SIDNEY — Mikey Wayne contributes his passion for music to watching Pink Floyd music videos as a child.
“I got my first guitar when I was in second grade. I begged my parents for years, and I was always enamored by Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin videos my dad would watch. I was fascinated by them, and I wanted to do that,” Wayne said.
His first guitar, given to him in the second grade, was from the Toys-R-Us electronic department; to this day, Wayne still has it, though he opts to perform with a mix of electric and acoustic for shows. He recalls hating the lessons he took when he first started learning to play, and quit after moving from California to Alabama. His second guitar teacher incorporated licks and chords, which made things more engaging — Wayne still quit after six months, bored with lessons and keen on figuring the music out for himself.
Over the years, he picked up bass, piano, and picked up percussion in fourth grade, which lead to marching band and becoming captain of his high school’s drumline.
“I think having that rhythm drilled into me since fourth grade made me a better guitar player. Everything for me stems from the drums and the bass, the rhythm section — I kind of write with that in mind,” Wayne said.
Wayne’s musical background — which includes fronting bands since as young as eighth grade, when he joined his college-aged brother’s band — has forged him a path to his debut and self-titled album. The album features songs such as “California,” which is a callback to his California roots and is a perfect song for cruising back country roads on hot summer nights with the windows rolled down, to “Let it Roll,” which sounds like it has a place at the end of a romantic comedy where the guy finally gets the girl. Wayne is currently traveling the country performing, and one of his first stops as he transitions back to full-scale live shows will be this Saturday at the Historic Sidney Theatre, as part of a Community Block Party hosted by the theatre and Sidney Alive.
“It is awesome and scary and everything in-between. After taking almost a year and a half off, it’s almost like starting over again. I’ve done some small acoustic shows around the country during the pandemic, but this will be the first full band back. It feels amazing. I can’t express how excited we all are,” Wayne said.
This will be Wayne’s second time visiting and performing in Sidney. He was originally slated to perform a full-scale show in Sidney in 2020, after Sidney native and Sound Image President Dave Shadoan told Wayne about the area, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. He was still able to perform a small acoustic show at Tavolo shortly after it opened, with help from Mick Given with Ferguson Contstruction. Through Shadoan and Given, Wayne is able to return to Sidney to perform that full-scale show this Saturday.
“Sidney’s a great place, and I love all the people there. It’s got a small, hometown feel, like where I spent my high school years in Alabama. It reminds me of my hometown, and it’s cool to be able to get back on a stage for the first time in a year and a half with a full band, and perform for a community of people that really cares about you,” Wayne said.
The Community Block Party comes to the city of Sidney after a year of shutdowns and cancellations; originally, Sidney Alive and the Historic Sidney Theatre had partnered to put together an inagurial Sidney Music and Arts Festival for the summer of 2020. This year, they were unable to put together a full-scale festival, but were still able to put together a community event to celebrate a return to larger gatherings.
“The City of Sidney and the Chamber of Commerce played an important role in making this year’s festival happen. We were lucky that we have the Western Ohio Bicycle Adventure coming to Sidney this weekend and the strong support of the City for the previous Music and Arts Festival planning gave us the base to build this year’s festival under a shortened planning period,” Ian Hinz, executive director for the Historic Sidney Theatre, said. “The collaboration around this year’s block party is something really special for Sidney. Like the renaissance going on in downton Sidney, it is a positive sign for future development and growth not only of this event but of so much more.”
Wayne is just one part of many events taking place as part of the Community Block Party. Other things the community has to look forward to are:
• Sidney Civic Band performing a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, June 18 at Courtsquare
• The Sidney Farmer’s Market on Courtsquare opens at 8 a.m. Saturday morning
• Live music begins on Courtsquare at 11 a.m.
• United Way Kidz Zone on the Square from 1 to 4 p.m.
• The Historic Sidney Theatre’s Sidney’s Got Talent Finals will take place on Marquee Stage in front of the Sidney Theatre at 5 p.m.
• Mikey Wayne will perform live at 8:30 p.m. on Marquee Stage
Additionally, the DORA will be available for patrons from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, and noon to midnight Saturday. Participants in the Western Ohio Bicycling Adventure will also be joining the community Saturday as the event kicks off in Sidney.
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