pont du Gard. As a teenager, my mate Phil Clark was witness to an incident which changed my life. The obvious outlet to me was to start playing music.

Phil remembers me picking up his sister's guitar and saying 'I'm going to learn this thing'.

 

Initially self taught, I learned the basics with some old classical guitar methods, with which my mum had tried and failed to learn to play on an old classical German parlour guitar she had bought and left hanging on a wall.

 

 

 

After a year of learning classical pieces, arpeggios and chords I received a Maya Japanese Strat copy as a birthday present with an Italian 'Gem' 20 Watt amp.

 

First electric guitar and amp

 

Having relocated to Montpellier in the South of France, there were only two guitar methods available, one by American guitarist Mickey Baker and the other by a French session guy called Pierre Fanen. Learning to play meant listening to vinyl records and trying to figure out how my heroes were playing:

Open tunings? Vibrato? Which position? Which scale? Which chord and where on the neck? Which fingering, and on which string? What guitar or amp is being used?

Trial and error in anworld of slowly unfolding mysteries...And some chance meetings on the way:

Raymond Fol: My mum spent  WWII in Brittany in the Fol family household and her childhood friend Raymond Fol later became the pianist in the Hot Club de France with Django, he was  also a close friend of Duke Ellington and often guested in his band. As a teenager, Raymond would invite me to his Festival  gigs.

After playing for ten years I decided to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology  at the Musician's Institute in Los Angeles.

 

  • G.I.T (Guitar Institute of Technology): The teachers.

Robben Ford, Joe Pass, Frank Gambale, Keith Wyatt, Art Renshaw, Joe Diorio, Paul Gibert, Tommy Tedesco, Larry Carlton, Eddie Van Halen, Jennifer Batten, Steve Vai, Ray Gomez, Eric Johnson, Larry Coryell, Ron Eschete, and many others...

 

 

Some follow 'students':

Jeff Buckley, John Frusciante, Kurt Bisquera, Allen Hinds, Jimmy Herring, Enzo Tedesco, Marie Ange Martin.

 

  • Session work

Freelance session work includes...

RWP Productions U.K, Konk Studios (The Kinks recording studios in London) U.K, Davout Studios, El Cortijo studios (Spain), Euromedia, Harryson, Aquarium studios, Milkshake studios, Studios d'Aguesseau, The Tube Station etc.

 

 

 

 


 

  • Played and worked on projects with artists and musicians including :

Elkie Brooks, Lionel Ritchie, Suzi Quatro, Benjamin Zephaniah, Ina Forsman (Finland), Katarina Pejak (Croatia) and a bundle of sessions.

 

 

 

  • Tours and concerts

 

B.B.C Live in Belfast, Maryport Blues Festival, The Unfinished Business Tour, The Strange Fruit tour, The Hits and the Blues Tour, The Shangri-La Tour, The Christian Harling/ Dionne Warwick tour, The Berlin Acoustic Nights/ Holy Grail Guitar Show. Concerts in France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Italy, Morrocco, Algeria, Tunisia.

 

 

  • Demos and clinics

 

Vilas Guitars (Spain), Lag Hyvibe, M-Tone Guitars (U.S), Daguet Guitars (France), San Lorenzo Guitars (France), Bare Knuckle Pickups, Andy Manson Guitars(UK), Seth Baccus Guitars (UK), Ergon Guitars (Portugal), Tao Guitars (Belgium), Hilko Guitars (Belgium), Meloduende Guitars (France), VL Effects (France), Cornford Amplification (UK), Sheldon Amplification (U.K).

 

 

  • Albums

 

Short list includes

 

Elkie Brooks Live: Don't cry out loud, Benjamon Zephaniah: 'Naked', The Absia Project: Chill out on the Seine (World music), Rock Tendences (Instrumental music), Mike Cahen :Unplugged at Home (Solo album), Acoustic & Electric Guitar Compilation I, Coast to Coast, Parisian Nights by RogMikEnzo Live, Daydream by Amanda Fahey.

 

  • Guitarists

Alvin Lee (Ten Years After), Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake), Geoff Whitehorn (Paul Rodgers, The Who, Paul McCartney), Al Hodge,  Van Wilks, Phil Palmer, Sal Bernardi (Riki Lee Jones), Gary Hoey, Mar Todani.

  • Producers

Jean Alain Roussel (Bob Marley, Rolling Stones), Trevor Morais (Bjork, Tina Turner), Duncan Mackay (Ten CC, Kate Bush), Steven Forward. 

 

  • Keyboards

Jean Roussel, Johnny Dyke, Brandon Christy, Duncan Mackay, Jacques Bouniard, Gary Karp, Peter Faint,  Eric Chevalier

 

  • Bass players

Steve York (Eric Clapton), Roger Inniss (RogMikEnzo, Chaka Khan, Mick Taylor, Blues Caravan) Brian Badhams, Ken 'Big Dawg' Smith (Nasville session player), Emana, George Wolfhaardt, Kim Yarbrough

  • Drummers

Enzo Todesco, Patrick Buchmann, Ken Dalluge, Mike Richardson, Gerry Conway, Jaimie Little, Alain Decampos.

  • Indian Classical musicians

Sabir Sultan Khan ( Sarangi) , Amanat (Sitar)  and many more.

 

  • Music for syncs and publishing

Mike is a member of the Speegra Publishing, a London based music publishing company. He has written a catalog of tracks for advertising and films which are available to hear on the Speegra Website.

  • Music for TV - Websites

Country Club, Peugeot

  • Teaching

Mike's Music Connection : Seminars  and clinics.

International Music Seminars (Antibes, Montpellier) Teaching and coordination. 

With Robben Ford, Al Di Meola, Pat Metheny, Joe Diorio, Ritchie Beirach, Gary Hoey, Jacques Bouniard, Frank Gambale, Ken Dalluge, Quest, the Chick Corea Band

Cours Florent, ensemble rehearsals with Jean Roussel, Marten Ingle, Bobby Rangell and Arnaud Frank; The Centre Agora, Paris, MJC, Nimes

 

  • Equipment


  • Guitars over the years...

 

Classical (brand unknown), Maya Strat copy, Ibanez LesPaul copy, Ibanez Firebird copy, Ibanez Silver series Strat copy, Yamaha SG (200?), Ibanez bass, Larivée bass, Gibson 335 sunburst, Gibson 335 dot, LesPaul Standard '79, Ibanez double neck 12/6 string, Fender Strat (Squier), Danelectro, Strat, Gibson Les Paul, Gibson 175, Vox Phantom, Martin , Classical, Meloduende Phantom, Martin D28, Fender Tele.

  • Amps

 

Gem 20w, Music Man 212 HD 130, Roland 20w, Mesa Boogie, Cornford, Sheldon 1,5 w, Line 6.

 

In the studio:

Music Man, Marshall 2x12, Mesa-Boogie, Line 6 Pro, Cornford, Rocktron, Rockman, Fender Deluxe

 

On stage:

Cornford, Mesa Boogie, Sheldon, Music Man, Peavey, Charlie Acoustic, AER, Line 6, Cornford, Marshall and Fender.

 

 

 

Influences

In the beginning

The Stones (local band from Richmond) following their different guitar/amp/studio sounds through the years.

Keith Richards for his raunchy gritty sound, timing, attitude and call and response style approach and his use of open tunings. Brian Jones for slide guitar.

 

 

Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Albert King, Otis Rush, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth, Ry Cooder, David Bromberg, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Winter