Mike & Rob Show
This week we meet a couple of Corridor musicians who are extremely busy — on and off the stage. Together they are the Mike & Rob Show. Separately they are Mike Williams and Rob Wallace.
A lead guitarist for more than 30 years, Mike Williams plays with another band, Electric Mule. He also teaches guitar at West Music in Cedar Rapids. Throughout his career, Williams has signed two recording contracts, recorded four albums, received two Grammy nominations and won the coveted Martin Country Guitar Championship.
Rob Wallace is also lead singer of Stranded in Iowa. For 21 years, he has spent his days at a human service agency working with adolescent kids. He is equally passionate about running and exercising. He likes all types of music — as long as it has passion and intensity because that type inspires him to be a better singer, he says.
Running in similar musical circles in Cedar Rapids, these two had known of each other for 20 years.
“I finally asked Mike if he’d like to try doing a few acoustic duo gigs,” Wallace says. “He had a few open dates in his calendar, and decided, why not give it a try?”
From the very first gig in 2005, the chemistry was obvious.
“What you will see at a Mike and Rob Show is people having a great time,” Wallace says. “We bring folks in with our songs and only two instruments — guitar and congas.”
That may sound like an unusual combination. It is, especially in the Midwest. But this duo makes it work.
They “perform for the people who come to be entertained, so we play a variety of new to older rock and country music standards, anywhere from Journey to the Eagles, to Waylon Jennings, Ben Harper and many more,” Williams says.
“Everything from the lightest, happiest folk song, to the heaviest hardest grunge rap — and everything in between,” Wallace adds.