Mike McCready is an American musician, songwriter, and producer best known as the lead guitarist and founding member of the Seattle-based rock band Pearl Jam. He was born on April 5, 1966, in Pensacola, Florida, but grew up in Seattle, Washington.
McCready’s interest in music began at a young age, and he started playing guitar in his teenage years. In the mid-1980s, he became a part of the Seattle music scene and formed the band Shadow with vocalist Chris Friel. The band played around the Seattle area and released one EP before disbanding.
After Shadow disbanded, McCready joined the band Pearl Jam in 1990, which was formed by his former bandmate Jeff Ament and vocalist Eddie Vedder. The band released their debut album, “Ten,” in 1991, which became one of the most successful albums of the grunge era. McCready’s guitar work on the album, particularly on songs such as “Alive” and “Even Flow,” helped establish him as one of the most talented and innovative guitarists of his generation.
McCready has continued to play lead guitar and contribute songwriting to Pearl Jam throughout their career, which has spanned over three decades and produced over ten studio albums. He is known for his expressive and emotive guitar solos, which often incorporate elements of blues, psychedelia, and classic rock.
In addition to his work with Pearl Jam, McCready has also been involved in various side projects and collaborations over the years. He formed the supergroup Mad Season with members of Alice in Chains and the Screaming Trees in the mid-1990s, which released one album, “Above,” in 1995. He has also released a solo albums, “Music for Film” (2016), which is available only as a super limited edition vynil, and has worked as a producer and guest musician for several other artists.
McCready has been open about his struggles with addiction and mental health, and has been an advocate for various social and environmental causes over the years. He is a member of the MusiCares MAP Fund Advisory Board, which provides addiction recovery support for musicians, and has been involved in various charity events and benefit concerts.
In summary, Mike McCready is a highly influential and talented guitarist, songwriter, and producer who has played a key role in the success of Pearl Jam and the Seattle music scene. His guitar work is characterized by his expressive and emotive solos, and his songwriting has helped shape the sound of alternative and grunge rock.