Justin's Touring BandJustin Hayward's touring band consists of Mike Dawes, Julie Ragins and Karmen Gould. Please find below bios on each of these magnificent performers.
Mike Dawes is an English guitar player known for composing, arranging and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument using unique & extended and micro-techniques. He is hailed as one of the world’s most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers with a repertoire spanning solo viral video hits.
He was named ‘Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World right now' by MusicRadar & Total Guitar Magazine in both December 2017 and 2018 readers polls. His debut record with CandyRat Records gained strong critical acclaim and spawned a variety world tours and singles, notably a viral arrangement of "Somebody That I Used to Know“. To many, the ‘What Just Happened?’ album achieved positive reviews due to its melodic prominence and Celtic influence combined with a pyrotechnic and astute solo technique. The lead single on Dawes' second release ERA, an arrangement of "One" by Metallica, went viral with over 30 million hits in its first week of release. Dawes features heavily on multiple Justin Hayward DVD and PBS releases, notably ‘Spirits...Live’ which debuted at #2 on the US Billboard chart. Mike also has a strong reputation as an educator, acting as a columnist for Guitar World, Acoustic and other major publications both in print, online and on television. His playing can be heard in various additional media, including season 3 of AMC’s Better Call Saul and Sky TV’s Guitar Star.
For Julie Ragins, musical roots have run deeply and diversely. Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, she always had unfaltering support from her family to pursue music. “There was always music in my house, mostly due to my fathers great love of jazz. So when I started playing saxophone in school band at the age of nine he was thrilled.” Her mother eventually got her wish when Julie started playing classical piano at twelve. Throughout high school and college, music was an integral part of her life. Jazz saxophone continued to stand out, but passions for the rock flavor of the day were equally engaging. From Charlie Parker to Led Zeppelin, she got quite an education.
It wasn't until later that Julie thought much about singing. After attending college at the University of Colorado Boulder, the girl who valued being a musician above all else, who thought singing was for non-musicians, moved to Hollywood to attend vocal school, and it was there she finally found her instrument. The world of R&B and soul music opened wide up for her and still today, rock and soul mold her as a singer and artist more than any other style. From lounges, to the studio, to the road, and releasing a solo record, it has been, and continues to be a wonderful journey filled with blessings.
Karmen Gould is a flutist whose work blends musical styles and crosses genres. Her current projects combine her classical symphonic training with her lifelong love of guitars and Rock and Roll. Her YouTube series “But on the Flute” features famous rock guitar solos, faithfully and artfully transcribed for performance on the flute. Her current collection of single releases, entitled “Somewhere In-Between,” showcases duets between flute and acoustic guitar, featuring Mike Dawes, Trace Bundy, Tim Kobza and other talented collaborators. Karmen most loves matching the beauty of the flute with music that expresses heart and meaning, as she is so fortunate to do with Justin Hayward.
Karmen’s professional career has included performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the country. She is an NFA Convention Performer’s International Competition winner and has served as the Musical Director and flutist for the Audio Inversions New Music Series in Austin, Texas. From 2010-2016 she served in the Air Force Air National Guard playing flute and piccolo. Past projects she is proud of include flute and piccolo features on two albums with Akara project and leading the LA Flute & String Quartet. As an educator she has served on the faculty at the University of Redlands and maintains her own private studio. Karmen received an undergraduate music degree from The University of Southern California and completed a masters degree in Flute Performance at The University of Michigan. Above all, performing live is the greatest joy - it’s great to be touring again!