About: Michael on Fire
I lost my brakes on the Great Divide,
Saw the chupacabra on the mountain side.”
With these words, and fueled by a driving acoustic rhythm and haunting windswept sound, the journey that is Michael on Fire’s new EP begins.
In many ways, the verse is representative of the tumultuous path he’s traveled as a musical troubadour. In a professional career that spans four decades he has toured relentlessly, long and far (“an endless ride”), constantly creating, performing and recording original music with an unswerving singularity of purpose (“a lot of strength and a lot of pride”), enduring all manner of mishap and hardship (“lost my brakes”), ever holding on to the mantle of musician (a full-time artist – no other day jobs), telling his truths in song and story, and projecting visions (“the chupacabra on the mountainside”) – of wonder, mystery and redemption.
As the follow-up to last year’s successful Always Yes CD, which spent more than half the year on the Americana radio charts, Cadillac Ranch reveals Michael on Fire as a complete musical being. He wrote and arranged all the songs; plays all the instruments (real instruments in real time – complete performances, no “punching in”), including guitar, bass, drums, piano, organ, mandolin, harmonica and castinets; he sings every vocal part; and produced, engineered and mixed the recordings.
“I’ve been fortunate to play and record and tour with great, great musicians, all over the world,” said Michael on Fire, “and that is a supremely joyful act – to make music with other people. At the same time, I am an artist, so sometimes it’s necessary for me to create art from a place that by-passes discussion and thought and collaboration, and to use my skills and my natural talents to convey a feel and a sound and a work of art that is uniquely ‘me.’
“I started recording as a teenager at United Sound in Detroit with some of the giants of rhythm and blues. I went on to record at Muscle Shoals (Alabama) with the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which played on some of the greatest records of all time. I’ve recorded in L.A. and New York, Nashville and London … I’ve had great musicians and producers like Stephen Stills and Joe Vitale produce records on me, and I have sang and played many instruments on records by many other artists; the point is I CAN DO THIS, SO I DO IT!”
In another lyric from the title cut, Michael on Fire sings, “I’m a truth teller, not a small talker,” and on this four-song collection, he paints from a bluesy-swampy-folk-rock palette and offers poetic insight and social commentary on a whole slew of subjects ranging from oil and banks to drugs and homelessness, technology, war, food preservatives, bee populations, self-help gurus, and more.
Cadillac Ranch, due out in July, is Michael on Fire’s 16th record from his various musical incarnations and one of two new Michael on Fire records scheduled for release this summer. The other is Michael on Fire Live in London, from last year’s UK concerts, where he was backed by a group of traditional Irish musicians. The record, which was produced by Colin Wilson, was mixed in Sydney, Australia and mastered by No’a Winter Lazerus in Los Angeles.
His impressive output of recorded material (more than 220 songs on record) notwithstanding, Michael has made his way as a performing artist traveling the world at a grassroots level, forging an ongoing relationship with an audience of people who feel a deeply personal and profound connection to him through his music and soulful expression.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
“Out of the darkness and void of a decimated music industry comes a singer / songwriter that lights the fires of peace, love and empathy for a World that is desperate for positive energy. Michael on Fire single handedly rekindles the passion and light in an art-form that holds the heart, soul and voice of the people. Come listen to what everyone is talking about, Michel is on Fire and lighting up the darkness with songs that sing of common sense, reason, passion and empathy.” ~ Stewart Brennan – World United Music