“She loved to sing and she had a very diverse collection of everything from R&B to old classic country albums, she had it all. I fell very deep into that collection; I would totally immerse myself in the music. I would just sit for hours with artist like Pasty Cline, The Judd’s, Dollly Parton, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. I would sing along with them into the speakers while studying every note and every lyric.
Every artist I listened to and sang along with became my vocal heroes and all their styles became part of me” When Michael was 12 yrs old he went to a Judd’s concert and from that day on the need to perform on stage began staking its claim deep in his soul. “It was all I thought about, I would sit in class and underneath my homework I'd be lifting up the paper trying to turn my early poetry into a song. I never wanted to be like anybody else.” Later Michael began singing in choirs, school musicals, retirement homes and county fairs. “It was really cool to perform at that age and have folks tell me you’re going to make it someday kid, everyone was always shocked by the maturity of my voice.” Michael wrote his first song at age 15 and always seemed to have a gift for putting the right words together with heart.
During his teens and twenties he silently amassed a small song catalog and thought it was about time that he used his talent and record one of them, however he had no place to start. Then he met, Bryant Keith while living in South Florida. Bryant being a multi-talented musician and writer became the his musical catalyst for the next few years. They began to write feverishly and formed a duo named Keith & West which was backed by a seasoned and very talented seven piece band.
They paid their dues in local clubs and also took home several awards from The Florida Country Music Association; such as "Entertainers of the Year" and the “Best Country Duo Award." Then in 2002 Keith & West decided to record a debut album of original material titled "A Long Stretch of Highway" which was released independently right before Michael decided to make his pilgrimage to Nashville, TN. The release was well received among their peers, but never had any commercial success. However, his luck turned and during his first two years living as a singer/songwriter in Music City he was commissioned to co-write a song titled "My Love Will Reach You (Ashton's Song)” for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Annual charity event, which was held at RCA Records. He called on his good friends Bryant Keit, the Grammy winning producer Joe Hogue and his partner Sean Peterson to co-write the song, (which was later re-mixed by Freddy Freeman into a dance track).
He also obtained three single song contracts, two with VanWatkins Music LLC, and one with The Sundance Channel, which was included in a four-part series called "Keeping Time: New Music From America's Roots." In 2004 he formed a new band called Ursa Major and joined a touring group of male musicians called Bearapalooza, which led him to play shows all across the United States. While he gigged he worked on the material for his next album. Then in 2008 he co-produced a full east coast tour with Bearpalooza with shows in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C. and Raleigh, NC.
He also was invited to play Milwaukee Pride which is one of biggest Pride events in the country. Then in 2009 he took a hiatus from music and performing for birth of his son Zephyr which he is raising with his loving partner (and soon to be legally married in Maryland) of 17 years. Presently he very is excited to finally release his long awaited second FULL album. A digital preview of the album (produced by Michael West and the talented Freddy Freeman) was released in the Spring of 2012 under the title of "SHINE" and is still available on iTunes, Google Play, CD Baby & Amazon. Check out the INCREDIBLE reviews of the pre-release. The official full physical 14 track release will be titled "A Fond Farewell" and will be proudly published by BeatleBrook Music LLC.
in the winter of 2012. The album will contain four more tracks produced by Scott Blanton, Bryant Keith, Chad Ruesch and Grammy Winner, Joe Hogue. This album will authentically represent Michael's entire musical journey by paying tribute to his entire musical family while at the same time ignoring all genre restraints. find out more at http://www.michaelwestmusic.com Read more on Last.fm.
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