|Time & Place|
|Saturday, May 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm |
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
|Seniors, Military & Students w/ID||$13|
|Children 7–17 w/paying adult||1/2 price|
|Children under 7||free|
He's a disc-jockey-turned-worldwide-traveler who's trekked throughout such intoxicatingly exotic locales as New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Nepal and Bhutan. He's also a white-water kayaking enthusiast as well as an artist-relations executive. Oh, and yes … he's also a singer-songwriter-guitarist. Meet Michael Lille.
This modern-day Renaissance man has certainly been busy lately. But what affords him the most satisfaction among all his life experiences is recording and performing, and upon listening to his third and latest release, Never Home to Stay, it's easy to see (and hear) why. The record is an auditory delight that combines Michael's penchant for melding heartfelt lyrics about love, loss, self-examination and the lure and romance of the open road with a cool, breezy, Southern California-style, country-folk-rock groove.
Michael's musical journey began when he was in the seventh grade. "I went to a Catholic elementary school and there was a nun named Sister Claire who offered guitar lessons," Michael recalls. "She taught me some chords and I immediately got hooked." He sure did. After those first few instructional sessions, Michael, who cites James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Dan Fogelberg as major influences, spent nearly every waking moment practicing his guitar.
After graduating from high school, Michael went to Salisbury State College in Salisbury, MD. where he formed a successful duo with classmate Nanette Carter, and after college played in a series of rock and roll and R&B bands both in Aspen, Colo. and Charlottesville, Va. before heading to Nashville, Tenn. where he began honing his songwriting and performing chops.
In 1992, Michael released his debut CD, Just In Time, which was produced by John Jennings and featured Mary-Chapin Carpenter on background vocals. The record garnered immediate critical acclaim — particularly in The Washington Post — and helped establish Michael as an up-and-coming artist worth paying attention to. In 1993, he won the Kerrville New Folk Songwriter award, and in 1996 he was champion of the Telluride Troubador competition. That same year, he also released his second album, Middle Child.
The record, which featured Alison Krauss on background vocals and Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones on bass, helped to further spread the word on Michael's songwriting prowess, and within no time he was opening shows for musical heavyweights such as Bob Dylan, Little Feat, Leo Kottke Kathy Mattea, J.J. Cale and Warren Zevon. And now there's Never Home to Stay — a 12-track treat that masterfully showcases Michael's honey-sweet tenor and emotionally riveting lyrical depth.
"I simply get ideas and make mental notes," Michael says of his songwriting process. "I consider myself a guitar player first, so I always have musical ideas floating around. I'm also a notebook kind of guy. always carry one with me and I often keep a journal when I'm on one of my adventure travels or trekking excursions. Seeing other cultures inspires me, and I love just talking to strangers. In fact, some of my favorite songs stem from conversations I've had with folks. But my guitar playing definitely plays a big part in the songwriting process. I'm an incessant noodler."
When in his noodling mode, Michael gravitates toward a guitar made by Clearwater, Fla.-based luthier Augustino LoPrinzi. "It's been my main guitar since 1974," Michael remembers. "It's made out of Brazilian Rosewood and it's aged beautifully. It's not a full dreadnought and it's not concert-size guitar. It's somewhere in between. And it actually has a wider, 12-string guitar neck, which is perfect for my hands." He also has a cedar-topped Lowden 023, which he uses for tunes that call for open tunings and warm, finger-style approaches.
Since 1998, Michael has represented ELIXIR® guitar strings as head of artist relations and also as a mid-west sales rep. He uses the company's products exclusively on both of his acoustic guitars. In addition to the tone and feel of the strings, he likes their longevity and favors a light-gauge set-up on the top three strings, and a medium-gauge one on the bottom three.
As for being an independent artist, Michael points out that he likes the freedom it affords him in exploring other music-related projects. One of those projects is his role as a member of SGGL, one of Washington, D.C.'s best-loved music groups. "We've been at it for nearly 20 years, and it's loads of fun," Michael enthuses. "If I was with a major label, I don't think I'd have the luxury of playing with those guys." The band which has sold more than 100,000copies of it's previous albums, has recently released a live recording called On the Shoulder.
As for the immediate future, Michael says he plans to record a simply-produced record and plans to play more solo shows as opposed to appearing with his back-up band. "I like playing solo because it keeps me sharp", he says.
"Get out there and introduce yourself to the club and performance circuits, such as Kerrville and the Folk Alliance, as often as possible," is Michael's advice to aspiring singer-songwriters. "That's what I did, and it worked. Listen to other folks, get some feedback, and start networking. You'll realize that you can actually support yourself doing this line of work."
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, biker (HOG), paddler (KAYAK), layabout / 1993 Kerrville New Folk winner / 1996 Telluride Troubadour winner / member of SGGL (Speidel, Goodrich, Goggin & Lille),The Sherpas (Tom Kimmel, Tom Prasada-Rao, Michael Lille), The Famous Unknowns (Robbin Thompson, Lewis McGehee, Michael Lille).
10 recordings to date: M. Lille — Just In Time, Middle Child, Never Home To Stay, Suitable Disguise. SGGL — Just For You, Headin' South, Half A World Away, On The Shoulder. The Sherpas — Honor Among Thieves. The Famous Unknowns — self titled. CD's available at www.michaellille.com.
World Traveler - Nepal, Bhutan, New Zealand, Brazil, Turkey, Australia, Costa Rica, Czech Rep., China, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. …
Opened shows for Bob Dylan, Little Feat, Alison Krauss, Warren Zevon, Louden Wainwright III, Leo Kottke, David Wilcox, Carrot Top!
Plays LoPrinzi and Collings and Shanti acoustics, Gretsch and Tom Anderson electrics. ALWAYS strung w/ ELIXIR® Strings.
Recordings feature guests: Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Victor Wooten, Valerie Carter, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, George Marinelli, John Jennings, Jon Carroll, Lloyd Maines, Paul Pearcy …