Mike Rufo is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Rufo's songs and poems arc across the waves of life. His music is gripping and eclectic, reflecting his impassioned engagement with the world. Mike's musical language builds upon powerful lyrics, soaring vocals, driving rhythms, and melodic riffs that explore emotional depths and transformation. He also mixes things up with a knack for the well-conceived parody, like his popular single - Spyin' Eyes.
Mike's recent CD, Nothin' But Now, features a return to his early folk roots. As noted in The Prelude Press: "The songs on Nothin' But Now weave together in deeply resonant and beautifully conveyed stories of uplift, loss, transformation, and connection."
Mike's songs have been featured on a variety of radio programs including KPIG, San Francisco's KALW (91.7 FM), [A Patchwork Quilt, Bluegrass Signal], KPFA's Across the Great Divide (94.1 FM), Berkeley's KALX (90.7 FM), Boston's Radio BDC (The Oedipus Project), Portland's KBOO (Folk Espresso, 90.7 FM), and Asheville's 103.3FM (Political Alchemy), among others.
Streets of Plenty, Mike's 2012 CD, captures his alt-rock-focused repertoire. Mike plays his rock songs, and those written by band-mate, David Johnson, with the Bay Area rock group No Exit.
Mike has performed with a wide variety of artists including NPR Tiny Desk Winner (2016), Gaelynn Lea, Blue Summit, Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum), Heart Hunters, and many others. He's performed at venues including Berkeley's Freight & Salvage, Oakland's Yoshis, SF's Swedish American Hall, The Fremont Abbey (Seattle), The Cultch (Vancouver, B.C.), Rockwood Music Hall (New York), Columbia City Theater (Seattle), Al's Den (Portland), Blue Plate Special Radio (Knoxville), The Cinema Bar (LA), Oberon's (Ashland), the Haight-Asbury Street Fair, Awaken Café, The Monkey House, Oakland First Friday, DNA Lounge, Piedmont Jazz/Harvest Festival, the Solano Stroll, and many other locations.
Mike shares his songs at numerous peace, civil liberties, and other activist events including protests at immigrant detention centers, Camp Justice/Creech Anti-Drone protests in Nevada with CodePink, anti-nuclear vigils at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Berkeley Peace Festival, NSA Comedy night, and many others.
Mike is also on the board of Defending Rights & Dissent, a civil liberties organization, and is an IEPEC Lifetime Achievement Award winner for his work on energy and environment.