Mike Adkins, guitarist for Uncle Kracker, grew up in Livonia, Michigan a suberb of Detroit. Born in 1983, he began learning classical piano at the young age of 8 years old. Just a few years later, he moved on to the guitar which would become his passion for rest of his life.
Adkins, prior to joining Uncle Kracker, had already shared the stage w/ musical greats such as Eric Clapton, BB King, and Jeff Beck by landing the opening performance spot at Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in 2007. He was raised on straight-up classic rock and blues, and that influence definitely shows in his playing. “My parents took me to my first concert at a very young age, I saw the Stones when I was 6 years old and it changed my life…” says Adkins.
In 2009, Mike was tapped by Top Dawg/Atlantic recording artist Uncle Kracker, and since has played countless shows w/ the band, including tours w/ Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Kid Rock, Jason Aldean, ZZ Top, and Train, just to name a few. He has appeared in the music videos for the single “Smile”, “Nobody’s Sad On a Saturday Night”, and most recently “Blue Skies”. Also, Adkins has had the opportunity to appear on numerous television shows including: NBC’s The Tonight Show, Regis & Kelly Live, Fox & Friends, American Country Music Awards and the CBS Early show, among others.
Mike proudly endorses: Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Taylor Guitars, Peterson Tuners, McPherson Guitars, English Laundry, Gator Cases, Georg Roth Los Angeles, Red Monkey Leather, Dunlop Manufacturing, Budda Amplifiers, Galaxy Audio, Wallace Amplification, and the G-7th Capo Company.
Initially known for his role as DJ in Kid Rock’s legendary Twisted Brown Trucker band, Uncle Kracker soon staked his own claim for greatness via a unique stylistic synthesis of pop, rock, country, soul, blues, and even doo-wop. Known to his parents as Matt Shafer, the Detroit-based singer/songwriter made his stunning solo debut with 2001’s #1 smash, “Follow Me,” kicking off a run of top 10 multi-format hits like “In A Little While,” “Smile,” and of course, 2003’s record-setting cover of Dobie Gray’s classic “Drift Away.” As if that weren’t enough, the following year saw Uncle Kracker topping Billboard’s “Hot Country Songs” chart for five consecutive weeks with “When The Sun Goes Down,” his RIAA gold certified collaboration with country superstar Kenny Chesney.
Uncle Kracker’s current Platinum certified hit single, “Smile,” continues to explode across a variety of radio formats. The track — included on “HAPPY HOUR,” Uncle Kracker’s latest album — has already reached #2 at Hot AC, where it remains a Top 10 favorite. What’s more, “Smile” is now ascending the airplay charts at both Country and CHR/Pop, where it is now climbing into the TOP 5. In addition, the track’s companion video clip is in rotation at VH1, where it has been a fixture on the channel’s “VH1 Top 20 Countdown”, as well as a TOP 20 Favorite on CMT, since its initial release last August. And as if all that weren’t enough, the “Smile” ringtone is a Top 20 seller on this week’s Nielsen RingScan’s top-downloaded master ringtones chart.
Indeed, the proud Michigander has also maintained his role as one of Kid Rock’s closest friends and collaborators, co-writing such blockbuster hits as “Bawitdaba,” “Cowboy,” “Forever,” “Only God Knows Why,” and 2008’s #1 phenomenon, “All Summer Long.” Though it all, the one and only Uncle Kracker has continued to push the musical boundaries between his beloved Detroit and inspirational Nashville, most recently earning abundant acclaim for the full-on country approach of 2012’s Midnight Special.