Michael "Big Mike" Richardson is a staple in area venues, thanks to weeklies like Big Mike's Box of Rock and regular gigs with folks like Dazey Chain or Petty Theft. Richardson also pays regular tribute to his musical heroes, like Elton John, whom he'll be honoring in splashy fashion Thursday at Tolbert's in Grapevine and Friday at Fort Worth's the Wild Rooster.
The pair of shows, focusing on the early to mid-'70s John era, will use a lineup of pals that reunites a couple times yearly (owing to geographical distance) and includes Richardson on piano/vocals, guitarist/vocalist Kevin Sims, acoustic guitarist/vocalist Matthew Carroll, bassist Richard Zemcik and drummer/vocalist John Breedlove.
"I love playing and singing Elton John's songs," Richardson says. "My voice doesn't sound like [his], but I'm pretty good at approximating his style of pronouncing certain words and vowel sounds." Each venue will get a pair of one-hour sets featuring the band -- but don't expect Richardson to hit the stage wearing over-the-top outfits.
"It's not a tribute production with costumes or a big stage presentation," Richardson says. "Just a few dudes that adore the music of Elton John." The Tolbert's gig kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, and the Wild Rooster party starts at 10 p.m. Friday.