Mike Hall, a vital part of the Beijing blues music scene for more than a decade, died earlier this month in South Africa. “Humble Mike” arrived on the scene in the mid-1990s and jammed over the years with Blues Driver, The Rhythm Dogs, The Big Easy Band and The Beijing Blues Collective, among others. He sang and played harmonica and guitar at spots such as CD Jazz Cafe, Nashville, Jam House and The Big Easy. He was also co-owner of the former Pomegranate Bar.
Mike left Beijing for Bangkok, then South Africa, where he continued to focus on music. This past year, he joined a two-month tall-ship journey from South Africa to the Americas while also exploring music in places as diverse as New Orleans, Glasgow and Pretoria.
Mike’s friends, including several Rhythm Dog alumni still in Beijing, got together last night to jam and trade stories about him at Eudora Station. It was a fitting tribute to a man whose music had touched them all. Rest in peace, Mike Hall.
You can find Humble Mike’s site here and lots of photos from his Beijing days here. Here’s a video from Mike’s Youtube channel that features the 10-year anniversary gig of The Rhythm Dogs. You can find plenty more there.