God bless our troops
Follow Mike
Singer/songwriter and U.S. Marine Mike Corrado has recently garnered national radio
and television airplay after releasing his latest EP "Stand.‟  The video for the EP‟s
title track has been picked up by CMT.com, CMT Pure and is being broadcast to all the
troops and families deployed and stationed overseas by the American Forces
Television Network. No stranger to the limelight, Mike released “On My Watch
Tonight” from his 2005 album Falling Awake. The song, which features guest vocals
from friend and multi-platinum artist Edwin McCain (I’ll Be/I Could Not Ask For More)
is the story of a Marine‟s journey from Boot Camp to the front lines, and became an
anthem for service men and women around the world. Service is something Mike
knows a lot about. After leaving active duty with the Marines, Mike set aside his rifle
for a guitar and HUMVEE for a 15 passenger van and set out for four years of life on
the road performing 200-250 shows a year. Both as a headliner and in support of such
acts as John Mayer, Edwin McCain, Train and many more, Mike established a strong
grass roots following. After the September 11, 2001 attacks he was mobilized back to
active duty and deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. Upon return from the year-long deployment,
Mike was awarded the Bronze Star and has continued to expertly manage both a
music and active duty military career. 2009 was big year for Mike as he continued to
blur the genre lines between rock and country. In June, while in Nashville he
appeared in a music video for John Rich then wrapped up the summer opening up for
the Black Eyed Peas. In January 2010, Mike began working on „Stand‟ with veteran
producer Noel Golden (matchbox twenty, Edwin McCain and Willie Nelson to name a
few) and opened for Bon Jovi on the kick off of their “The Circle” world tour. Mike, his
story and music have been featured nationally on CNN, ABC, CBS, Rolling Stone
Magazine, American Forces Radio & Television and on multiple cable Music-On-
Demand channels.
Victory Lane first started out as a song to get troops pumped up before going on a
patrol or convoy.  The idea first popped into my head mid-2007, and then I just set it
aside.  Having already written several military themed songs, I wanted to change it
up a bit.  Instead of writing about a service member getting ready for a mission or for
battle, I instead changed it to a racecar drivers desire to win.  There are a lot of
parallels that can be drawn between a service member getting ready for a patrol and
a driver preparing for a race and desire to be victorious.

I spent a lot of time growing up and going to school in the south and had always
known about NASCAR but it was not until my deployment to Iraq in 2005/2006 where
I really got into it.  When I could, I would watch the races on American Forces
Network which provided a temporary escape. That’s probably where the meshing of
military and NASCAR occurred.

Down the road in 2009, I went to Nashville during CMAFest.  I got to link up with a
longtime friend and great guitar player Josh Burns.  While there, we played a show
at the Tin Roof in Nashville and also got to meet some major artists.  The following
day, I was asked to appear in a John Rich video and documentary for his song “The
Good Lord and the Man.”  John and I shared a dressing room at the Country Music
Television (CMT) studio for the taping and got to talking.  The dressing room was
adorned with some water, some candy and a bottle of Crown Royal.  He offered
some Crown, which also happens to be a favorite of mine, and as the shoot
wrapped, told me to take the rest of the bottle.  This was my first ever trip to
Nashville and I already got to play a show, be in a video filmed at CMT have a
cocktail and shoot the bull with John Rich, so naturally when I got back to Josh’s
house, we picked up some guitars and the Crown and had a marathon songwriting
session until the wee hours of the morning.



I was telling Josh about some ideas I had and mentioned Victory Lane.  I pretty
much had the lyrics down and the melody but was in need of a much better guitar
player than I to pull off the lick.  I sang the part I was hearing a few times and Josh
brought the groove to life.  The next day, we went up into Josh’s studio and cut a
rough guitar and vocal of what was to become the song.



A year and a half later while on a trip to Wilmington, NC, I had the opportunity to
record it with another longtime friend, guitar player and producer Tommy Brothers.  
We laid down the track and with the help of Kent Hobson on bass, Adrian Duke on
Hammond, Justin Cody Fox on slide guitar the song came to life.



While looking for graphic designers for the artwork, I ran across Scott Bates, a super
talented graphic artist who I later found out is a disabled Marine Corps Veteran who
was medically retired in 1985.  Scott is catastrophically disabled by multiple
sclerosis. He uses a hands-free mouse that he controls with his head movements to
do his design work.  Our common bond as Marines along with a love of NASCAR
made it even more fortuitous.  Although the song and artwork has a NASCAR theme,
there is still a tip of the hat to our Marine Corps backgrounds with the pit crew
raising the checkered flag reminiscent of the historic photograph of the five US
Marines and one US Navy Corpsman raising the flag of the United States atop Mount
Suribachi in 1945 during the Battle of Iwa Jima in World War II.
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