Origin: Pembroke - Toronto, Ontario
Guitarist Mickey McGivern was born in Pembroke, Ontario in 1931 and by the age of 17 he was already on the road with The Kidd Baker Show. This was the start of a career that saw him tour coast to coast as leader of Mickey and The Mustangs and a part of backing bands for country singers like Johnny Paycheck, Del Reeves and Bob Luman. But he’s probably best-known as a studio musician, having played on over 350 sessions for artists including Ronnie Hawkins, Anne Murray, Artie McLaren and Dick Nolan. He was pretty much the house guitarist for Canadian label Arc Records throughout the ’60s, which kind of makes him the Canadian Steve Cropper. McGivern retired in 1980, but was still playing the guitar at his 80th birthday party in 2011 and his musical legacy (as a member of the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame) is secure.
“Hillbilly Funk,” a tasty little instrumental with a laid-back groove that reminds me of of Ike Turner’s “Gettin’ Nasty,” is on one of McGivern’s solo albums, Down East Guitar Pickin’, which was released on Marathon Records in the 1970s.