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Country music performer Schikora to play on home stage

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| September 30, 2009 12:00 AM

While attending Libby High School in the early 1980s, Mike Schikora lived a double life. During the day, he attended classes leading up to his graduation in 1983. In the evenings, Schikora played in local bars as part of the band, “The Juke Box Jammers.”

“I’d go to school with kids during the day and see their parents at night,” Schikora laughed.

Schikora returns to Libby for just the third time in the 26 years since leaving after high school. Now a country music performer who is coming out with a new CD, Schikora will play on Saturday night on the Memorial Center stage.

“It’s all fun … it’s cool to see family and share this experience with them,” said Schikora, who has several relatives – including his father, Willie – in Libby. “When you’re a kid, you always think about coming back to the hometown and doing the big concert.”

Schikora, 44, remembers himself as the “odd ball out” during childhood.

“I was that kid who took the violin lessons, was in the choir, all that stuff,” he said. “I did pretty well with the junior high and high school choirs and school plays.”

By 1987, Schikora had landed in Nashville where he played clubs over the next seven years. Then he yearned for a return to the mountains and settled in Colorado. Today, he performs, writes songs and records on the independent Front Range Records label. Schikora also operates a Half Arabian Sporthorse breeding business in the foothills north of Boulder.

A couple of years ago, Schikora recorded, “Back Under Montana Skies” – a tribute to his hometown of Libby – on his debut album, “What’s Old is New Again.” Schikora penned the lyrics after returning in 2007.

“I’ll go with Linda and my dad to meet the friends they have for coffee at the casino café,” a verse in the song reads. “Then we’ll drive through town; take a good look around and realize that everything’s the same.”

“I’m happy with the attention it got and the radio play,” Schikora said. “It’s really an anthem, this one’s mine to Libby.”

Schikora’s newest CD, “This Cowboy’s in Love,” is just coming out now and he will have some available at Saturday’s concert.

Prior to playing in Libby, Schikora will perform in Pocatello, Idaho on Friday. Then after he leaves Libby, he’ll take part in a CD release party back in Colorado on Monday.

“It’s a lot of plate-spinning,” Schikora said in reference to his busy schedule.

Schikora will make a public appearance and go on a local radio station before the evening concert. At 3 p.m., he will do a live interview on KLCB and then at 4 p.m., he’ll appear at Cabinet Books and Music with an acoustic in-store performance.

Schikora in Concert

When: Saturday, Oct. 3

Where: The Memorial Center (111 E. Lincoln Blvd., Libby)

Time: Doors open at 7 p.m.; concert begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets: General admission tickets are available for purchase in advance for $15 and at the door for $20. Ticket outlets include the Memorial Center, Libby Area Chamber of Commerce, the Printing Press and the Caboose Motel.

For more information, call the Memorial Center at 293-9643 or go online to www.khcenter.org . And for more on Schikora, go online to www.myspace.com/mikeschikora , www.mikeschikora.com , www.cdbaby.com/mikeschikora2 and http://twitter.com/mscocowboy .

“Back Under Montana Skies”

Country music artist Mike Schikora wrote “Back Under Montana Skies” in 2007 as a tribute to his hometown of Libby. Following are excerpts from the song:

I ain’t been home in way too long

I’m carrying 20 years of change

I wonder if time has stood still or been kind

To the memories that still remain

(Chorus)

Is that river still winding and minding my town?

Do those mountains still watch over with pride?

Is home still home when I go back under Montana skies?

Back under Montana skies

I’ll go with Linda and my dad to meet the friends they have

For coffee at the casino café

Then we’ll drive through town; take a good look around

And realize that everything’s the same