Over the Memorial Day weekend of 2002, I had the pleasure of performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, Texas as one of the New Folk Artists Finalists. I was truly honored to have been chosen as one of the 36 individuals out of 600 singer/songwriters from 6 different countries who were chosen to take part in this aspect of the Festival. Dalis Allen, Producer, Kerrville Folk Festival summed up my performance by saying "I like Michael's sound; could listen for hours. Michael has crossed the line that separates good from excellent and excellent it is." – Thanks Dalis.
It all began at the age of 14 when my dad brought home a 4 string banjo for me. He and my mom always seemed to do their best to make the dreams I would often talk to them about come true. But soon, however, I traded that banjo for an old, no-name, 6 string classical guitar with the string action of a slide Dobro. I kept that guitar until 1978, my junior year at MSU. I pretty much kept my playing to myself until my wife bought me a new Alverez 12 string for my 21st birthday.... New guitar, new attitude.
I was invited to be the lead singer/rhythm guitarist in a local band called WESTWIND. We played acoustic music at clubs (well,… OK, bars) and small concert venues in Muskegon and the surrounding area. Through the 5 years that Westwind was together, I also began to hone my song writing skills. After the group broke up in 1993, I found I wasn't ready to stop performing, so I set out on my own as a solo performer and have been doing that ever since.
As time went on, I felt I needed a broader outlet for the songs I was writing so I joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International and spent several summers in Nashville taking part in NSAI activities, pitching my songs to publishers and playing songwriters nights at places like Douglas Corners, The Bluebird Café and the many other clubs that provided space and time to be heard. Through this process I was able to secure a single song publishing contract with BMG Publishing for the song SANTA FE TRAIL, which you will find featured on my first CD titled "There's A Song In My Heart". During this time, I was fortunate enough to be called to Chicago to audition for Opryland as a traveling Troubadour (made the first call list) and to the TNN studios in Nashville for the Charlie Daniels Show where I was chosen as a performer for the following season, but they ended up canceling the show that summer. (I hope it wasn't something I said).
In 2001 I recorded a new CD titled "The Next Time Around". The title came from a song that Kay and I wrote together while sitting in a restaurant following a concert that I had done. I'll tell you, there's a certain peace that comes when you share the thoughts and feelings of your soul in a quiet corner with someone you love. Through this CD I wanted to expand that peace to those I share this existence with, so I included many of my musical friends on this project, not only to honor their creativity, but also to serve as a symbol representing all of the people who have impacted my life.
Now, as in the past, I look forward to sharing my music with people I've become fortunate enough to share space with, and I count the blessings of all I have met and have had a chance to learn from. I am excited about my third release, Journeys. I just never seem to get tired of doing this.