Small Town is the name of the upcoming release from Virginia singer, songwriter, and bandleader Mike Mitchell, an appropriate title since he lives in the charming little hamlet of Floyd, VA. It boasts a population of about 500 people, nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains at roughly 2500′ above sea level. There Mitchell runs The Floyd Music School, teaching the young people of Floyd County to play a variety of stringed instruments, located in the same building that once housed the venerable County Sales operation.
And in that same building Mike wrote most of the songs for Small Town, sitting in the office formerly occupied by Dave Freeman, a huge figure in the development of bluegrass music.
Small Town won’t hit until September 21, but a debut single is available today, Tell It To My Face, which finds Mike supported by a strong cast of bluegrass stalwarts. Mark Schatz produced and plays bass, with Tommy Morse on banjo, and Cory Walker on mandolin. Mike plays fiddle and guitar, and sings the lead, with Jesse Smathers providing harmony vocals.
Mitchell is the epitome of a survivor, having survived both a frightful brain surgery as a younger man, and a subsequent descent into addiction and depression, but he is back now, good as new, and with a much brighter view of life, love, and family than he had beforehand.
He says that this single is a perfect demonstration of his new attitude.
“Tell It To My Face is about choosing to stay in a small town despite having gone through a rough time both personally and professionally — walking down the street, stopping at the grocery or the post office, knowing the people all know my business and even participated in some of the gossip and slander. Tell it to My Face is me not running from past mistakes, staying to both play and face the music, so to speak — winning back the faith and trust, and even the love that was lost. We chose to shoot the video with humor from the perspective of feeling like I would just rather people would tell me, to my face, what they like or don’t like, rather than hide or whisper.”