Mike the Knife – Musical Utility Infielder

My name is Mike Lambe and I am a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in Portland, Oregon. This page will keep you up to date on my ongoing musical projects and performances. I currently play in four bands and frequently pop up at jams around town. I’ve been honored to sit in with many great talents in Portland including, Naomi Tatsuoka, Billy Hagen, the Family Funktion and Argyle.

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Ninja Hippie

Formed in 2011 as a tribute to the criminally underappreciated Little Feat, Ninja Hippie has developed an expansive repertoire of improvisational favorites. A Ninja Hippie show is like an all-day music festival packed into two powerful sets, with diverse sounds ranging from New Orleans groove, modern psychedelia and deep classic album cuts. We cover a wide range of favorites from Phish, Little Feat, Traffic, The Dead, The Band, Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones and many more.

I get to play with all of my toys in this band, with a full percussion rig including congas, timbales and lots of things to shake and whack, plus trombone, harmonica, melodica, plenty of harmonies and a few lead vocals. The band features Chris Layton and Dave Fink on guitars/vocals, Dave Gonnella on bass/vocals, George Fornes on keyboards and Stu Margolis on drums.

Upcoming Performances
Sat March 3 The Garages with Zen Hunter
Sat April 14 Slim’s
Sat May 5 Springfest, Shelton WA with Jerry Rig, Melenkil, The Hinges, Twice Baked and Psychedelic Shadow Show

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Cousin It

Cousin It has a 20 -year history in the Portland-Salem corridor . I came on board as their drummer at the end of 2013 as the band ended a brief hiatus and resumed rocking the socks off of big city and small town crowds alike. We had the honor of sharing the stage with Grand Funk Railroad at the 2014 Linn County Fair.

Founding members include Nick Ignelzi on guitar/keyboards/vocals, Kirk VanDerVeer on guitar/vocals, and Dave Gonnella on bass/vocals.

Upcoming Performances
Sat February 10 Mac’s Place, Silverton 8pm

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The Slope

My ongoing musical partnership with Scott Hewitt is at the core of The Slope, an acoustic-electric hybrid of original folk rock and imaginative reinterpretations of jazz standards, the Beatles, and Paul Simon, with a tip of the cap to Jerry Garcia’s favorite Motown tunes. Vocal harmony is a proud focus.

My percussion setup for the Slope is a constantly changing hybrid in its own way. I use congas, djembe and bongos, while emulating a drum set sound with cajon, snare and cymbals. Scott plays the acoustic guitar and sings, with Rick Kahn on guitar/vocals and Brian Levene on bass/vocals. All four members contribute original songs to the band.

Upcoming Performances

Sun April 22 Vancouver Farmers Market
Sun May 13 Vancouver Farmers Market

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Jerry Rig

A band in transition. Dave Fink, Brent Jensen and Tony Guzman formed the core of Jerry Rig in the late 90s. Molded in the spirit of the Grateful Dead, the band recorded 3 albums of original rock and roll that infused jam rock with an alternative edge. I joined the band in 2011 as drummer and am featured on the third album, “Half the Battle.”

Brent and Tony have since moved on to new chapters of their lives. Dave and I keep the Jerry Rig material alive, while finding new inspiration in the music of the Grateful Dead, Queen and Bob Marley. Brain Levene on rhythm guitar and Scott Hewitt on bass have switched their Slope roles and are contributing new material to the mix. As this next chapter is written, we are feverishly brainstorming a new name!

Upcoming Performances

Fri April 20 O’Neill Pub with Rainbow Electric
Sat May 5 Springfest, Shelton WA with Melenkil, The Hinges, Ninja Hippie, Twice Baked and Psychedelic Shadow Show

Other Projects

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I am pleased to share that the members of Mystic Canyon continue to meet occasionally and fill the air with the sweet sounds that we brought to Portland, Vancouver and Shelton stages for more than a decade. Surely a shameless cashgrab reunion tour cannot be far off.

I look forward to meeting up with former Jerry Rig drummer and friend Dan Fitzgerald to explore a new percussion project that we hope to feature at Squidstock this year. Stay tuned!

Some of you may know me from my occasional appearances at jam nights around town. I like to show up wherever my good friend Jimi Hardin is playing, most recently the Rumpus Room and Area 52. Jimi have played in several bands together and shared the stage at the 2015 Waterfront Blues Festival. He has introduced me to some outstanding jammers along the way, including Billy Hagen, Gary Fountaine, Josh Makosky and Kerry Stickler.

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Mike and Scott with Jimi Hardin, backstage at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
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