Oct. McD Newsletter


Greetings to all,
This is my favorite time of the year....though autumn usually signifies the end of the season, we have some new things dawning this autumn. Gregg Bell, my dear friend and manager of several years, is no longer managing me and an old friend named Dawn Maze now is. Dawn originally introduced me to Gregg years ago. Dawn has a lot of industry experience and has long been a supporter and friend of mine, and with the timing of Gregg's departure and her looking to branch out on her own, it seemed like the perfect move for me to make. I'd like to thank Gregg for everything and welcome Dawn into this family of ours. Dawn is reachable through the website so I would encourage any and everyone to welcome her and wish her much success in trying to deal with me. Seriously though, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you. A couple of projects are in the works, including a new record that I am extremely excited about having you all hear. It's an album called "Beneath The Ashes." Not sure of the release date officially but I believe it will be November 9th. I would also encourage those of you in
Chicago and Boston and Philly and Memphis ...San Fran...LA...to call your radio stations and request they play something from this new record. We have to keep this thing going and it's on the edge of a knife right now. Please, I ask for your support. God bless you all....
- mm -

* BENEATH DETAILS: Ok, since Michael talked about it above, we thought we'd share a little bit more information about the upcoming album with you! "Beneath The Ashes" will be released with "Ashes" (as a holiday set) on November 9th. It will be available for pre-order shortly on the website. It's a limited edition run, so pre-order yours ASAP at: order now!.
Tracks on the record will be:
1. Feel A Little Further
2. Upside Down
3. Belong
4. What You Think, You Become
5. The Silent Will Soon Be Singing
6. Around the World (with strings)
7. Ridin' the Spare
8. Right Here With You
9. Puzzle
10. Can't Sleep Tonight (Demo)
11. Little Drummer Boy

* YAHOOOOOOOO!: For future newsletter delivery, we've instituted a Yahoo! Group for distribution. You should have gotten an email with a link to join the group. If you are reading this online and would like to subscribe, go to: Yahoo! Group.

* NEW WEBSITE: There is a new Michael McDermott website up and running, so if you haven't checked it out already, run (don't walk) to: new website. On it is a brand-spanking-new Blog from Michael entitled "Michael's Madness" where you can go for regularly updated notes from him. You can also post your own thoughts in response to Michael's writings if you wish. Plus there are all sorts of other goodies on the site to keep you in the loop on everything McDermott.

* USO-YEAH: Michael will be performing at the USO Star Spangled Salute Ball on October 23rd in Chicago . Given the name of the event, I'm sure you'll be surprised to hear that he is not performing our nationa anthem! Instead, he's been tapped to play "Arm Yourself" acoustic. They expect 1000 people. For more information, go to: USO.

* BIRTHDAY SURPRISE: Yet again, Mil has outdone herself in putting together a birthday surprise for Michael in August which gathered greetings and well-wishes from many fans into one remarkable, memorable gift. To see the results of her efforts (and everyone else who submitted materials to her for it), go to: Birthday Surprise. Michael was greatly touched by the gift and the sentiments expressed by all who participated. Thanks to Mil for making Michael's birthday extra special for him.

Occasionally I get notes from people for Michael that I find especially moving and that I'd love to share with newsletter readers. This is one of them, and I asked the writer's permission to post it here. Without further ado, a note from Janet:

Michael, I hope in some way that this email, or the gist of it gets to you. I hope you know that you are reaching folks out there, with your music and your talent and your passion. My husband and I are so moved by your music. And dear god, I have been listening since your first came out ( I converted him later when I met him!). And, you know, lots of favorites of mine have fallen to the wayside. But, you truly perform with your heart, and it shows. You do seem to be a very genuine person, from all the things I have read about you, and the couple of times I have spoken with you, and every time I see you pour your heart out on stage. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to keep going on after all you have been through, especially with your first record company. I know that is all behind you! I tell everyone about you! I hope I can send some more folks your way. Is it worth asking Barnes and Noble and Exclusive Company to carry your albums, or are they not marketed that way?

Also, here in
Milwaukee , what radio stations would I call to ask them, kindly of course, to play your music? I would like to help however I can.

From being a social worker, I know how lonely it can be when you are a healer, which you are. I guess our medium in some ways is different. I really needed to thank you, with a very personal thank you. In a couple of days is my 37th birthday. I am working so hard to create a life of goodness and health and good friends, after a childhood of fear and hell. Your music truly, and without a doubt, helped me get out mentally and physically. I cannot explain the hell from where I have come for it is too hard, but, I can thank you. On your most recent album, there is the line about not being able to change where we come from, but being able to change where we are going to. I have sat with my husband and listened to that over and over, usually crying. It has become a mantra. And, so as you helped so many years ago,and so many years in between, you helped again. At this pivotal point in my life, I have a new healing message to carry with me. I may be wounded, but, a wounded healer I c an be. I can change where I am going, and I can listen to the voices who are imploring that I continue to try. I have to listen because I have to continue to meet the poor and the oppressed in the ghetto every day, and I have to offer them some kind of hope for life.

And, this is what your music gave me, in trying to get out of the "ghetto" of my childhood, all those years ago, and even now. Thank you and God bless you, and yours. Take very good care of yourself!

Peace, Janet Van
Peursem Milwaukee , WI

Since Michael parted ways recently with his manager, Gregg Bell, and a new manager, Dawn Maze, has come on board, I thought it would be a great time to get some scoop from her and fill you in on this new vital person ON the McDermott team. Here is what Dawn had to say in a recent email Q&A:

MM Newsletter: How did you meet Michael? When?
Dawn Maze: I first met Michael in May of '96. I had recently come to know of him and went to a show (
Luna Park in LA) when he was on the Jars of Clay tour. He signed my poster. I met him again in Dec. of 2000 and we became friends.

MMN: Give us a little bit of background on your work resume so our readers can get a feeling for what you've done/who you've worked with.
DM: I've always tried to do music related stuff. I worked at Universal Music for a few years doing licensing and project coordination for their various labels including MCA, Interscope/Geffen/A&M, UMe & Lost Highway. When I left there, I went to manage Pete Yorn's indie label, Trampoline, along with Rami Jaffee (The Wallflowers) and Marc "Doc" Dauer (Jukebox Junkies). I still work on a few things with them and I also look after Business Affairs for a Japanese rockstar.

MMN: What are your biggest management focuses for Michael at the moment?
DM: My focus right now is on getting him in front of some new audiences and building his fanbase in different markets. We're also looking into having 'Ashes' released in
Europe as well as doing some dates over there next year.

MMN: What do you see as next steps for Michael -- with regard to this album and perhaps recording another?
DM: He certainly has enough material for another record already! But he's got the 'Beneath the Ashes' package coming out, so we'll work with that for awhile (along with 'Ashes') before we start thinking about putting out another full-length album. There are some really great songs on 'Beneath' so I'm excited for it to get out there.

MMN: What are your thoughts on Michael the artist and why did you agree to manage him?
DM: Michael is my all-time favorite artist which is why I agreed to manage him. There is a Nick Hornby quote: "Admiration is a very different thing from the kind of transference I'm talking about. I'm talking about understanding - or at least feeling like I understand - every artistic decision, every impulse, the soul of both the work and its creator." That's exactly the way I feel about Michael and his music. Plus, we've had so many conversations about his career over the years, it just seemed like it was time.

For this month's live show review, I had really wanted to write it myself. But I wasn't able to make the Philadelphia show I'd planned to cover, so I once again asked Mil if she would be kind enough to review it for me. Here is what she had to say about a night that featured not one but two amazing performances:

Although I'm sure no one review could possibly capture all of the highlights of this wonderfully full evening of Michael's music, I'll nonetheless attempt herein to offer at least a glimpse into the overall feeling, along with a few of the specific moments, that made this night so special.

That said, I should note that it's been over two years since Michael last played this venue, one that had in the two years since he first appeared there become a regular stop on his ongoing tour schedule. And, on each (not infrequently sold-out) occasion, he invariably brought his very best - rediscovered favorites almost never elsewhere played live, brand new compositions 'til then never played live at all, a host of subtle witticisms, and the heartfelt tales of love and sadness that inspired many of these songs. And, indeed, he brought precisely these things with him once again.

A significant difference regarding this evening, however, was the unusual scheduling of two headlining performances in one night. But, lest this lead one to believe Michael merely presented two cookie-cutter versions of one show, he or she should think again; for never has the dynamic nature of art been more clearly illustrated than it was in the two completely different (and wholly interactive) experiences that were each of these live - i.e. life-filled - events.

The first show, although dictated in part by the time restrictions needed to allow a second show to take place at all (very necessary restrictions, I should add, as it was clear the audience would have otherwise gladly kept Michael playing well into the second show's allotment), might best be identified as a "vintage" Point performance. By that I mean it featured new songs ("The American In Me", "Just A Little Blue", "Long, Long, Long Way To Heaven"), rediscovered favorites ("A Wall I Must Climb", "Never Going Down Again"), and a couple of new twists on ones that might be said to fall somewhere in between…an example of which was the wonderful surprise of Van Morrison's "I'll Be Your Lover, Too", serving as a beautiful and perfectly appropriate introduction to "Arm Yourself". And, of course, the set couldn't possibly be complete without several selections from Michael's latest album, Ashes, including that last title mentioned above, along with "Hellfire In The Holyland" and "O ne Way To Go". And, to offer just a glimpse into how popular this release has proved in the Philadelphia area, after sharing its recent (radio station WXPN-supported) hit single, "Everything I Got", the applause was both so loud and lasted so long that for a moment it seemed we were back at the outdoor amphitheater which housed July's Singer/Songwriter Weekend performance (and its enthusiastic crowd of 8200) than the much more intimate (and normally much quieter!) setting that is The Point.

Naturally, with that kind of reception, time restrictions or not, the fact of at least one encore quickly became a given circumstance. And, this expectation Michael gladly met with one of his newer (and arguably among the best of his thus far unreleased) songs (well, among the best from this century, at least…and if you've been in the McDermott camp for any length of time you realize, of course, that I'm referring to the fact there are countless unreleased gems written throughout the 1990's equally worthy of that superlative). In any case, the tune in question here is the angelically melodic and lyrically brilliant "When It Comes To You."…which was followed by a seemingly quite literal journey toward a "Closer Walk With Thee" - aptly concluded by Michael's walking off the stage to the sound of thunderous applause.

During the between-show break that followed, the line of attendees anxious to purchase merchandise and meet Michael spoke for itself as to how favorably those new to his work in the acoustic format had been impressed. As a result, I would surmise that many who had purchased tickets to only the first show scrambled to snap up any yet remaining for the second - which, needless to say, quickly became sold-out as well.

And, while the earlier set had indeed provided a hint as to what this second one might consist of - great music delivered with even greater passion - still, the lateness of the hour, a more vocally participatory crowd, and an impromptu decision to basically toss the setlist out the window all combined to create something more like a group of family and friends huddled around the piano, sipping hot toddies on a winter evening, than anything resembling a planned event some had traveled far from their home bases to attend. Underscoring this impression, at one point, Michael looked up in mock surprise and asked, "Hey, what are you guys doing in my living room?!"

With that in mind, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that fully half of what was ultimately performed proved the result of either Michael's spontaneous choice or insistent requests from the audience. And, of course, layered onto the surprises in terms of song choice came additional surprises… a few, shall I say, footnotes within the music - such as embellishing the story of insane(?) romantic risk behind the lovely "Hold Back A River". (When newly composed, Michael had left this with the doorman of a girl who'd caught his eye - only to later learn she'd listened to "well, part of it". "Part of it', he echoed in knowing dismay…"but the whole thing's only a three minute song!")

And, of course, there were once more additional titles from Ashes thrown into the mix ("Can't Sleep Tonight", "Baby, I") including another performance of the already well-established crowd favorite, "Everything I Got". "Bells" (a selection from Michael's 1996 self-titled release), also found its way into the setlist, as did one of my favorite of his oft-played covers, "Time After Time". And, what proved a particular highlight for me in the first show proved no less spectacular in the second, the raw yet richly textured anthem of faith and determined will, "Never Going Down Again".

More lighthearted commentary and audience repartee ensued as well…including the rather odd question of whether Michael in fact hails from
Chicago ("No, I just tell people that...") and an arguably odd response to the blurted cliché, "What's your sign?" "Demonic", Michael quickly quipped back before embarking on the scripture-based "Hand of the Hunter". Based on that I'd say "eclectic" might best serve as the key term to describe the whole of this evening's show number two.

As previously stated, however, there were a number of consistencies between the evening's sets, and I would surely be remiss in concluding this review without sufficient conveyance of the genuine gratitude Michael repeatedly expressed -- to both audiences in attendance on this evening, XPN for their generous support over the past several months, and Philadelphia music fans for their warm embrace of both his recent live performances and his latest recorded work. "I always figured I'd be discovered after I was dead," he told the crowd at one point…adding with a sly smile, "which still might be the case!" Growing serious once more, he concluded, "But you're here…with me. I'm humbled. It's a real honor."

No greater honor, surely, than that of being present on this truly unforgettable night - for which I offer my own sincere thanks to XPN, The Point, and of course, Michael himself.

You may recall in my Singer/Songwriter Weekend review I expressed the hope that event might prove "only the first of many, many more such amazing days to come"…

This may well have been the second.

Our winner of last month's contest (an unreleased song of Michael's) is Mary in Texas . Michael has selected the song "Searchlight" for her, and we'll be getting her a copy of the song soon. Enjoy! If you'd like to read people's responses regarding their favorite live Michael McDermott performance, skip to the Fan Fare section below to see what people had to say!

This month, we'll be giving away a second copy of the limited-edition "for jukebox use only" 45 RPM single of "Summer Days" on the A side, "Bells" on the B side. No artwork, just a plain white sleeve. But, since it's a plain white sleeve, I'm going to have Michael decorate and sign it for the winner.

Wanna win? Here's how.... Send an email to us at ENTER CONTEST. You have to make the subject line: "Summer in December!" If you don't have that exact subject line, we won't consider your entry. Then, in the body of the email, tell us what song you'd like to hear Michael cover that, to your knowledge, he's never covered before. Tell us why you choose the song you do. We'll take all of the entries who put the right subject line and include their cover song choice, and have Michael randomly select a winner.

We'll print the winner's name, and the results in the next issue!

Entries must be received by November 15th. Good luck! Only one entry per person, please. Thanks!


We mentioned who won the song above, but in order to enter that contest, people had to respond with their favorite Michael McDermott show. It's not really something I can count up votes for per se, but instead I thought I'd share with you the wonderful things folks had to say about their favorite live McDermott experience. Read on!

Comments About McDermott Shows
Mary (our winner) said:
October 27, 2000 . The Last Chance Lounge release party at the Double Door, Chicago IL . Purely emotional reasons. My "virgin" McD experience. My first time to Chicago . The pre--party get-together; where I met my two best friends and so many amazing others! Meeting Michael for the first time, he was generous, kind and made me feel like part of "the family." Epiphany, is the only term I can think of that describes seeing Michael live that first time. It was like coming home, to feel a part of something so special, to be among people I'd never met, yet it felt like we were old friends. An evening I will never forget.

Cloughfada said: My favorite Michael McDermott concert experience was at the Metro on May 1 for his cd release....that was awesome!

Connie said: I've unfortunately only been to two of Michael's shows. The first was very momentous (Sept. 2003 in Greenbay the night before Michael sang the anthem at the Packer game). I had not heard much of him before this (had gone to see the Gin Blossoms, actually) but we were so blown away by Michael's performance...he's been filling my house with his beautiful voice ever since. The second show was this summer at Mill Creek Blues in
Appleton , WI . The band didn't get there on time...but well worth the wait. They put out tons of energy to a very tiny 'crowd', then they hung with the few of us diehards after the show. Michael and I spoke a bit about my special needs baby and that this was the first time my husband & I had been out in months due to the care our child needs. He was so sweet and kind to put some very thoughtful words into the signing of my copy of 'Ashes'. As we left he came and gave me a hug & kiss. I hope Michael knows how deeply he touches people by just bei ng himself.

Kat said: I'd like to say that my favorite Michael McDermott concert experience was my house concert last September, 2003 but I had so much on my mind that day and night that honesty, I could not relax and enjoy the show. It was an awesome evening and a truly awesome performance by Michael, TJ and Lance, and I know that everyone else enjoyed themselves but as for me...it's one big blur! Therefore, I'll have to say that my favorite Michael concert experience was Ravinia in August 2001. Michael opened the show for Celtic Festival at Ravinia and although it was a short set, it was absolutely fantastic. Michael, TJ, Jack, and Anne Harris on fiddle lit up the stage with an amazing performance. I remember the second tune was "When the Irish Were Kings of New York" and by the the second line...my eyes pooled up with water.....ok , they were tears; the whole atmosphere was just incredible and it really could just take your breath away. I think the best part of the performance was jus t seeing Michael up on that stage in front of an enormous, attentive crowd. It was a beautiful scene.

Tom said: My favorite Michael concert was back in '99 at the Cafe Monmarte in
Madison , WI . I had just been laid off from a job that was going nowhere fast. I had recently been hired on in the wonderful world of retail for the first time, but was interested in something else. About two days before the show I had interviewed for a part time job at 105.5 FM with Michael's long time friend Pat Gallagher. Basically, we sat around and chatted for a while at the show until the song came on. The song in question? None other than "Unemployed." I had been getting a fair number of brews under my belt, so when this came on it was so appropriate.

Ken said: My favorite Michael McDermott concert experience is the very first time I saw him perform. It was on Mother's Day in
Valparaiso , IN at the Chicago Street Theater a few years ago. He performed acoustic and just blew mw away. My wife was not quite as big a fan as I was, but when the performance was over, she was hooked. I've only seen him perform twice since then, last year at the Chicago Street Theater again and in May in Cleveland . But like most things you will always remember your "first time" the most.

Luthardt said: My fave concert experience was at
Harper Community College in Palatine , IL . a few years ago. My roommate and I had the privelege of meeting Michael's father and chatting for 15 minutes or so after the show. Interesting perspective...

Janet said: The best concert experience I have had was going with my husband to see Michael at Luther's Blue's in
Madison , WI . The venue itself was incredible. The place just seemed like it was filled with legendary folks, and Michael fell right in. The whole band was amazing, but, Michael was at the forefront. I just remember how excited I was. I had had major surgery and could not dance, but, the music just washed over me. There was much passion and plenty of feeling in his music that night. It moved my husband and I to tears. I almost met him for the first time then.

Jacobo said: One year ago, I flew just to Chicago to see Michael playing live at Kat's house...It was a great experience, not only for Michael's music but to have the chance to meet to the great people that I made contact by internet, specially to Kat, that opened his house's door for my wife and me. I will really love that Michael writte a song about how much his music can mean...and why not, a song about two strangers, separates by an ocean that make contact thanks to his music.

Brad said: I saw Michael at Schuba's a long time ago and I noticed he was chewing gum through the show. After the concert I got a chance to talk to him and I asked him what type of gum he chewed. He responded Cinamon Trident without blinking an eye. Same gum that I chew. I figured his reason for chewing it was the same as mine.....it is the only type of gum our Moms let us chew!

Doreen said: I've seen Michael perform live only twice (I live in
Arizona ). The very first time was my favorite - Jammin' at the Zoo in 2002 (I believe that was the year - he opened for the gin blossoms). It was the first time I heard Junkie Girl and found it to be such an intoxicating song. He was charismatic on stage - just him and his guitar (band members, too, but of course our focus was on Michael) and he was just so interesting to watch. I left before the gin blossoms' encore and they were the headliners (they're from az too and i've met the guys - one of them dated my friend - but they were no where as fascinating as Michael). Great show - would love to see him at a summer zoo show again (i'm usually visiting family in Chicago the week of July 4th every year - hint hint!). Thanks for the memories!

Sheila said: My favorite MM concert experience......8/21/04
Beverly Arts Center Miles: 600 (round trip) Hours driving: 10 (round trip) Sleep: none!!!!!! Seeing Michael's birthday show in Chicago which just so happened to fall on my birthday: priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! What an awesome show! I clapped so hard and so long that my hands hurt!!! This one is definitely my all time favorite MM show!!!! First there was an announcement of a couple of birthdays including Michael's mother, then we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Michael before he came out on stage. The first thing he said was "it's a good thing I'm singing tonight." He told stories about most of the songs and made us laugh several times. It was just incredible! After the show, there was a line of people waiting to talk to Michael, we happened to be in the right place and were about 3rd or 4th in line. I had Michael sign my McDermott #49 baseball jersey that I had made and then got a picture with him. I told him it was my birthday so he wished me a happy birthday and gave me a kiss on the cheek. My friend Shari who went with me to the show was very impressed and has become a fan. Was it worth the 600 mile, 10 hour round trip? Absolutely!!!!!!! Would I do it again? Absolutely!!!!

Jon said: I have never had the privilege of seeing Michael perform live. I look forward to the chance on his next swing through
Texas !

Brian said: My favorite live show experience was at The Point, in Philly. I think it was April 2002, but I could be wrong. It was the very first time Michael left the stage singing Walk With Thee while he walked to the dressing room. It was so spur of the moment and spontaneous, and it worked great because the whole show was solid. It was one of the better shows I’ve ever seen him do. He got a standing ovation that night, and it was a very responsive crowd during the show as well. From start to finish, everything came together that night.

Henrik said: As far as I know MMcD, have never had a gig in
Sweden , so I am still waiting...

Karen said: I have seen a number of awesome Michael shows, but I think my favorite concert experience was this summer's show at the Naperville Ribfest. I always prefer the band shows and this one was a full 2 hours long. Show highlights were Arm Yourself, Everything I Got, Leave It Up to the Angels, and a cover of Sympathy for the Devil. My kids came with and didn't even whine about sitting so long. It was a beautiful night!

Bob (and Eric) said: Well. My favorite "Michael " concert experience involves two shows, one I was at and the other I wasn't ,lol, I'll explain, I saw Michael at the cubby north in lincolnshire il. a few years ago he was doing the "last chance lounge" tour and I got to the show early, being a writer myself I hoped to be able to talk to Michael before the show, and sure enough he was there walking around talking to family and friends. after several sightings I finally got the nerve to approach Michael and talk to him for several minutes, and I have to say Michael is really a nice guy, once i told him i was a song writer he asked me about what I did and how I went about it and was just generally very very nice, I had a copy of Gethsemane in my pocket and asked him to sign it, and he did, graciously I might add, I had a copy of a self made really really bad demo cd I had made in a freinds basement and the cd had a very odd picture on it and the title was "slackjaw johnson" he lo oked at it and said what is this? lol, I said it was a cd of some songs written by me and a friend and i'd like him to have it and with out laughing he accepted it, even thanked me for it! I really didn't care if he flung it out the window of his car on the way home or dropped it in the nearest garbage can I had been able to put it in his hand and talk to him, more than I'd ever expected! The show was great! Honestly, I took several friends there that evening and they were all blown away at what they saw and heard that evening, No Bullshit, it was a moving experience, the likes of which i'll never forget.

Anyway, the next part of the "Michael" experience I wasn't in attendance oddly enough, my nephew lives in California near fresno and frequents music venues often, and I told him about what an unbelievable show we had seen and he said he was going to see if Michael ever came out that way, well, the next day My nephew Eric calls me and says Yes Michael is playing an accoustic show somewhere near by! and hes going to go. I told him, for a laugh to take one of my cd's with him and hand it to Michael and I bet him if nothing else he'd get a really odd look from him, you'd need to see the picture on the cd to really understand what I meant by that, lol. So, Eric goes to the show and calls me that night at like 4 am ,lol. and says guess what? I said who the hell is this? lol, he says its, Eric, I went to see Mcdermott and gave him the cd and he looked at me like I was nuts,lol, and the asked Eric where did you get this? and Eric said it was his uncle's cd, lol, and michael said yeah I met him a couple weeks ago his name Is Bob right? , lol, and he talked to Eric for quite a while about our meeting in Lincolnhshire and to say Hi,lol . Eric had on a zildgian T shirt and Michael asked Eric if he was a drummer and Eric said yes he was a drummer and Michael invited him to come up and play some lap drumming while he played! Well, Michael made one hell of an impression on a young drummer that evening, Eric was to nervous to go up and thanked Michael, and than sat down and watched Michael blow the roof off the place! well, needless to say Michael Mcdermott has two life time fans here! Thanks Mike! Keep dreaming , keep believing!

I'm going to add something here since I have the soap box,I believe that there are people born to this world who are meant to do particular things, Michale Mcdermott was born to do what he does, he's truly gifted, you can see it you can hear it, and if your lucky enough to get close enough to Michael for a moment you can even smell it! There are people who have a presence, Elvis for instance, great people have something others don't and you can sense it immediatly, now I don't mean to jokingly compare Michael to Elvis, I did see Elvis when I was a boy by the way, no shit! really did, won tickets on wcfl a labor radio station in
chicago in the sixties and seventies, thats a whole other story,lol anyway.............. Michael has this I don't know what to call it??? hmmm I've met priests who by just being near them you can feel and smell holyness, well Michael is like that, lol. Michael has a very distinct connection with something very Holy, and I believe like a Prophet he is m eant to deliver what he knows to anyone who will listen, and I am listening! and so are many others Michael! Peace be with you!

This month, we'd like to give a big shout-out to the person who spent countless hours designing Michael's new website, Lori. Not only does Michael's new site look really amazing, but Lori really outdid herself by making a website that looks fantastic, yet is structured in such a way and simplistically enough that Michael's managers can keep it updated themselves. Thanks, Lori, for a job well done!

10/29/2004 : Chicago , IL
VENUE: Martyr's
(power trio - McD, Danny, Dominique)

11/6/2004 : Palatine , IL
VENUE: Durty Nellie's
(solo acoustic - seated)

12/17/2004 : Philadelphia , PA
VENUE: World Cafe Live
(full band)

9/18/2004 : The Point, Bryn Mawr, PA

The American In Me
Arm Yourself
Wall I Must Climb
Long Long Long Way To Heaven
Just A Little Blue
One Way To Go
Everything I Got
Never Going Down Again
When It Comes To You
Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Arm Yourself
When It Comes To You
Hold Back A River
One Way To Go
Hand Of The Hunter
Everything I Got
Can't Sleep Tonight
Never Going Down Again
Baby I
Time After Time
Around The World
Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Ugo's question: I heard the song "One Way To Go" for the first time live and felt as though the song was written particularly for me. It so related to some things I was struggling with at the moment I first heard it. So thank you for writing it and sharing it because it is comforting to know that you aren't the only person in the world feeling things, beating yourself up over mistakes, etc. Nice to know others (talented, insightful others) are fighting the same demons you are! So I am quite interested in the "story" behind the song, if you care to share it (or maybe you already have and I haven't heard).
Michael's answer: It was written about a particular event in my life. The genesis of the song was from a run-in with the law a few years ago, one of those revelatory moments when you can't understand how this all came to be your life kinda moments. Obviously, knowing that my particular boat wouldn't be one that people could relate to exactly, I was worried about it being "too inside" but really when it all comes down.....everybody has the same problems. Though we might play those frustrations out differently, we may react to our situations differently. I think that everybody is pretty much cut from same cloth and that we all are enveloped by self-doubt, we all self-medicate, we all get angry at some of our decision making... and sometimes you have to find that bottom to know where you are. You can free fall sometimes for only so long until there is a "wake up call." Otherwise you float, you drift, you sink. Sometimes for a lifetime. Sometimes you crash. But then you kn ow where you need to go. Obviously, this is all my opinion. Don't try this at home...

Donna's question: Michael - don't know if you remember, but while at the Point in Bryn Mawr on 9/18, you signed a photo for me - it was a cool pic of my little niece and I with you at Singer Songwriter weekend. You signed-off with a word that I'm not familiar with...it looks like "slaintu". It's very intriguing and I was hoping you could enlighten me. In the meantime, just want to say that your music gets me thru the day, and can't wait until your next stop in Philly.
Michael's answer: I do remember you. Thanks for coming to the show. The word is "slainte" which is Gaelic for "Cheers"! Learn something new everyday ...thanks again.

John submitted the following questions for Michael:
Question: Best advice you were ever given.
Michael's answer: "Don't let the beast become too strong" and "You get what you pay for." Those seem to be the ones I ponder the most....

Question: We all had our say a while back, now, do you "prefer" piano or guitar in the solo shows?
Michael's answer: I guess piano and I'm suprised to write that. Just seems more fitting and more comfortable when I'm there. Also being a lazy ass, I get to sit down while I play it. But seriously, it also depends on the tune. I'm not that good of a keyboard player to be able to rock out on piano... not that good of a guitar player to make it (the guitar) that interesting for a whole show. That's why I need both. Thinking about incorporating a monkey that plays accordian too...

Question: Aliens...real?
Michael's answer: BIG fan of the X-files, so the truth is out there. I certainly think it's a possiblilty. I wonder why there isn't more info. And if I were Mulder, I'd say, "Well, the info is out there but you have to look for it...." I guess I wouldn't disappointed if they didn't exist, but i'm guessin they do.

Question: How good of a guitar player is Stephen King, really?
Michael's answer: Alright... we didn't spend alot of time playing, so I can't say I have a real knowledge of what he can do. I think he'd be the first to tell you he ain't gonna quit his day job, but then again, he's smarter than me and would probably add, "Why'd you quit yours?"

Question: I think the fans want a duet. Was "Paint You a Song" written as a duet? Ever written a duet? I don't mean like a bullshit duet like Kenny Chesney and Kid Rock - 2 people singing - I mean like a male/female duet.
Michael's answer: I love songs that men sing from a woman's perspective and vice versa. However it can get pretty tricky. I've never sat down to write one, but am always looking for ways to have a female voice... I love females and the sound of their voices. "Paint You A Song" wasn't written specifically for a woman... just kinda turned out that way....

Here's how "Ask Michael" works: you send your question(s) to us, and we'll print his answers in an upcoming issue. It's as simple as that. Please send your questions to: ASK MICHAEL. Ask away!

This newsletter is special because of submitted material from the fans!! Please continue to submit anything you'd like to share. If we have the space that month, we'll print it (or save it for a future issue)! Please send everything to: NEWSLETTER SUBMISSIONS.

If you feel you have received this email in error,
or if you would like to be removed from our list, please