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Michael Gaither | "I Was Never Going To Write What Some People Consider "Normal Songs&quot

Michael Gaither was raised on the Central California Coast and takes the “write what you know” idea to heart, crafting songs that showcase both the nostalgia of small-town life and the foibles of modern technology, with plenty of humor in the mix. He turned to songwriting after a background in journalism and a slight brush with standup comedy. (He sold jokes to Jay Leno. A long time ago. Back when Jay Leno was still funny.)

Michael Gaither

When I started along this music path a decade and a half or so ago, I immediately realised I was never going to write what some people consider "normal" songs".

Maybe it was my time doing standup comedy, or the years I spent as an entertainment writer…or just the fact that I get bored easy. I liked to write about anything that caught my attention.

When songwriting came along, the songs were specific: Dogs, horses and coyotes. Funny rants about big cars and cell phones. And nostalgia pieces about the long-gone drive-in theaters and restaurants in my hometown.

Safe to say, I was never going to write the next Taylor Swift single.

As I approached this newest record, “Hey Karma,” the song topics got about as specific as you can get: Angels, zombies, comedian Red Skelton, a trip to Elvis Presley’s Graceland home, digs at corporate speak and business jargon, and oddly enough (for me, anyway), a couple of “normal” love songs.

The ironic thing is that while this wasn’t intentionally a concept record, “Hey Karma” works as a song cycle, start to finish. Friends have already asked me, “Is this your Tommy?”

Musically this is a minimalist record focusing on the lyrics, but he manages to fit in guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukulele, pedal steel, harmonica, and even accordion. "Hey Karma,” released in May 2017 through Miracle Mile Records, is available at Michael's website, and on CD Baby and iTunes.

As an advocate for other artists, Michael ran a local open mic and booked and hosted a local concert series for several years, was a showcase emcee at the American River Music Festival (2007-2016), and still books/hosts the occasional house concert out of his Watsonville CA home. Offstage, Michael also produces/hosts the ten-years-running “Songs and Stories” podcast, which features stories behind his songs and interviews with other independent songwriters. You can listen to "Songs and Stories" on Michael's web site, in iTunes and Stitcher, and weekly on Grateful Dread Public Radio and KC Cafe Radio.

Michael Gaither Social Links:

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