Band: THE JETS
Hometown: Hollywood, CA
Mike Isenberg began his musical journey in 1966 with The Blues Feeling, his first 'garage band,' coming up in the same central Illinois scene that brought the world Gary Richrath ( REO SPEEDWAGON ) and Dan Fogelberg. He wrote his first song in 1968, a song called simply enough, Be For Me. His band THE JETS became an instant pop phenomenon in 1972, and in 1973 they recorded Be For Me and scored a Top 20 hit. By 1978 The JETS became an integral part of the fast growing Minneapolis scene, and caught the attention of Twin Tone Records, the label that gave The Replacements their start. THE JETS released a 45RPM record on the Twin Tone label that made them stars on the Minneapolis scene - even Prince came to their record release party. The two songs on that 45RPM record became a part of Twin Tone's famed double LP compilation 'Big Hits Of Mid America Volume Three.' THE JETS were the only band on that compilation with a radio hit. That album has recently been recognized by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and now appears in the Minneapolis section of the hall in the same display as Prince's Purple Rain. Isenberg has appeared across the nation with legends as diverse as Sam Andrew of Big Brother and The Holding Company ( Janis Joplin's band ), Leslie West ( Mountain ), Ike Willis ( Frank Zappa ), Arthur Kane ( New York Dolls ), Chuck E. Weiss, Mark Vollman ( The Turtles ) and has worked with a virtual Who's Who of the Hollywood music and film world. His unique guitar style has turned heads everywhere he plays. The late Carl Perkins once said 'That boy knows how to make a guitar talk!' Isenberg remains an active performer and recording artist, producer, songwriter and author and mentor.
"What I want most out of a guitar rig is smooth tone and articulation. It doesn't matter how good you can play if it sounds like a mess. I've tried countless pedals over the last 50 years, and the majority of them were just a cheesy sounding, noisy waste of time and money. When my old musical brother Ed Tree turned me on to Big Joe's Vintage II and Delay, I was immediately impressed with the articulation, and the lack of what I usually find in gain pedals - that fizzy sort of halo around the notes. The Vintage II is very touch sensitive. If I want things to clean up with a lighter touch, they do. The delay was clean, where most delays are either too 'digital sounding' ( if that makes sense ), or too muddy and even dirty sounding. I was able to do a fast burst and not have a bunch of repeats colliding and hiding what I was playing - but appearing just as I wanted them to after the burst had ended. When you're getting a great sound you tend to relax and play better, rather than being concerned with whether things could sound better, which interrupts the flow. Big Joe pedals give me that great sound, which allows me to relax and concentrate on playing. I'm very impressed, and I highly recommend Big Joe's line of 'stomp boxes.'"