Mike Baran

Mike Baran – Guitar and mandolin

Referring to his musical training as “a needle on a record,” Mike Baran first picked up a guitar at 14. Immediately influenced by 1970’s Prog and Metal guitarists like Steve Hackett and Ritchie Blackmore, he was drawn to musicians who combined melody and guitar acrobatics without the “sterile shred,” common in current music.

Playing through High School in Mayfield, Ohio, Mike expanded his playing abilities by spending 10-years focused on the Chapman Stick. Similar to a guitar, with 8-12 strings, both hands sound notes by striking the strings against the fingerboard instead of plucking or strumming. The experience opened his eyes to endless possibilities on the guitar.

Developing into one of the most “fluid” Lead Guitarists in Northeast Ohio, Mike then added Mandolin to his skill set as Guitarist with the Crystal Ball Band, a tribute to Blackmore’s Night.

A seasoned performer, Mike describes his collaboration with Home before Midnight as a “privilege and challenge.” Weaving creative threads throughout the Band’s musical tapestry, his talent and musicianship have helped bring the group’s sound to the, ever elusive, “next level.”