At the ripe old age of 17, Mike Onesko left his native home, Fairview Park, Ohio, for the greener pastures of San Francisco, California. With just $60 and his guitar he hitchhiked his way across the midwest, great plains, and rocky mountains, until he arrived in the bay area. Once settled into his new home he formed a power trio called Sundog. This is where Mike started his musical journey playing long jams and heavy sabbath type riffs. Next was Steelwind, a five piece outfit with keyboards, which featured John Warmouth on drums and Walker Kaeck (I Think I’m in Love) on vocals. They Headlined at Kezar Stadium just three years after Led Zeppelin played there! The Kwik and Three Man Army were next and they opened for many acts such as Robin Trower, Montrose, Nazareth, Great White, Mitch Ryder and Clarence Clemons.
Mike was discovered in the clubs of Marin County California by Shrapnel Records President Mike Varney! They formed the Blindside Blues Band with Scott Johnson on guitar, Jeff Martin on drums, and Gregg Chaisson on bass guitar. The BBB put out three records with this lineup, although Gregg played on the records, he never did any live shows with the band! That duty was filled admirably by Kier Staeheli. The last Shrapnel lineup for the Blindside Blues Band was Mike Onesko, Mike Varney, Aysnley Dunbar, and James Lomenzo.
Mike produced and played on Cream of The Crop a tribute to Cream where he produced and performed with Pat Travers, Leslie West, Tim Bogert, Rick Derrigner, Glenn Hughes, Neal Schon, and many more!
Mike’s time with Shrapnel and San Francisco were drawing to a close, and with that Mike went on to Comet Records in Italy to record many great releases such as Mike Onesko’s Guitar Army, Smokehouse Sessions, Live At The Torrita Blues Festival, Voodoo Crossing and Gypsy Blood, both Hendrix tributes.
Mike found his way back to Cleveland, and his way onto Grooveyard Records. With the new label, and new life, Mike released a string of Blindside Blues Band albums, a collaboration album, a return to the guitar army, and was featured on three “best of” compilations. Over time, Mike found a need for a new creative direction.
That direction was coming fully home and working with Cleveland, Ohio based label, Jib Machine Records. With this new relationship, Mike released an album of cover songs, call Re-Covered, A collection of songs never released from his early career, The Kwik’s Piece By Piece, and was featured on the Green 15 Compilation celebrating 15 years of Jib Machine Records. His newest release is Blindside Blues Band – Live at SATUR Blues, a recording of the BBB live in Poland! Mike is currently in Track Six Recording working with producer/engineer Brandon Youngs on a two song tribute to UK with a working title of BLU K, look for that in late 2019 via Jib Machine.
"...this is a man known as a heavy blues rock guitar specialist and quite rightly so. Especially when you get thoroughly lost in what is an excellent example of American hard rocking blues wizardry."
- seaoftranquility.org - Steven Reid
"Mike Onesko, Jay Jesse Johnson, Emery Ceo, and Kier Staeheli turn it up to 11, snap off the dial, and crush it on the roadhouse floor."
- bluesblastmagazine.com - Jim Kanavy