Just What I Do Without You
McConkey's music is upbeat and energetic, yet with a mellow, easy rhythm reminiscent of the turbulent '60s and the mellow, idealistic '70s. While growing up, McConkey remembers imitating Elvis on the front porch of his Adelphi, MD, home. Gyrating to 'You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog' while HiFi booming through the opened door, miming playing guitar with his favorite baseball bat, McConkey would perform to the neighborhood. McConkey's mother was said to have a great singing voice, and sang on the radio in Salisbury, MD., as well as being second to none in swing dancing. The McConkey's never missed a day without singing as their children grew up. Born in Washington, DC McConkey's love for 'soul' music lead him back to D.C. where at 15 he and his brother won the Thursday Night 'Talent Show' at the Carnival Club on Georgia Avenue & Upshur. They became frequent guest there performing regularly along with the 'Soul Sisters', 'Pookie Hudson', 'The Knight Brothers' . The McConkey brothers will always recall the warm welcome to the inner city realm describing it as embracing them. Billy Stewart's manager helped the brothers meet Freddie Perrine, Peaches & Herb's producer and songwriters in the Washington area. At 18 Michael with his brother and Guy Merideth recorded with their 11-piece band the Mystic Knights.They recorded one song written by Freddie Perrine, and 4 other songs by Michael. That year Michael & Kenny signed a record contract with Shelby Singelton. McConkey's enthusiasm ouched as 'tinsel town' dashed the hopes of a naive artist. While attending Prince George's Community College and the University of Maryland, McConkey continued writing and recording and the brothers helped form a six-piece band, known as Easy. The band sang a variety of songs from Buffalo Springfield, the Beatles, and Fillmore-type rock and roll. Among the members, playing drums and vocals was Pete Ruguso, of the Night Hawks. When Easy broke up a lot changed. McConkey wanted to write and perform and learn guitar. McConkey and five others took off for Canada. It was fate that led them into the 'San Francisco' of Southern Ontario. Eventually McConkey, along with Terry Jones (listen to our duo on Love Has Such Beginnings) would become part of a group of singer - songwriters performing as the 'Perth County Conspiracy Does Not Exist'. The group was very popular with a hit album on Columbia Records, Canada. Michael toured with the group as well as playing duo with Terry Jones. For McConkey, this was a memorable partnership.More on Perth County go to davidwoodhead.com McConkey is also an accomplished hoofer. World famous mime, Marcel Morceau and Chuck Mitchel (singer Joni Mitchell's first husband) complemented Michael on his movement on the stage. He was urged to try out for the musical 'Hair'. But McConkey felt he was groundless, and like others, needed to find his real purpose (listen to cut # 5 and # 6). Since then, McConkey got married, had three children,(cut # 15) formed a mail order nursery business and moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains near Afton Virginia. McConkey has recorded two CD's and is currently working on his third and practicing in his studio. He performs around Charlottesville. You can reach Michael at the Edible Landscaping offices at (434) 361-9134. All songs are registered with ASCAP. Songs performed with Perth County are: Love Has Such Beginnings Winged Seeds Meher Baba inspired songs are: I Have Seen Him I Can See You In My Life Soul To Soul Expect A Beauty All These Days.