Banjo / Guitar / Yodeling
Mike Franklin is an avid musician who has lent his skills to numerous musical endeavors. From show-choirs to musical theater to The Chardon Polka Band, Mike can sing or play a wide variety of musical styles. Mike’s musical expertise have added dimension-upon-dimention to the band since he joined. Though Mike is recognizable as the banjo player in The Chardon Polka Band, he is also an accomplished guitar and keys player. Mike has the ability to figure out virtually any instrument he can get his hands on and, in-fact, had no prior experience with the banjo before joining The Chardon Polka Band in 2010.
Another skill that Mike developed in his life as a polka musician is the art of the yodel. His yodeling continues to impress audiences and be a key element of the band’s Oktoberfest act…Even more so when he yodels and juggles at the same time!
Mike Franklin is also an experienced music composer and writer. Mike contributed several original songs to the band’s 2013 album, A Fistful of Polka. The original songs he’s written for the band include the hits “I Wanna Polka You” and “Bring Me More Beer!”
With over a decade invested in The Chardon Polka Band, Mike Franklin has been a key player in transforming the band from a hobby into a career. Whether playing at Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver, CO) or on screen for ESPN, Mike’s dedication and musical prowess continues to make the CPB what it is today. Mike probably did not expect that signing up for a local polka band would eventually lead to such experiences as performing in a sawmill, multiple guest appearances on the Travel Channel, performing a make-believe wedding at a Ukranian summer camp, grand marshaling parades, eating Bigfoot Burgers, hanging out with Mo Rocca for CBS This Morning, yodeling at 7,000 feet, and starring in the reality tv-series Polka Kings.
When not playing with The Chardon Polka Band, Mike is very enthusiastic about recording music. He writes and records his own non-polka compositions and offers his recording services to other individuals and bands at his home recording studio.
Mike is sponsored by Deering Banjo Company and plays a custom “Boston” plectrum banjo with an E2 maple tone ring. Mike handles this device with manic elegance and has developed his own unique style of banjo playing, combining elements of traditional polka playing with influences from rock and folk. Having that blend of traditional and experimental has always been essential to the Chardon Polka Band. Mike remains always eager to develop his skills and hone his abilities and has even studied under polka banjo legend, Ron Sluga.
Location: Burton, Ohio
Birthday: June 20
Hobbies: Music, Motorcycles, Kayaking