Mike Wheeler has been playing the blues since the mid 80's. He did his first blues gig with Muddy Waters sideman Lovey Lee in 1984. In the early 90's he played with bassist & vocalist Joan Baby. He then became a member of Cadillac Dave & The Chicago Redhots. He can be heard on their cd" Checking On My Baby". Mike also did a stint in the band Sam Cockrell & The Groove, playing on their cd entitled "I'm In The Business". He met and began performing with Nellie Tiger Travis in 1994. Next he began playing with Big Ray & Chicago's Most Wanted . He can be heard on their cd "Travelin Lite". In 1998 he joined Big James & The Chicago Playboys. He has played on five cd's with Big James including his latest "The Big Payback Live In Paris" on Blind Pig Records. He then met Peaches Staten and began playing with her band The Grooveshakers. He's on their cd "Live At Buddy Guy's Legends". Mike has performed with Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Shemekia Copeland, Jimmy Johnson, Son Seals, Willie Kent and a who's who of today's Chicago Blues!! Mike uses Elixir Strings.
Larry Williams is a Bass Extraordinaire with unmatched stage presence and charisma. Influenced by artists such as Bennie Williams, Jerome Scott, Sam Cockrell, Larry Graham, James Jamerson, Willie Dixon, Stanley Clarke and Verdine White just to name a few, Larry's style is clean and driving, reminiscent of the late greats yet modern, enabling him to play with the best in the business. From Gospel to Alternative, Larry can play it all. He has played on national and international stages. He has performed with Albertina Walker, Tyrone Davis, James Cotton, Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Guy, Vicki Winans, Koko Taylor, B.B. King and George Benson along with countless others. He has recorded on two major blues labels: Blind Pig and Delmark Records. He is a true example of someone who knows what he was born to do!! Larry uses Elixir Strings.
Cleo Cole began playing drums at the age of 10. He was influenced by his older brother Jethero Cole. Cleo played in his grammar and high school bands and also attended the Conservatory of Music where he was taught by Peter Romalis. He then began playing around town with various artists such as Doug McDonald, Alvin Cash, Floyd Taylor, Zora Young, Maurice John Vaughn, Shirley King, Big James, Nellie Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell and Pistol Pete. His influences are Omar Hakim, Dennis Chambers, Billy Cobham, Bernard"Pretty"Purdie, Killer Ray Allison, Willie "Big Eyes"Smith and Willie "The Touch" Hayes. He has traveled all over the world. He was part of the Legendary Blues Cruise 2011 where he bonded with his fellow drummers. Cleo plays Yamaha Maple Customs and has a stick endorsement with Vic Firth. He has recorded on Blind Pig and Delmark Records. Cleo Cole is a drummer that you must see and hear for yourself!!!
Brian James is keyboardist for The Mike Wheeler Band. He has played and acted as musical director for The Chi-Lites, The Drifters, The Classic Five, Sugar Blue, John Lee Hooker Jr, Chico Banks and Blues Legend Lonnie Brooks. He brings to the band his varied and diverse range of experiences and influences stemming from stints with Reggae, Country, Jazz, Rock Zydeco, Pop, Blues and R&B groups. Brian has an Associates of Fine Arts degree from Illinois State University and is currently working toward his B.A. in teaching. Brian is sponsored by Nord keyboards and Barbetta amplification.