Mike Stinson is a country singer living in LA. He has been referred to as "the best country-western artist in LA" and "the uncrowned king of the LA neo-honky tonkers." I caught up with him and asked him about his inspiration, and having his song featured on Cold Case.
When did you start writing songs?
I've been writing and singing country music for about twelve years.
What was it that made you want to write and play music?
I guess it started with wanting to emulate my heroes, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons, and Bob Dylan. Country music then became the most natural way I've found to express myself. Why do I feel a need to express myself? I don't know, something about sharing the human experience I guess. My favorite songwriters say things that make me feel
less alone in this world, although that's a trick too because we all have to go it alone at some point.
LA isn't necessarily known for country music. What made you choose to live in Los Angeles?
I was already here when I started in country music and I've never had any desire to leave. Don't think for a second that the best country songwriters are all in Nashville. Kostas has been doing it out of Montana for decades.
What was your reaction to having "Counting My Lucky Stars" featured on Cold Case?
I'm eternally grateful to the Cold Case folks for featuring my song so prominently, generating a lot of interest in my music and paying a lot of my bills.
What would you be doing if you weren't making music?
I'd probably be that weird old dude who still lives with his mom and all the neighbors say "What does he do?" Or I might be that crazed street casualty that wanders into busy intersections and screams obscenities at passing motorists. Those are both still future possibilities.
Photo of Mike Stinson by Randee St. Nicholas