Mike Doolin is a guitarist of some 40 years professional experience. He received his formal music education at Mt. Hood Community College and North Texas State University. He played music professionally through the 80's, then became a software engineer and technical writer for the early 90's. In 1995 he founded Doolin Guitars, working as a solo luthier crafting handmade acoustic guitars. In his 15 years in lutherie, he built instruments for recording artists Esperanza Spalding, Muriel Anderson, John Stowell, Justin King and Nancy Conescu. He also wrote extensively on lutherie topics for the Guild of American Luthiers, and served as guest lecturer at the Roberto-Venn School of Lutherie, the American School of Lutherie, Healdsburg Guitar Festival, the Montreal Guitar Festival and the Guild of American Luthiers Conventions. In 2010, Mike retired from professional lutherie to return to full time music.
Mike has performed with such Northwest mainstays as Mel Brown, Shirley Nanette, Louis Pain, LaRhonda Steel, Fred Stickley, Gary Ogan, Mitzi Zilka, Soul Vaccination, Dan McElrath, Body and Soul, and Cruise Control. His recording credits include a duo recording with Mitzi Zilka, "Lazy Aspirations", Dan McElrath's "907 Central", Obo Addy's "Wonchi Bi", Timothy Bryson's "Playground", Linda Daiber's "Remembring June" and The Flying Stickley's "Behind the Hangar". He has released three CDs of original music as a co-leader with David Martin - "Reflection", "Tough Commute", and "Dark Star".
Having played bass almost as long as he's played guitar, Mike has explored alternative instruments to merge the two. After building harp guitars for Muriel Anderson and others and attending annual Harp Guitar Gatherings, he began building harp guitars for himself in 2006 and playing them at subsequent Gatherings. His harp guitar playing can be heard on four CDs, all available from HarpGuitarMusic.com, and on YouTube. Then in 2013 he switched to playing 7-string guitar exclusively. This instrument provides the extended bass range needed for duo playing. The duo recording with Mitzi Zilka, "Lazy Aspirations", features his 7-string playing .