Jaime Michaels Biography (short)

   “… truly inspiring … a vital, alive, creative artist who is as sharp, in touch, poignant

   and timely as anyone.  He’s simply an artist committed to growing who is on the
   journey with a mission to seek, learn and connect with art …”
   Erik Balkey – Hudson Harding Music 

 

A venue operator in California refers to Jaime Michaels as a “songwriters’ songwriter.”  He came late to the craft having enjoyed a long career as a covers artist both as a soloist and, for a while, full tilt rock and roll band lead singer with The Truly Dangerous Swamp Band.  Not being much of a radio fan, he chose his covers carefully…sometimes something recognizable like Dylan or the Beatles, sometimes just damned fine songs he happened to run across from lesser known writers like Canadian Murray MacLauchlan.  He sang the hell out of all of them.

 

Something happened a few years back when he moved west, far from his east coast roots, to a new home in Santa Fe, NM.  Maybe it was just the change of scenery, something in the big western night sky…but the songs started coming.  Finely crafted.  Tuneful.  Both spirited and spiritual…songs of kindness and true emotion.  Eleven albums, so far, with JonoManson in the producer’s chair for the past nine.  Their 2013 effort, unknown blessings, is a fund raiser with 100% of the sales going to the Kerrville Folk Festival Foundation’s teen music camp.  That album along with 2011’s the man with the time machine and his most recent, 2016’s once upon a different time, have all won the New Mexico Music Awards album of the year award.

 

Jaime continues touring both in the US and in Italy where once upon a different time was released on Appaloosa records in 2016.  He toured in Italy in December 2017 with keyboardist Radoslav Lorcović.  2018 dates included a mainstage set at the 2018 Kerrville folk festival, a summer tour in California and a tour in Texas in the fall with fellow singer songwriter Rj Cowdery.”.  He appeared next on Appaloosa Records’ tribute album to Townes Van Zandt, The Wind Blows, on the first track, a stellar cover of Snowing On Raton.

 

And now a new album, if you fall, again a collaboration between Jono, Jaime and a new recording band consisting of Austinites Paul Pearcy on drums and Ronnie Johnson on bass, NYC/Nashville veteran pedal steel, mandolin, guitar wiz Jon Graboff and on keyboards and accordions, Radoslav Loković.  As always, there are some stellar originals (if you fall, red buddha laughs, billy pilgrim’s wife, carnival town among them) and a couple of moving covers, Greg Trooper’s they call me Hank and an English translation of legendary Italian singer songwriter Francesco de Gregori’s most famous song, Rimmel, which has already been featured on RAI, Italian state television. Already out on Italy’s Appaloosa Records, the album’s US release is slated for Oct 1, 2019.

 

a few kind words:

 

"He writes songs with special meanings...with a sense of purpose, a sense of belief that music is as critical to life as breathing itself.”
Wanda Adams Fischer WAMC/NY

 

"Jaime Michaels creates songs that follow the lives of ancestors and neighbors in tales told with the graceful edge of a master storyteller."

Danny McCloskey / the Alternate Root

 

 

 

Jaime Michaels Biography (long)

There has always been music in Jaimeʼs life, whether it was singing church hymns in Latin, his parents playing the old upright piano in the parlor, or his Uncle Joe teaching him his first chords. When Joe entered the army, he left an old guitar with Jaime, and later started to send Jaime albums by the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan. Then Jaime discovered the musician who, to this day, remains his all-time musical hero, Boston folkie Tom Rush. Tom was and is a genius at finding songs that speak universally. Jaime listened and learned.


His musical journey began with solo gigs in the coffeehouses of Boston and Cambridge. This was followed by several years as a bass player in the acoustic trio, Beckett, opening shows for Livingston Taylor, Doc Watson, Dave Van Ronk and Jonathan Edwards, among others.

The 80ʼs found Jaime living in the South Carolina low country, spreading his rock and roll wings as lead singer for cult rockers “the Truly Dangerous Swamp Band”. He spent eight years with the Swamp Band, crisscrossing the country playing colleges and bars, opening shows for rockers such as Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton and Paul Barrereʼs Bluesbusters.

In the early 90ʼs, Jaime tired of the rock and roll road life and returned to his first love, acoustic music. In 1997 he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where, for the first time in his career, he began to seriously write.

He’s recorded eleven solo albums so far, each filled with finely crafted songs that showcase his passionate voice and the varied musical influences heʼs absorbed over the years. His 2011 release, the man with the time machine was named Album of the Year by the New Mexico Music Awards. He won the same award in 2014 for his album unknown blessings.

That recording was released at Jaime’s concert at the 2013 Kerrville Folk Festival. The project was made up of primarily cover tunes written by artists with whom Jaime shares a love of the late night song circles at Kerrville. All money from the sale of the album is being donated to the Kerrville Folk Music Foundation for use at their summer Music Camp for Teens.  In addition to New Mexico Music Awards album of the year, the album also won song of the year for  dirty wine (w/Annie Wenz) and producer Jono Manson won the Norman Petty producer of the year title.

Another Jono Manson produced album titled once upon a different timewas released in the summer of 2016 both in the US (frumdahart/con artisti) and Italy (Appaloosa Records).  So far it has spent months on the American Folk-DJ charts, peaking in the top ten. Several tracks from the album are receiving airplay in the US, Australia, New Zealand and a half dozen European countries.  It’s being well received by critics around the world. And again, the album won 2017 album of the year, song of the year (for the climate change themed warming and producer of the year (for Jono Manson) honors at the NM Music Awards

He toured in Italy in December 2017 with keyboardist Radoslav Lorcović.  Further 2018 dates included a mainstage set at the 2018 Kerrville folk festival, a summer tour in California and a tour in Texas in the fall with fellow singer songwriter Rj Cowdery. 

 

He next appeared on Appaloosa Records’ 2018 tribute album to Townes Van Zandt, “The Wind Blows”, with the first track, a stellar cover of “Snowing On Raton”.


And now a new album, if you fall, again a collaboration between Jono, Jaime and a new recording band consisting of Austinites Paul Pearcy on drums and Ronnie Johnson on bass, NYC/Nashville veteran pedal steel, mandolin, guitar wiz Jon Graboff and on keyboards and accordions, Radoslav Loković.  As always, there are some stellar originals (if you fall, red buddha laughs, billy pilgrim’s wife, carnival town among them) and a couple of moving covers, Greg Trooper’s they call me Hank and an English translation of legendary Italian singer songwriter Francesco de Gregori’s most famous song, Rimmel, which has already been featured on RAI, Italian state television. Already out on Italy’s Appaloosa Records, the album’s US release is slated for Oct 1, 2019.

 

Jaime’s travels will continue to take him around the US and occasionally to Europe, playing house concerts, festivals, and arts venues. Just Jaime and his wonderfully worn Taylor guitar. And the songs.

As Mark S.Tucker remarks in his FAME review of Jaimeʼs album, "the man with the time machine", “Michaels watches the side currents of life, not the hurtlingly frantic noise and images…far more the missed opportunities, the mistakes, the wrinkles in the heart. We may be living through the 21st century, but work like his takes us back to a Mayberry that's a lot scruffier around the edges, an indeterminate era when our fantasies about such things danced a little differently.”

SOME KIND WORDS

"Much like the folkier side of Paul Simon, who seems a clear mentor, Michaels’ lyrical skills allow him to be reflective and wry in his crafty word-play...The tunes throughout are always clever, mostly upbeat, but never sappy -- wine sipping rather than beer drinking music.”
Roots Music Report

"Jaime Michaels' songs are as elusive as smoke and mirrors...His voice raspy with sadness and longing, Michaels pens contemporary tunes where love shines from within like a falling star..."
Sing Out!

"He writes songs with special meanings...with a sense of purpose, a sense of belief that music is as critical to life as breathing itself.”
Wanda Adams Fischer/WAMC
 
"An evening listening to Jaime Michaels is like spending an evening in Neverland. You get experience forgotten wonder, joy, and romance for romance's sake, without the cares of the world weighing you down. Jaime is a masterful singer/songwriter!"
Michael Downie / Room With A View Concerts


"Jaime is truly an inspiring artist. He has been creating great art for a while now, having amassed a 10-CD catalogue at this point. He's gained recognition nationally and is widely regarded as a songwriter's songwriter. And, it's funny that just this year he earned an "Emerging Artist" showcase at Falcon Ridge. I'd call it a Lifetime Achievement award, instead. But either definition would be misleading. Jaime is a vital, alive, creative, artist who is as sharp, in touch, poignant and timely as anyone. He's simply an artist committed to growing who is on the journey with a mission to seek, learn and connect with art. Thanks for helping to make sure that his music is heard!"
Erik Balkey / Hudson Harding Music


"Unknown Blessings is a heartelt love letter to the artists and songs that have come to define the Kerrville Folk Festival. These 14 finely wrought tunes, two of which Michaels co-wrote , are a reminder that evenin this age of hipster groove-folk and layer cake production, in the end, it's all about the song"
April Reese - indie journalist

"It's astounding the things you can pick up sitting around the campfire at the Kerrville Folk Extraviganza. Jaime Michaels has assembled a collection of some of the finest songwriters on the folk music carousel for Unknown Blessings including this gem ("dirty wine") penned by Michaels and Annie Wenz. This isn't 'train spotter' folk music folks. Dirty Wine is a crafty blend of folk, jazz and shuffling blues with hints of Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery and Lionel Hampton. Tasty!"
theAlternateRoot.com

"Jaime's "Unknown Blessings" contains many sweet surprises. Whether he's covering another's song or one of his own, Jaime brings energy and joy to the music. Blessings, indeed."
Wanda Adams Fisher" - WAMC/NY

"When booking Four Friends Acoustic Music Series, I look for the songwriter's songwriter. Jaime Michaels fits that description and fulfilled my expectations with zest, soulful, heart-bending lyrics, and clean expertise in the guitar department. His humor suited the audience, and kept everyone engaged and delighted with his fine storytelling ability. He brought a good group of fans out to our beautiful warm venue in Thousand Oaks, California.
I look forward to seeing him perform again.....anywhere, anytime."
Marilyn Babcock / Four Friends Acoustic Music Series
 
“Looks like the muse has found a home.”
Caroline Aiken

"...romance, longing, catchy tunes, lovely melodies, blues . . . and twists in perspectives, all wrapped in finely crafted stanzas. The lyrics stand alone as pure poetry...this thoughtful artist will make you think, ponder, and wonder - right along with him.”
Dirty Linen Magazine

...Jaime Michaels' songs are as elusive as smoke and mirrors...His voice raspy with sadness and longing, Michaels pens contemporary tunes where love shines from within like a falling star...
Sing Out!

"Energetic and fun, Jaime captivated us with his guitar work and stage presence, with lyrics both self-deprecating and from the heart. He made an instant connection with the audience … a real delight!"
Muse-ical House Concerts – Dallas, TX


“Jaime's beautiful songs, strong but mellow vocals and lovely guitar work made for a fine, audience pleasing performance. Most notable is Jaime's ability to connect personally with his listeners. His engaging stage presence and wonderful, varied material kept the audience completely involved and entertained. We hope to have him back again!”
Alexa McDonald – Granite Peak Folk Sessions

"…(Michaels) melts into his music rich instrumentations, influences from all of the last century and creates…music that could very well suit teenagers as well as adults. Although the term has been over used, this is truly 'new folk'...Michaels is expanding the limits of the genre and is surely an artist to follow."
Fame review

". . . each of the albums cuts sparkle like precious gems in the nighttime desert sky. . . a masterful understatement from a singer-songwriter who knows the value of space and subtle shadings."
taylorguitars.com
 
“Equal parts wit and wisdom . . .”
Performing Songwriter Magazine

“. . . Jaime Michaels’ use of language is uncommonly exquisite. His songs and writing have the hand rubbed luster of universally personal feelings. When they touch you, you feel as if you’ve held them before, then you wonder if you really have.”
Two Louie’s Magazine