Michael Barnes began playing the guitar in 1971 and first studied classical guitar with Jerry Young and then moved on to Jazz and other styles of music. A few of the bands during junior high and high school included Warren Haynes now of Gov't Mule and The Allman Brothers Band. After graduating from Asheville High School in 1978 he then attended the University of Miami and was enrolled as a Studio Jazz major. From Miami Mike then formed a group with Grammy award winner, Elliot Wadopian (now of The Paul Winter Concert) and toured the southeast . After a year or so of touring Mike then enrolled at Musician’s Institute in California in 1980 and graduated in 1981. During his time at MI he studied with some of the world’s finest guitarists and musicians, for example, Pat Martino, Robben Ford, Joe Diorio, Howard Roberts and Howard Alden to name a few. He was chosen by Tommy Tedesco to perform a solo on the Musician’s Institute graduating class album. After graduation Mike played in groups and performed studio work in and around the Los Angeles area and soon went on the road again performing all over the U.S. and Canada. Mike has worked as a session guitarist and performed in recording studios in L.A., Memphis, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Jacksonville, etc. He was signed as a recording artist for Polygram Records and Geffen Records and some of his work has been featured on shows such as Star Search, various T.V. commercials, and also on MTV with The Rock City Angels. He has had publishing deals with Cherry Lane Music and has performed and shared the stage with such artists as John Scofield, The Allman Brothers, Maynard Ferguson, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Ben Harper, The Black Crowes, Branford Marsalis, Steve Miller, Jeff Coffin, John Popper, Jeff Sipe, Jimmy Herring, Toy Caldwell, Col. Bruce Hampton, Joan Jett, The Georgia Satellites, Derek Trucks and Joe Walsh to name a few. Mike has been teaching guitar privately at Musician's Workshop on and off since 1977 and has also been a UNCA faculty member since 1995 where he also received a B.A. degree in music graduating with honors. He has also served on the Appalachian State University music faculty. Mike was chosen to replace Robben Ford in Gregg Allman and Friends for a short time and currently performs with The Mike Barnes Group and also with the group Kaizen, which includes Jeff Sipe on drums and Mark McDaniel on bass. Mike maintains a very busy schedule performing, teaching, recording, etc. and enjoys being home with his family and friends as much as possible.